A Month of Discovery: July 2022

Friends and Supporters,

It’s been a wonderful month here at The Center!

We have reached a milestone in the development of our state’s first-of-its-kind Children’s Specialty Hospital and Brain & Body Health Research Institute! We’ve inaugurated an incredible new work-study program for the teenagers of our staff. We’ve worked on the farm, and taken care of and had fun with our animals. And, we celebrated summer! Most of all – we’ve found joy around every corner.

Here’s a few brief highlights from this past month:

The Center for Discovery and ESD Host Milestone Event for Research Institute

First Milestone Reached for the Research Institute for Brain & Body Health

The first phase of our Research Institute for Brain & Body Health at the new Children’s Specialty Hospital is complete!

Empire State Development President, CEO, and Commissioner, Hope Knight, joined TCFD CEO Patrick H. Dollard, TCFD President Dr. Theresa Hamlin, New York State Senator Mike Martucci, New York State Assemblywoman Aileen Gunther and other Sullivan County representatives for a milestone celebration of the Research Institute.

The development of the new Research Institute is being supported in part by a $1 million Empire State Development grant. Researchers will focus on sleep, gastrointestinal issues, seizure and anxiety disorders, obesity, Type 2 diabetes, immune and metabolic problems that are common in people with complex health challenges and in the greater community.

Knight commented, “The Center for Discovery’s Research Institute for Brain and Body Health will be home to cutting-edge technological advances and treatments that will improve the quality of life for people with complex health challenges. This Center shows how our strategic investments can ultimately help to change lives for the better.”

“With the completion of our Innovation Labs – the first labs within our Research Institute for Brain and Body Health – we are leveraging more than thirty years of leadership in assistive technology to better study and develop innovative solutions that can transform the lives of individuals with complex disabilities,” said Patrick Dollard. “We have a shared vision with Empire State Development to make the Mid-Hudson Region a premier destination for innovative healthcare and research, and we are grateful for their support of this project.”

NYS Senator Martucci, Assemblywoman Gunther and others also expressed gratitude to both Empire State Development and The Center for tirelessly working to improve the lives of those in our community.

Children’s Specialty Hospital Update

Our dream for a Children’s Specialty Hospital is being realized right before our eyes!

This month sheet-rocking began on the lower level of the hospital, and the large HVAC roof-top units were installed without a hitch thanks to months of planning by our teams. Additions were made to the 6-bed medically fragile unit as well. The porte-cochère (or covered entrance for vehicles) to that unit will be completed in the next few weeks.

This month, we expect exterior painting to begin, installation work on the training kitchen, and cabling of the state-of-the-art Alemany Learning Center for microphones and speakers.

DIG IT! Amazing new Work-Study Opportunity for family of TCFD Staff

Introducing – DIG IT!

Our new Discovery Innovation Green Team program (DIG IT) for family members of our staffers is already bearing fruit!  Thirty-two teenage children and relatives of our employees are greening our world – in this new work-study program.

Developed and run by our Assistant Chief of Integrated Arts, Jim Cashen, and our Senior Director of Music Therapy, Conio Loretto, the program offers staff members a dynamic way to directly engage their children and relatives in our life-changing work as well as pave a green path for everyone’s future.

The goal of DIG IT is “to empower youth with the leadership skills to create a healthier planet, explore career paths and achieve personal health and wellness,” said Loretto.

It’s serious work, and our first group, ages 14-17, are clearly up for the task. They have already begun the Environmental Work Study facet of the program where they are making an immediate impact by trail-keeping, horticulture and gardening activities, identifying and removing invasive species, learning landscape-design, geo-mapping, and woodworking. They will also take elective courses and have mentors in nearly every department at TCFD as well as Arthur’s Point Farm to develop interests and build skills for future success.

“As I look out to our beautiful farmland and think about the amount of unrest, strife and challenge our world is facing, I then feel a strong sense of hope and tranquility witnessing this dynamic group of 30+ young people participating this summer in our DIG IT program,” commented Cashen.

Trademarked It!  DNA™ 

Did you know that here at The Center we have 21 individual trademarks?

You may recognize the ™ or ® symbol after our DNA® logo. In the Department of Nourishment Arts (DNA®) alone, we also own Seed to Belly®, Food Is Medicine®, Thanksgiving Farm® and Tutto Bene Farm®.

DNA Assistant Chief, Jennifer Franck explained why they are critical, “I think the trademarks are important in terms of branding – people are familiar with our logo so they know the things they see it on meet a certain criteria or standard for our food program. It is also helpful when trying to get an idea across that the same language is repeated. Eventually it becomes part of the lexicon, part of the culture.”

In the next few months, we will show you other examples of where we are making our mark.