The Friday Five – Family Health History Day
Follow and join the conversation with #FamilyHealthHistoryDay.
Since 2004, each year Thanksgiving has been declared National Family History Day. Since learning about and knowing your family’s health history is important for your own well-being, the Surgeon General encourages Americans to use Thanksgiving as a time to talk about, and to write down, the health problems that seem to run in their family. This week’s Friday Five offers tips and resources to help you prepare for these important conversations and get started on recording all that you need to know about your family’s past that may help you in the future.
About the Surgeon General’s Family Health History Initiative
What exactly is the Surgeon General’s Family Health History Initiative? Why is this national public health campaign important? Who should take part in the initiative? How can you take part? What tools are available? Find the answers to these and other questions about the initiative with the click of a button.
Before you even sit down with any of your family members read through the suggestions from the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. Use their Before You Start Your Family Health History guide to find tips that will help you prepare for and begin gathering your family’s health history.
My Family Health Portrait Tool
HHS makes recording your family history information easy and convenient with their Web-based tool, My Family Health Portrait. The tool allows you to organize all of the information you collect as well as print and share it with your health care provider and/or family members. A PDF version of the tool is also available in English and Spanish if you prefer to gather and record your family history by hand. The Web-based tool is available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian.
Q&A for Consumers & Practitioners and for Organizations Considering Adopting The Tool
If you decide to follow the Surgeon General’s advice and take advantage of the My Family Health Portrait tool, but either still have questions or need help while inputting data, be sure to check out the Q&A page. There is also a useful section for any organizations who may be considering adopting the tool for their own use. HHS encourages organizations to download the tool and customize it to suit their needs and purposes.
In case you need some guidance or information while working on your family health history, HHS has you covered. The web-based tool provides an easy to use glossary containing terms used to create your My Family Health Portrait profile, as well as medical terms for adding additional diseases. For quick and easy searching, you simply click on the beginning letter of the term(s) that you need to reference. The glossary can also be used as a prompt to help you and family members recall any medical conditions, disorders, or syndromes you may have missed.
Like what you’ve read? Check out all of our other Friday Five topics and posts.