The Center for Discovery® made history! We broke ground on a first-of-its-kind Children’s Specialty Hospital for those with complex conditions like autism. We also had a visit by a Nobel Prize winner and huge advocate for those with disabilities.

It was simply a month that will change TCFD forever.

Here’s are some brief highlights:

TCFD Makes History with New Children’s Specialty Hospital

With so many great supporters by our side, we broke ground on our future Children’s Specialty Hospital this month!

Senator Charles E. Schumer, our steadfast ally in our work for those with complex conditions, attended the momentous event and helped us ceremoniously dig up some dirt at the Rock Hill, NY location of the hospital. Senator Schumer’s assistance was pivotal in the decade we have been working on this project.  Most recently, he helped us secure a $35 million loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

“In the midst of the pandemic when people with disabilities were faced with disproportionate impact, we saw a light of hope spring up when the USDA approved this historic $35 million federal investment in this hospital,” said Senator Schumer, “How excited I was not only for the hundreds who would come here, but the millions who would learn what’s discovered at The Center for Discovery® and spread it worldwide.”

More than 60 people attended the event which began under grey skies and ended with bright sunshine as our CEO, Patrick H. Dollard, expressed gratitude to Senator Schumer and the USDA.  “We wouldn’t be here without the great support of Senator Schumer. He’s been with us for 30 years when we were an 18 staff organization, and he’s always treated us the same way,” said Patrick.

Our President, Dr. Theresa Hamlin, outlined the hospital’s unique mission: “Our goal is for the hospital to not only treat children but to support their families and their school districts to avoid often unnecessary, life-long, high-cost residential placements that can sometimes permanently separate the children from their families and their communities.”  She further explained that The Center’s hospital team will do in-depth bio-medical evaluations “examining body and brain health, functional and lifestyle behaviors and environments that surround each child.” The team will also educate families, school districts and other professionals so that the care continues after the child leaves the hospital. The 18-bed facility will be the first of its kind in the world.

New York’s USDA Acting Director Brian Murray said his team is thrilled to be a part of this transformative care model. “Most important is what this facility will mean for the children and families who walk through its doors,” he said, “It’s a place of hope, healthcare, of learning – but most of all a place where every child can meet their full potential.  That’s why we are all here – for those children and those families.”

The new hospital will bring 400 new healthcare and 150 construction jobs to Sullivan County and add significantly to TCFD’s already 1700 strong workforce.

To view the full press release, visit: https://bit.ly/TCFDGroundbreakingPR.

Senator Charles Schumer and TCFD CEO, Patrick H. Dollard, break ground on Children's Specialty Hospital

Please Join US to see The Promise Ahead

With our new Children’s Specialty Hospital beginning its first chapter, we can truly see The Promise Ahead. As our friends and supporters, we know you will walk this journey with us. We hope you will ask friends and family to join us as well.

At summer gatherings please explain to them our mission and the financial constraints caused by COVID-19.  Unfortunately – we still cannot have in-person galas and outings, so all of our fundraising will be online for the rest of the year.  Our most beloved programs like music therapy – and others – are almost solely funded privately.

Please share this link and spread the word:  http://tcfd.org/thepromiseahead.

TCFD’s 2020 Annual Report

Before you consider giving to this year’s campaign, please read through our 2020 Annual Report. It lays out the incredible depth and breadth of The Center and includes impactful stories throughout a year unlike any other.

You can read the 2020 Annual Report here: http://bit.ly/2020TCFDAnnualReport.

Main Street News

Summer has heated up – and so has the development of Main Street in Hurleyville!

The finishing touches are now being put on the new Tango Café which is adjacent to the Hurleyville Performing Arts Centre.  The café is a collaboration of our dear friend and supporter, Janet Carrus, and acclaimed chef and owner of NYC’s Oxbow Tavern, upstate native – Tom Valenti. We know the menu at the very least will make our taste buds sing!

After dinner, you can take in a movie at the HPAC theater which is back in action! If you’d rather be outdoors, plan a picnic dinner and watch a free movie on Saturdays and Mondays at dusk in nearby Morningside Park!  The movie nights will take place through July and August.  Check the HPAC website for details.

Across the street, the Catskill Mountainkeeper will be moving in.   The non-profit, founded and run by Ramsay Adams since 2006, is a champion of the Catskill region.  Its mission is “to protect our region’s wild lands and natural resources, support smart development to sustainably grow our economy, nurture healthy communities, and accelerate the transition to a 100% clean energy future in New York and beyond.” A great fit for Hurleyville!

The new Main Street News is complete and tenants are moving into beautiful, brand new apartments!  We may also see some new businesses opening up soon!

Congrats, Graduates!

A year that was like none other ended with a graduation that was like none other!

Due to COVID-19 restrictions, families and friends were not allowed at the ceremonies this year, but that did not stop the TCFD team from being creative!  Teachers, aides, therapists, nurses, and peers lined the walkways and cheered on the graduates like they were football heroes entering a stadium!

It was so popular it may just be the beginning of a new TCFD tradition!

This year, we graduated 56 students and residents across our four schools. Everyone could feel the joy and sense of accomplishment among the graduates and their teachers.

“I see the hope for the future as this group of graduates marched past me with the knowledge of all they have achieved and the understanding that they will never be alone,” said TCFD Chief of Education Kerri Muzuruk, “Graduation is always bittersweet, but there is an exhilarating feeling knowing that they have gained the skills and independence to be successful wherever they go!”

Under the Sea with TCFD

Our Discovery Dramatic Arts team took everyone on a journey under the sea!

Our latest Main Stage production, The Little Mermaid, was our most complex one yet! This time, the actors and actresses practiced in small groups and recorded their performances in front of a green screen! Our editing team added in some incredible video, music and voila – Ariel, Flounder, Sebastian, King Triton, Scuttle, Ursula and the rest of the gang were really on an adventure!

While we would have preferred to have everyone on a stage for a live production, this was an incredible feat mastered by our Integrated Arts team and we are so grateful.

“With every Discovery Dramatic Arts production, our entire TCFD team comes together to make it the best show possible.  And, this year, with this new virtual format and so many things to figure out, our team rose to the occasion more than ever,” said Senior Director of Music Therapy, Integrated Arts Department, Conio Loretto, “So many of us learned and developed new skill sets – all in the spirit of our TCFD students participating in the best experience possible.  To me, that makes this show all the more special.”