Family, Friends, and Supporters,
As we watch the COVID-19 numbers rise across the country and in our area, we grow more vigilant in our efforts to keep our residents, students, staff and families safe and healthy.
There is no doubt these are trying times for the world, but at The Center for Discovery we continue to move forward. We unveiled our new learning space for a virtual conference seen nationally, opened a new school, worked with national leaders on the important issue of mental health, and were showcased in a new feature-length documentary on kindness, decency, and the power of community – when we need it the most.
It’s been an incredibly busy and fruitful month. Here are the highlights:
A COVID-19 Update from Dr. Terry Hamlin
At the end of October, TCFD Associate Executive Director, Dr. Terry Hamlin, briefed parents and staff members on the rising number of positive cases of coronavirus in Sullivan County, New York, which is home to the TCFD campus. As of the end of October, she said, there were 90 cases – almost the same level as the end of March (after New York State shut down).
The Executive team continues to monitor the data daily, but as of now there are no positive cases among the residents and students.
Rapid molecular testing is on hold at the moment while distributing laboratories prioritize national hotspots. As for PPE, TCFD is well stocked for the next 8 months.
Funding though is important now more than ever as usual streams of income have been on hold during the pandemic. Please consider mentioning our work at TCFD to friends and family as they make decisions about end-of-the-year charitable giving.
First-Ever TCFD Virtual Conference
The first-ever virtual TCFD conference was live streamed from the Alemany Learning Center at the site of our future Children’s Specialty Hospital in Rock Hill, NY, and drew viewers from around the nation!
Throughout the conference, our President and CEO, Patrick H. Dollard, Associate Executive Director, Dr. Terry Hamlin, and other staff shared in great detail The Center’s ongoing strategies to keep its most vulnerable residents and students safe and well during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Dr. Hamlin detailed how TCFD was able to get out ahead of the pandemic by having a pandemic plan and stockpile of PPE (personal protective equipment) and other supplies in place, since 2009.
Dollard reminded conference participants that despite The Center’s good outcomes to date – this is a learning process. “We are still in the middle of this,” he said, “know full well we are ready to pivot at the last moment based on the analytics.”
The most important message, Dr. Hamlin said was to take care of each other. This is a “people virus,” she said, “People need to take care of people right now. Take care of each other. Take care of yourself. And stay safe.”
America Salutes You – A Critical Panel on Mental Health
TCFD President & CEO, Patrick H. Dollard, was given the honor of presenting The Center’s data and experience on brain health and wellness to a panel of renowned experts from various fields brought together by the America Salutes You non-profit organization.
America Salutes You raises awareness of issues faced by veterans, service members, first responders, and their loved ones with these discussions and unforgettable musical concerts. This particular panel, as well as the previous two that Patrick has also been a part of, focused on mental health and suicide prevention during the time of the pandemic.
“Now that we are dealing with the stress and anxiety that COVID’s presenting, we’re all in this combat. We can learn from each other,” Mr. Dollard said. He outlined TCFD’s focus on its employees and their families in addition to the principles of the HealthE6™ model and the data collected to quantify its benefits. He closed by urging dialogue across disciplines. “We have more in common with each other than you can imagine. If we could get after that…come together as a bunch of human beings trying to figure it out, I think we are going to go a long way.” A vital message – every panelist agreed- as we all move forward in our work.
For a recap and to watch the panel, please click here.
New Welcome Addition to the TCFD School Program
Only at The Center for Discovery could a new school be added in the middle of a global pandemic!
Thirty-six children in six classrooms began instruction at the new Rock Hill school on October 5th. The opening followed a long and tedious certification process, and around-the-clock work from the education team as well as many others.
“It was a tremendous effort by our Environmental Management and Information Technology teams to get this program operational within a span of less than two months from acquisition,” said Kerri Muzuruk, Chief of Education at TCFD, “They were able to transform this location into a bright, safe and inviting space for our youngest students with complex conditions to learn and play.”
And the students? Muzuruk said they have proved their resilience – picking up right where they left off.
“I am so proud of our teams, for every obstacle we faced, our collective effort to come up with creative solutions has allowed our students to access a robust educational experience in the safest way possible! 2020 has certainly been a test of endurance- and I am happy to say we aren’t tired yet! We’ve got this! #TCFDstrong,” she said enthusiastically.
Rail Trail Expansion in Hurleyville, NY
The TCFD family is so grateful to New York State Senator Jen Metzger for her hard work in securing a $200,000 State and Municipal Facilities Capital (SAM) grant for the Town of Fallsburg’s Sullivan O&W Rail Trail Expansion Project.
All of our residents, students, staff and families look forward to walking, running, and biking our way through more of our beloved Hurleyville!
TCFD on the Big Screen in New Documentary on Kindness
We hope you had time to tune into a new, powerful feature-length documentary, The Antidote.
The film depicts nine incredible stories of Americans making a difference in communities across the nation. The Center is so grateful to be a part of this wonderful film. Our staff define kindness every day.
We are proud to share that The Center for Discovery was highlighted in Governor Cuomo’s newsletter on October 30 as the “Deep Breath Moment,” recognizing The Center’s kindness and compassion during a time when it is needed most. We are thrilled to be featured in The Antidote, as we continue to share our best practices with the world. What happens here truly matters everywhere.
New Ways to Give to TCFD
The Center for Discovery is about people. It’s about giving to others. Human connection. Potential. Possibility. Finding beauty in every person and in every living thing.
As the Holidays draw near, we hope you remember us here at The Center. COVID-19 has brought unprecedented challenges for all of us. Your gift to the Annual Appeal is critical.
This year we are launching a 2nd way to give. It’s called the Thanksgiving Society, our ﬁrst legacy society to recognize those who have included The Center in their estate plans. With your giving, we can support every aspect of TCFD. So, as you think about your charitable giving, please think about supporting our work, our staff and our community – today and as we look toward a more secure future.
Holiday Shopping with Amazon Smile
The Holidays will be here before you blink – so as you make your lists and check them twice – and start scanning Amazon, please set up your account to link to The Center for Discovery. AmazonSmile will donate 0.5% of the price of eligible purchases to TCFD – at no cost to you! Bring on Black Friday and CyberMonday!
Fall Fun at The Center for Discovery
In October, the Integrated Arts team created an interactive 31-day Festival of Fall Fun with its own online platform for posting ideas and pictures. Each day had its own theme, along with a number of activities for teachers and residential associates to use in creating unique and individualized fun. Next up: “Harvesting Gratitude and Fun” for the month of November!