November 2012: Family Health History Month

WHEREAS, early identification of individuals at risk for common diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, stroke, obesity and various cancers, coupled with early intervention services and screening, may save lives and improve long-term chances of a healthy life; and,


WHEREAS, family members share genes, environment, lifestyles and behaviors, the combination of which determine the risk of common diseases; and,


WHEREAS, evaluating aspects of family health history information, such as age of onset, number of close relatives affected, presence of disease in the gender not typically affected and certain combinations of conditions within a family, can help identify shared risk factors that predispose a person to common disease; and,


WHEREAS, in an attempt to encourage families to gather their family's health history, the U.S. Surgeon General has declared Thanksgiving as National Family History Day since 2004; and,


WHEREAS, during this month, we join with the Michigan Department of Community Health, Michigan Cancer Genetics Alliance and U.S. Surgeon General to urge Michigan citizens to actively collect their family health history, record it for the future, and share it with their healthcare provider; these efforts will help assess individual risk and encourage early detection and prevention;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim November 2012 as Family Health History Month in Michigan.