In his message on mental health and mental retardation, delivered to Congress on Feb 5, 1963, the President of the United States spelled out the first national program directed at these major health problems. The major portions of the program outlined by the President were the direct response of the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare to the recommendations contained in the Report of the President's Panel on Mental Retardation, about which you will hear in detail from the other panelists.
Just prior to the delivery of the message, the suggestion was offered, studied, and approved for the addition of a new program—namely, the university-affiliated facilities for the mentally retarded. The President spoke of this aspect in the following language:
"Because care of the mentally retarded has traditionally been isolated from centers of medical and nursing education, it is particularly important to develop facilities which will increase the role