February 7 - February 14, 2014: Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week

WHEREAS, the health and well-being of all Michigan children is of paramount importance to the families and communities in our state and is enhanced by the support of a national effort to educate about and prevent congenital heart defects; and,

WHEREAS, congenital heart defects, conditions present at birth that affect structure and function of the heart, are among the most common birth defects and the leading cause of defect-related deaths in babies; and,

WHEREAS, early screening of newborns using pulse oximetry detects some critical congenital heart defects, others may not be diagnosed until months or years after birth; and,

WHEREAS, every year 40,000 infants are born in the United States with congenital heart defects; more than 1,700 of those in Michigan; 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 so they might provide the proper treatment as early as possible; and,

WHEREAS, research is ongoing in an effort to determine the causes, signs, and treatment options for congenital heart disease, and as a result, the causes and symptoms of congenital heart disease are becoming more readily identifiable; and,

WHEREAS, Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week provides the opportunity for patients and families affected by these conditions to share their experiences and knowledge with the public, so that we may all be made more aware of how congenital heart defects affect our lives; and,

WHEREAS, the Michigan Department of Community Health and the Michigan Birth Defects Program join with the March of Dimes and American Heart Association, as well as many other organizations and dedicated volunteers, health care professionals, and parent groups by participating in this awareness month,

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim February 7 – 14, 2014 as Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week in Michigan.