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WHEREAS, the health and well-being of all Virginians are of utmost importance to the prosperity and livelihood of the Commonwealth’s families and communities; and
WHEREAS, a congenital heart defect is a problem with the structure of the heart; and
WHEREAS, congenital heart defects are present at birth, the most common type of birth defect, and can be fatal due to their seriousness, insufficient effective medical intervention options and the limited availability of infant donor hearts; and
WHEREAS, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, congenital heart defects affect nearly one percent of – or about 40,000 – births per year in the United States; and
WHEREAS, the origins and symptoms of congenital heart defects are becoming more readily identifiable and the range of surgical options are expanding continuously thanks to doctors’ and scientists’ diligent research efforts and field experiences that extend our body of knowledge every day; and
WHEREAS, there is much to learn about the causes of and effective treatments for congenital heart defects and it is important for parents, pediatricians and nurses to recognize the warning signs associated with congenital heart defects among newborns so they may provide proper treatment as early as possible; and
WHEREAS, about one in four babies born with a heart defect has a critical congenital heart defect; and
WHEREAS, many of Virginia’s families and communities are directly or indirectly affected by infant illness and death caused by congenital heart defects, and the Commonwealth of Virginia applauds the efforts of doctors and scientists everywhere who work diligently to solve life’s medical mysteries and to improve the quality of life for Virginians;
NOW, THEREFORE, I, Ralph S. Northam, do hereby recognize February 7-14, 2020, as CONGENITAL HEART DEFECT AWARENESS WEEK in our COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA, and I call this observance to the attention of all our citizens.