Commonwealth of Massachusetts
A Proclaimation
His Excellency Governor Deval L. Patrick 

Whereas Hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver, which can be caused by a range of things including chronic hepatitis, a viral infection; and

Whereas Hepatitis B and C cause approximately one million deaths a year, with five hundred million people around the world currently infected with chronic hepatitis B or C; and

Whereas The Hepatitis B virus is spread through direct contact with infected blood, but in rare cases it may be passed on through other body fluids; and

Whereas The Hepatitis C virus is spread through direct contact with infected blood, but in rare cases it may be passed on through other body fluids; and

Whereas Nearly 100,000 people in Massachusetts are currently infected with hepatitis C; and

Whereas Viral hepatitis is a neglected minority health disparity, with African Americans, Asian American and Pacific Islanders, and Latinos, as well as Native Americans and Alaskan Natives, having  higher rates of chronic viral hepatitis infections in the United States and being less likely to be tested; and

Whereas The demand for liver transplants indicated for chronic hepatitis has increased 12 fold since 1990 with the disease consequences yet to manifest in baby boomers; and

Whereas By diagnosing and caring for patients before their disease progresses, the risk of developing liver failure and liver cancer can be greatly diminished, thus yielding significant health benefits and positive economic outcomes; and

Whereas Through public awareness and outreach, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts seeks to minimize the devastating effects of hepatitis among all Massachusetts citizens,

Now, Therefore, I, Deval L. Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, do hereby proclaim May 2012,  to be

Hepatitis Awareness Month

And urge all the citizens of the Commonwealth to take cognizance of this event and participate fittingly in its observance.

Given at the Executive Chamber in Boston, this fifteenth day of May, in the year two thousand and twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America, the two hundred and thirty-fifth.
               

By His Excellency                  
Deval L. Patrick                     
Governor of the Commonwealth       

William Francis Galvin             
Secretary of the Commonwealth 
    
 

God Save the Commonwealth of Massachusetts