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May 9-15, 2021: Women's Health Week

WHEREAS, healthy women are key to healthy societies, and, as a foundation of our families, their health affects the well-being of our communities and our state. Improving the health of women and girls can drive health improvements for all Michigan communities; and,


WHEREAS, chronic health conditions impact many female residents of Michigan. Many of these chronic health conditions are caused, and further exacerbated, by systemic racism. Access to healthy foods, safe spaces for physical activity, and availability of management and treatment options can help individuals improve their health and quality of life; and,


WHEREAS, the leading cause of death for American women is heart disease; and, 


WHEREAS, according to the Michigan Maternal Mortality Surveillance Program, good mental and behavioral health is essential to overall health and well-being. In 2018, more than 1 in 4 women reported ever having a depressive disorder, while in that same year, 953 females age 15 years and older died of a drug overdose. Additionally, babies born to mothers who are substance dependent, or in recovery, can have health issues such as Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) or low birth weight; and,


WHEREAS, breastfeeding has been shown to provide both short and long-term maternal and infant health benefits, but only 86.9% of mothers in Michigan report initiating breastfeeding and only 58% report breastfeeding at three months postpartum; and,


WHEREAS, despite advances in medical science and technology and statewide efforts to combat maternal deaths, women are still dying from pregnancy-related causes; and,


WHEREAS, the rate of pregnancy-related deaths in Michigan varies by race, ethnicity, maternal education, and age, with Black women being 2.4 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related causes compared to white women; and,


WHEREAS, during Women's Health Week, we join with the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services as well as external partners such as the Michigan Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (MI AIM) to improve health outcomes for all girls and women in Michigan; and,


WHEREAS, to improve public and professional awareness and promote women's health, it is both reasonable and appropriate to designate a week as "Women's Health Week" in the State of Michigan and invite community members, maternal health stakeholders, and health care professionals to participate in activities relating to improving the health and well-being of all girls and women;


NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim May 9-15, 2021 as Women's Health Week in Michigan.