Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House Concerning the Need for Additional Institutes Within the Public Health Service
I am enclosing for consideration by the Congress a draft bill to authorize the Surgeon General to establish within the Public Health Service a National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and a National Institute of General Medical Sciences.
At present, there are seven separate Institutes within the Public Health Service. Each Institute focuses its attention on a major disease problem. Each Institute organizes, arranges for financing, and stimulates a wide range of studies in its field. They have all made important contributions to our knowledge of the dangers in crippling diseases and advanced the frontiers of medicine.
It is now both appropriate and timely to elevate two additional areas of medical research activity to the level of Institutes. In this way, the kind of research effort that is needed to improve the health of the children and to stimulate basic studies in the biological sciences will be assured. One of these two Institutes will deal with child health and human development. It will include a Center for Research in Child Health, as well as other activities not now covered by the existing Institutes. It is my belief that this concentration of attention in this field will help us discover some of the secrets of the aging process. In time, it will help us live happier and more useful lives.
The other proposal will convert the Division of General Medical Sciences in the Public Health Service into an Institute, thus recognizing the importance of its program. This new Institute will be an important center for research in the general medical sciences.
The purposes and functions of both of the new Institutes are outlined in detail in the attached letter from the Secretary of Health, Education, and Welfare. I urge the favorable consideration of the proposal.
JOHN F. KENNEDY
Note: This is the text of identical letters addressed to the Honorable Lyndon B. Johnson, President of the Senate, and to the Honorable Sam Rayburn, Speaker of the House of Representatives.
John F. Kennedy, Letter to the President of the Senate and to the Speaker of the House Concerning the Need for Additional Institutes Within the Public Health Service Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/235145