Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Authorizing a National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.
I AM delighted to approve the legislation authorizing the creation of a National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, elevating the present Division of General Medical Sciences to institute status, and continuing for three additional years the Health Research Facilities Construction Program.
The future health of our Nation rests on the care of our children and the development of our knowledge of the medical and biological sciences.
We will look to the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development for a concentrated attack on the unsolved health problems of children and of mother-infant relationships. This legislation will encourage imaginative research into the complex processes of human development from conception to old age. It should permit major advances in the conquest of those chronic conditions such as mental retardation and other-congenital defects which derive from aberrations in early development. For the first time, we will have an institute to promote studies directed at the entire life process rather than toward specific diseases or illnesses. Research in recent years has established beyond question that adult behavior, intelligence, and motivation are established by the experience and patterns of response developed in the formative years of life.
The creation of the National Institute of General Medical Sciences provides recognition for an existing program which supports, in the universities and medical research centers throughout our country and abroad, research into the sciences underlying specific medical and health activities.
The programs of both institutes will be broad and comprehensive and serve to complement the excellent 'programs of categorical institutes of the National Institutes of Health.
I take great pleasure in signing this bill, because I am confident it will contribute to the expansion of our knowledge in areas of science important to the advancement of health for all people.
Note: As enacted, the bill (H.R. 11099) is Public Law 87-838 (76 Stat. 1072).
John F. Kennedy, Statement by the President Upon Signing Bill Authorizing a National Institute of Child Health and Human Development. Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/236283