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

Whereas The low population density, greater distances and geographic barriers provide unique challenges to developing comprehensive health care services in areas with low population density; and

Whereas Nearly 800,000 people, twelve percent of the Massachusetts population, live in the fifty-four percent of the state's landmass classified as rural; and

Whereas Rural health care organizations - in addition to being sources of innovation, ingenuity, and resourcefulness that are able to reach beyond geographical boundaries and deliver quality care –are often the economic foundation of their communities, with every dollar spent generating about $2.20 for the local economy;and

Whereas Community based health programs and locally based ambulatory outpatient, emergency medical services and skilled nursing services are especially critical in rural Massachusetts as they continue to tackle accessibility, infrastructure and health workforce issues while meeting the unique needs of aging populations; and

Whereas The Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s State Office of Rural Health, the New England Rural Health RoundTable, the University of Massachusetts Medical School’s Rural Scholars Program and an expansive network of rural healthcare organizations and providers across the state play a distinct and critical role leading efforts to address the unique health care needs of our rural citizens; and

Whereas It is appropriate for all citizens to recognize the unique health care needs and opportunities that exist in rural communities, and to applaud the rural Massachusetts health care organizations and providers for their valuable service to our communities,

Now, Therefore, I, Deval L. Patrick, Governor of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, do hereby proclaim November 17th, 2011 to be,

Rural Health Day

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 sixteenth day of November, in the year two thousand and eleven, 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