February 7 through February 14, 2013: Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week

WHEREAS, each year, thousands of babies are born with birth defects, including more than 1,700 in Michigan of 40,000 in the United States who are born with a heart defect; heart defects are the most common of all birth defects and have been identified as the leading cause of defect-related deaths in babies; and,


WHEREAS, a congenital heart defect is present at birth and can involve flaws in the walls and valves in the heart, and the arteries and veins near the heart, often disrupting the normal flow of blood; and,


WHEREAS, some congenital heart defects are not diagnosed until months or years after birth, and undiagnosed heart conditions are the cause of many sudden cardiac deaths of young people, especially athletes; and,


WHEREAS, there is much to learn about the causes of and effective treatments for congenital heart disease, and it is important for doctors, nurses and parents to recognize the warning signs of congenital heart defects among newborns in order to provide the proper treatment as early as possible; and,


WHEREAS, during this week, we join with the Michigan Department of Community Health, numerous individuals, families, nonprofit organizations, support groups and health professionals throughout the state to raise awareness of congenital heart defects in Michigan; we encourage citizens to learn more about congenital heart defects and to show support for continued research and educational services;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim Thursday, February 7 through Thursday, February 14, 2013 as Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week in Michigan.