New family health history projects focus on Alaska Native, Appalachian communities

ct at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston. That effort, launched in November 2005, has been encouraging and evaluating the voluntary use of the Surgeon General's "My Family Health Portrait" tool among the hospital's more than 12,000 employees. The workforce of the 747-bed hospital includes physicians, nurses, administrative, service and management staff. This month, the Brigham and Women's Family History Project is expanding to include non-employee patients and their families. The project's Web site, http://www.brighamandwomens.org/familyhistory, will post results of the yearlong project as they become available after the conclusion of the employee survey on Nov. 30.

The CDC is funding the state health departments in Utah, Oregon, Minnesota and Michigan to incorporate genomics into their health promotion and disease prevention activities. All four states are tying activities to the Surgeon General's initiative to increase awareness about family history among health providers and the general public. This month in Michigan, the Oakwood Health System will distribute family history information to all of its employees during a period of open-enrollment for benefits. In addition, Oakwood will distribute bookmarks with information on the Surgeon General's family history tool with personnel paychecks and set up a booth on genomics and family history in the hospital. Oregon is launching a project with federally qualified health centers to learn about how family health history is being used by the providers in these centers. The goal of the project is to determine what resources and technical assistance will be needed to support providers in using family history to identify patients at risk for chronic diseases and motivate them to make lifestyle changes.

The Utah genomics program has produced an award-winning multimedia project, "Make Family Health History a Tradition," to raise public awa

Contact: Geoff Spencer
NIH/National Human Genome Research Institute

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