Congenital Heart Defect Awareness Week 2016


WHEREAS, almost one in every one hundred American infants, or 40,000 babies a year, are born with a congenital heart defect, making it the number one cause of birth defect related deaths and the leading cause of all infant deaths throughout the United States; and

WHEREAS, due to high participation and advancements in medical treatments, more than 50% of babies born with a congenital heart defect will have at least one invasive open heart surgery; and

WHEREAS, despite such advancements, the mortality rates of children with congenital heart defects are still high, due to the complications of congenital heart defect; and

WHEREAS, throughout the Commonwealth, organizations, advocates, and hospitals work to increase awareness of the signs of congenital heart defects, advocate for early screening tests and treatments, and support the families affected by congenital heart defects; and

WHEREAS, the determination and bravery with which these children fight their battles against congenital heart defects should be recognized and commended by all; and

WHEREAS, it is vital that those affected by congenital heart defects have access to quality, affordable care, and that research on all types of congenital heart defects continues to be vigorously supported;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Terence R. McAuliffe, do hereby recognize February 7-14, 2016, as CONGENITAL HEART DEFECT AWARENESS WEEK in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.