February 7-14, 2015: Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week

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 birth defect-related deaths in babies; and,

WHEREAS, every year 40,000 infants are both in the United States with congenital heart defects, with more than 1,700 of those in Michigan; and,

WHEREAS, some congenital heart defects may not be diagnosed until months or years after birth, early screening of newborns using pulse oximetry detects some critical congenital heart defects, and early diagnosis is associated with improved health outcomes; and,

WHEREAS, in 2015 we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Michigan’s Newborn Screening Program to highlight the importance of screening babies for more than 50 conditions, including congenital heart defects, in order to improve the health outcomes and well-being of all Michigan children; 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 promotion;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Rick Snyder, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim February 7-14, 2015 as Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week in Michigan.