HealthLawProf Blog

Editor: Katharine Van Tassel
Concordia University School of Law

Monday, November 29, 2004

Happy National Family History Day!

Turkey We hope that you had a terrific Thanksgiving!  If, however, you are feeling guilty about that extra helping of turkey or pumpkin pie, you might want to celebrate next year in the manner of the U.S. Surgeon General. 

The U.S. Surgeon General Richard H. Carmona has launched a national public health campaign, called the U.S. Surgeon General's Family History Initiative to help focus attention on the importance of family health history and to encourage all American families to learn more about their family health history.

The Surgeon General reports on what many health professionals have long known  -- that many common diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes - and even rare diseases - like hemophilia, cystic fibrosis, and sickle cell anemia, can run in families. He wants Americans to be more aware of the illnesses suffered by their  parents, grandparents, and other blood relatives so that they can help their doctor predict the disorders to which they may be at risk and to take action to keep them  and their family healthy.

To celebrate this new initiative, Surgeon General Carmona declared Thanksgiving 2004 to be the first annual National Family History Day.

So next year you might want to spend time getting to know your family better rather than eating that second helping of stuffing.   Ok, it was only a suggestion . . . .

Complete release at

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