Please take a few minutes to peruse an interesting internet-based tool from the Surgeon General, “My Family Health Portrait”, which provides a convenient and easy process for you to record your family health history. This tool is easy to access on the web and simple to complete. This tool assembles your information and makes a “pedigree” family tree that you can download. Your information is private as the website does not keep your information. It provides you with a health history that you can share with family members or send to your health care professional.
Using My Family Health Portrait you can:
- Enter your family health history.
- Print your family health history to share with family or your health care worker.
- Save your family health history so you can update it over time.
Currently, this tool is available in four languages: English, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian. It takes approximately 15 to 20 minutes to build a basic family health history. Keep in mind that individuals with larger families will spend more time entering in their information.
Once you’ve completed your portrait, you have the option of sharing it with other family members, if you wish. Your family members may be able to contribute important health information that you weren’t aware of; and, relatives can start with your information and create their own history.
You will also probably want to provide your health history to your health care professional … you can review it together before making it part of your medical record.
Remember: Communication is key … talking with your health care professional about your family health history can help you stay healthy!