Jan Newsletter TCFD
Welcome to the January 2022 TCFD Newsletter.

The winter is upon us here in the Catskill region, and like everything here at The Center, we embrace it with open arms, snowshoes, and a variety of innovative activities and programming.

We are watching our dream rise out of the ground in the form of our first-of-its-kind Children’s Specialty Hospital. At the same time, our Education, Assistive Technology, and Integrated Arts teams are also changing the world for the individuals in our community – one lesson, one visionary device, and one musical performance at a time.

Here are a few brief highlights from January:

TCFD Specialty hospital outside drawing

TCFD Children’s Specialty Hospital Update

Despite the bitter temperatures and snow, construction on our Children’s Specialty Hospital is marching forward.

Throughout January, the steel beams were erected in the medically-fragile wing. Robust cold-form exterior framing continues and will be followed by the building of the exterior walls and roofing when the weather warms. Our crews are also making great progress on the autism “neighborhoods” or wings, which are framed and currently being wired and outfitted with plumbing, smoke, fire, and sound-proofing. The CSH is slated to have one medically-fragile neighborhood/wing and two ASD neighborhood/wings with six bedrooms each.

The state-of-the-art Alemany Learning Center is also taking shape now that demolition is complete. The same is the case for the main entry which will feature dining, a kitchen, a wellness gym, and a “swag” store.

Making Life Richer – Our Newly Redesigned Assistive Technology Department

Here at The Center – we never stop thinking. We also never stop caring and dreaming big things for the residents and students in our care. Our Assistive Technology Department is a place where those dreams come to life.

Anyone can have an idea and bring it to the AT team. Case in point – our newest Fiber Art – knitting.

Knitting is back in a big way, and so our Dayhab crew and clinicians decided they would like to knit with their groups and classes. The looms however needed to be adapted. The team brought the issue to the Assistive Technology department and the result – adapted knitting looms for everyone to use.

The team started with commercial circular looms and added larger, stronger handles and a table mount for those who could operate the standard crank handle. For those who had difficulty with the loom handle, the AT team went to the drawing table. They “switch-adapted” the looms with custom gears and electronics, and then mounted them on tables as well.

“We have since made at least 10 of them, and they are used across the agency in Dayhabs and residences,” said TCFD Director of Assistive Technology, Lindsey Veety and added, “We very much enjoyed making this project and working together with the team!”

This teamwork, which spans many disciplines, is an inspiration to us all.  It leads to close working relationships and better community – and priceless opportunities for our residents and students.

TCFD’s G.O.A.T. (Greatest of All Time) Education Team

We always say we have the greatest educators on the planet. Here’s one of the millions of reasons why:  genius!

At our Sweet Hill Farm last month, our team decided they wanted to teach a few extra hands-on lessons about the anatomy and digestion of a goat – not such an easy task.

Dawn Krenner, our TCFD Farm Program Coordinator, had a brilliant idea! She brought the inside out – by painting the organs of the digestive system on the coat of one of our ladies (who is in a resting period and happily complied).  Students from the Thanksgiving Farm and Community School had an amazing class on how food moves through their fan-favorite goat friends.

“This is an example of the true integration that happens every day at Sweet Hill,” said Director of Farm Integration and Education, Autumn Ackermann, “The farm is a platform for not only meeting educational and vocational goals, but also for the production of goods such as cheese, maple syrup, and fiber!”

We are so grateful for all of our thoughtful, compassionate, and dedicated staff members.

Mark Your Calendars!

Mark your calendars!

Our amazing Integrated Arts team will be back in April with their second annual virtual conference!

Titled “Enhancing Emotional Health and Wellness through Music Therapy” – it will be an event no one should miss!  Some of the topics to be explored include: sound healing, music and mental health, and our RESSSST program (Relaxation entailing Stretching, Sound, Storytelling, and Tactile Input).

Look for updates in your inbox soon!

A Heartfelt Thank you!

We’d like to extend a special Thank You to all of our family members, friends, and supporters who went above and beyond this holiday season in their contributions to The Center.

Many parents and friends of our residents gave generously to the staff holiday gifts in their own loved one’s residential home.  Many also gave to our staff in other homes where residents do not have family involvement. This selfless benevolence makes The Center like none other.

We are so grateful.