August 19, 1987

I am pleased to sign S. 769, the Excellence in Minority Health Education and Care Act. This legislation continues support for four educational institutions that serve predominantly black health-professions students. These schools have made tremendous contributions to our health-care system through the training of black health-care professionals.

Meharry Medical School in Nashville, TN, has trained 40 percent of all black physicians practicing today, while Meharry's School of Dentistry has graduated 50 percent of all black dentists. The Xavier University College of Pharmacy in New Orleans, LA, has provided 25 percent of all black pharmacists, and the Tuskegee Veterinary School in Tuskegee, AL, 75 percent of all black veterinarians.

This legislation supplements the continuing efforts of my administration to increase the educational opportunities for minority students. In 1986, 27 Federal agencies and departments invested more than $600 million in our nation's historically black colleges, much of it in the form of research grants and projects. Next year the National Science Foundation will fund comprehensive projects to improve the teaching of science and engineering to precollege and undergraduate students in minority schools.

As I said at the Tuskegee commencement last May, the history of this country is replete with the contributions of black physicians, scientists, physicists, and mathematicians. It is crucial that more young black Americans follow in their path. America must not be denied the benefits of the creativity and talents of all its citizens.

Note: S. 769, approved August 18, was assigned Public Law No. 100 - 97.