Welcome to the December 2020 TCFD Newsletter!

Family, Friends, and Supporters,

Happy New Year!

We begin the New Year with optimism, renewed hope and profound gratitude for our unbelievable staff, inspiring residents, students – and you.

Here’s a few of the things that helped us forge ahead into 2021:

TCFD Parent with their children

TCFD Gets Early Vaccinations for Residents and Staff

On December 29th of 2020, nearly 650 residents and staff at The Center took their first step toward immunity to COVID-19 by receiving the first dose of the Pfizer vaccine. After their second dose, they will develop 95% immunity. As it has been since the beginning of the pandemic, TCFD has been proactive, and thus was able to obtain the vaccine right after it received Emergency Use Authorization.

TCFD’s Associate Executive Director, Dr. Terry Hamlin said of the momentous day, “A huge thank you to all the nurses, support staff, administrators, and everyone who supported our children and adults today. You were all truly AMAZING, and it was an honor to be a part of the extraordinary teamwork. I hope you all feel a renewed sense of hope!”

The residents and staff will receive their second dose on January 19th at which time additional members of the TCFD community who could not make it on the 29th will receive their first dose.

As the number of cases statewide continue to rise, Center staff remain vigilant in their use of full personal protective equipment (PPE) on campus, as well as the continuous cleansing of all surface areas.

Jodie and Alison with CNN

TCFD on CNN Primetime!

The Center’s incredibly devoted, compassionate and diligent staff and forward-thinking pandemic plan were in the national spotlight – once last month, and another time in the New Year!

CNN Lead Correspondent, Gary Tuchman, was on hand for Day One of the vaccinations. His report was part of Anderson Cooper’s show, AC360°, that evening. An estimated two million cable viewers around the country were able to see the amazing work of TCFD’s nursing staff and administrators, and the deep gratitude of TCFD parents.

Always humble and honest, TCFD President and CEO Patrick H. Dollard told Tuchman: “Their courage and their efforts keep us moving forward, but we have to stay with it. It’s not a mic-drop yet. We still have to get through this.”

The link for this wonderful segment can be found by visiting:


Important Survey Opportunity on Restraint & Seclusion

Leverage your Voice to Help Reduce the Use of Restraint and Seclusion Practices.

The Restraint and Seclusion Landscape Analysis, Technical Assistance Resource Center and Advocacy Initiative is a two-year funded project to reduce the use of restraint and seclusion (R/S) practices across New York State agencies including NYSED, OPWDD, OCFS, OMH, and the Justice Center. This initiative is funded by the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council (DDPC) in partnership with The Center for Discovery.

In an effort to reduce the use of restraint and seclusion in New York State, we ask that you leverage your voice by participating in an anonymous 10-minute survey. The data collected from this survey will help us analyze current practices and the factors that influence restraint and seclusion policy. The results will also help to inform best practices in training, resource development, regulations, and service delivery. Take the survey here: https://thecenterfordiscovery.org/rs-grant/.

The Center’s 2020 Annual Appeal

Our COVID-19 experience made it very clear that now, more than ever – our work educating and caring for complex individuals is essential. Please remember our ongoing Annual Appeal as your friends and family make donations in the New Year. To donate, please visit: https://thecenterfordiscovery.org/annualappeal2020/.

You make this life-changing work possible. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts!

Thanksgiving Society logo

Mark Your Calendars for our first Thanksgiving Society Webinar!

On Wednesday, January 13th at 4:00 pm, we will hold our first webinar, “Estate Planning: Securing the Future for Your Loved One,” about planned giving and our new Thanksgiving Society!

Adrienne Arkontaky, Vice President at Cuddy Law Firm and a TCFD parent, will be providing her expertise. Adrienne has several decades of experience as a special needs attorney. Moderating the webinar will be Kim Schefler Raisler, a member of the Board Development and Endowment Committees and a TCFD Parent.

Please register for this incredible opportunity which will include a live question and answer period:


Integrated Arts logo

Register for Virtual Seminars from TCFD on its Integrated Arts Programs

The Center for Discovery is thrilled to share with you a series of 30 minute virtual seminars led by Center for Discovery professionals on creative therapeutic programs for individuals with complex disabilities. Each seminar will highlight The Center’s highly individualized programs in the areas of Music Therapy, Dance Therapy, Creative and Dramatic Arts, Recreation Therapy, and more – all of which are designed to radically enhance personal achievement, unlock hidden potential, and enable individuals to engage more fully in a variety of community and professional activities. The virtual seminars will be 30 minutes, followed by the opportunity to join presenters for live question and answer session.

We’re looking forward to having you join us. To register, please visit:


Virtual Training Seminar Schedule:

  • Friday, January 15th, 2021: Healing and Integrated Arts Program for Individuals with Complex Conditions: Overview and Best Practices
  • Friday, January 22nd, 2021: Making Music, Enriching Lives: Music Therapy for Individuals with Complex Conditions
  • Friday, January 29th, 2021: The Clinical Application of Sound Healing
  • Friday, February 5th, 2021: The Show Must Go On: Creating a Dramatic Arts Program for Individuals with Complex Conditions

Additional February training dates and topics to be announced soon

TCFD Social Media banner

Join Us on Social Media in 2021

Please like and follow us on all social media platforms – Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn for great stories, updates on our Children’s Specialty Hospital, and more!

Hashtags: #WhatHappensHereMattersEverywhere #HealthWellnessAndWonders #FutureFullOfDiscovery

TCFD Christmas photo

December – A Holiday Month to Remember

Coronavirus did not dampen the spirits of any resident or staff member at The Center for Discovery during the 2020 holiday season!

Like the “Whos” in The Grinch’s “Whoville,” we were determined to make sure nothing got in the way of holiday cheer and joy. In many ways this was the busiest and likely most memorable season on record. It began with a “31-Days of Merry & Bright” calendar crammed with activities and ideas to keep everyone smiling!

From the annual lighting of the Hurleyville tree and menorah (virtual, of course!) to serene and stunningly beautiful luminary walks for the Winter Solstice, brilliant “Holiday on The Hill” light displays, incredible THINC team massive 3D cardboard trains for decoration, reindeer dance games, star-studded virtual concerts (A special thank you to Cris Spinner, and That Motown Band), Santa’s visits to the residential homes with his miniature horse Charlie and Sully (the yellow lab puppy), virtual winter poems and wreath making and cookie baking, there wasn’t a minute to spare.

Every hour and every corner of campus – said joy – hope – love – and good cheer!

We loved every decoration, craft, handmade gift, song and dance! We loved our old traditions and we loved our new one too, including The Night Before Christmas – read by the TCFD Administrators!

We are so grateful for your support! Together we will make 2021 the best year in our history!