May 19, 1988

By the President of the United States of America

A Proclamation

During National Rural Health Awareness Week, we can be grateful for the significant progress made over the years by countless devoted Americans in providing rural health care. We should remember as well, however, the continuing need for citizens to redouble their efforts in this regard.

A quarter of all Americans live in the towns, villages, and farms of rural America. Their location in remote areas with frequently limited transportation, together with their employment on the land and in forests, mines, and factories, presents continuing and sometimes formidable obstacles to the delivery of health services. For instance, rural areas are finding it hard to attract enough health care providers; just 12 percent of our physicians and a declining number of professional nurses and providers of long-term care currently serve our more than 50 million rural citizens.

Fortunately, dedicated Americans are striving to overcome challenges and make good health care, including the benefits of our ever-increasing knowledge about health, nutrition, and disease and the advantages of rapidly evolving medical technology, accessible to rural citizens. Further such efforts, and further enhancement of public awareness of rural health care needs, will reaffirm our commitment to the well-being of rural citizens.

The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 254, has designated the week of May 15 through May 21, 1988, as "National Rural Health Awareness Week'' and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of this week.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim the week of May 15 through May 21, 1988, as National Rural Health Awareness Week, and I call upon the people of the United States to observe this week with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities.

In Witness Whereof, I have hereunto set my hand this nineteenth day of May, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eighty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twelfth.

Ronald Reagan

[Filed with the Office of the Federal Register, 10:55 a.m., May 20, 1988]