March Newsletter TCFD

Friends and Supporters,

Welcome to the March 2022 TCFD Newsletter. Last month we saw firsthand the incredible growth and advancement in our mission. We shared our work and programs with the new NYS OPWDD Commissioner. We received several grant awards. We released the results of a groundbreaking Medical Marijuana study. And finally, we watched new life spread joy throughout our campus as we welcomed spring.

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

COVID 19 Update

Life at The Center is adjusting to a new normal. In their latest webinar, TCFD President, Dr. Terry Hamlin, and Chief of Nursing, Susan Sayers, revealed changes which include: a decrease in quarantine time, a decrease in the COVID-19 hotline hours which has been up and running since the beginning of the pandemic, small in-person meetings, a slow increase in community outings for residents and students, and the gradual opening of our pool – with open swim time hopefully coming soon.

OPWDD Visits TCFD 2022

New OPWDD Commissioner Visits The Center

The work of The Center was in the limelight last month as new NYS Office of People with Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) Commissioner, Kerri Neifeld, toured our programs, including the thriving Main Street in Hurleyvile.

The Commissioner visited with residents, nurses and staff.  She saw the the construction at The Children’s Specialty Hospital and expressed great interest in TCFD’s Assistive Technology Department where she examined equipment inspired by you – like the FlexTable™, Shirt Folder, Wrist Talker, Universal Hand Tool, indieGo®, and more.

In honor of Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month in March and its theme of #WorldsImagined, Commissioner Neifeld has been highlighting statewide innovations for complex individuals like the residents and students at The Center.

“It was wonderful to tour the OPWDD Commissioner, and show  Kerri in-person our work here at The Center,” said Patrick H. Dollard, “It is significant that a short time after her confirmation she was here showcasing our programs and innovations that have been proven to further enrich the lives of individuals with complex conditions. We appreciate her time and dedication, and we look forward to working with her office closely in the near future.”

TCFD Greenhouse

TCFD Receives Award for Children’s Specialty Hospital Greenhouse

The Center has received a $605,000 award to develop a Food is Medicine® Greenhouse at the new Children’s Specialty Hospital in Rock Hill. The award comes from a Congressionally Directed Spending request to TCFD champion Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY).

The greenhouse will bring the critical nutrition piece of the TCFD health model right to those in most need in the hospital setting.  At the same time, it will provide educational, therapeutic, and pre-vocational opportunities to patients as well as TCFD students.  Culinary and nutrition programs are also being planned for the parents and caregivers of patients so they have the ability to transform the lives of their entire families.

“Over the years, I’ve been a tireless fighter for The Center For Discovery’s frontline workers and those they serve, and today I’m proud to deliver over $600,000 to build the Food Is Medicine Greenhouse to strengthen the standard of care for their highly complex and vulnerable population through high quality, nutrient-dense food,” Senator Schumer said.

“We are so grateful for Senator Schumer’s ongoing support of our organization and for his dedication to helping The Center realize its dream of creating a first-of-its-kind Children’s Specialty Hospital,” added Patrick Dollard, “With the addition of this new greenhouse, we are further equipped to treat children and support their families from a nutritional perspective – getting them back on track to lead optimal, healthy lives – all while learning new skills.”

TCFD Receives $95,000 John A. Hartford Foundation Grant

The Center for Discovery has received a critical grant that has the potential to grow our entire program. The $95,000 dollar grant from the John A. Hartford Foundation will allow TCFD to work with NORC, an independent research institution affiliated with the University of Chicago, to evaluate and document our model of care in detail. Building on TCFD’s long history of working with individuals with complex conditions, TCFD and NORC will explore how our model can benefit a wide range of older adults. This work will allow us to further develop our strategic priorities, as well as to better share our success with others around the world.

Medical Marijuana Study at The Center for Discovery

TCFD’s Groundbreaking Medical Marijuana Study

A team of medical and research experts at The Center, led by President, Dr. Terry Hamlin, and Medical Director, Dr. Philip Wilken, along with leading external partners, published a major paper in the latest version of the peer-reviewed journal – Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology.

The paper outlines a two-year study done at TCFD that examines the use of medical marijuana in residents with intractable seizures.  The study team consisted of:  Dr. Terry Hamlin, Dr. Orrin Devinsky (NYU Comprehensive Epilepsy Ctr.), Dr. Philip Wilken,  Dr. George Todd (Mt. Sinai Icahn School of Medicine), Angelica Marmanillo (TCFD Director of Nursing Informatics), Daniel Ryan (TCFD IT Strategic Goal Manager), Conor Anderson (TCFD Director of Biomedical Informatics), and Daniel Friedman (NYU Comprehensive Epilepsy Ctr.)

“I am very proud of this work done by our growing research team involving a large cohort of very complex individuals who require care and monitoring around-the-clock. Our community is difficult to study. Our success at collaborating with the finest doctors and medical centers, completing this large body of work, and having it published by a major peer-reviewed journal speaks volumes about our potential to become a force of biomedical study, research, publication and development in the near future, particularly at our new Children’s Specialty Hospital which is scheduled to open in early 2023.” said Dr. Hamlin, “We have the unique ability here to learn so much more about individuals with complex conditions and intend to increase the scope of our research in the near future. The Center for Discovery is committed to continuing to advance the standard of care for those with complex conditions in New York State and across the country, and that can only be done through good science and clinical expertise – we are very fortunate to have both at TCFD.”

Research at The Center for Discovery is made possible by the support of generous donors. For more information about how you can contribute to this transformative work and advance our Research Institute for Brain and Body Health, please contact Michael Rosen, Executive Vice President of Marketing and Strategic Communications, at mrosen@tcfd.org.

Time for Self-Care via TCFD’s Music Therapy Conference

Please mark your calendars!

On May 4th, our one-of-a-kind Integrated Arts Team will present a virtual half-day conference entitled “Caring for Yourself & Caring for Community – Enhancing Emotional Health & Well Being through Music Therapy.”

The live conference will feature well-known speakers including: Katie Down from SUNY New Paltz, Carly Caprioli and Shawn Vernisie from the Cohen Children’s Medical Center, and The Center’s own Senior Director of Music Therapy, Conio Loretto.

“The need for Music Therapists to provide support in the areas of emotional health and wellness is more crucial than ever.  In this half day conference, Music Therapists will share specific Music Therapy approaches and techniques they have utilized and adapted, as well as unique programs they have devised in order to meet the emotional needs of their clients, coworkers and peers, their communities and even themselves,” commented Conio Loretto, “Some of the Music Therapy outcomes covered by the presenters will include reducing stress and anxiety, fostering relaxed states, building strength and resiliency and promoting an overall sense of well-being.”

We look forward to sharing our deep knowledge with you and your friends and family!

Register early here.

Learn with Us! 

Our Integrated Arts team is excited to host its third virtual training series. Through this series, the team hopes to inspire and educate others about our creative programs and therapeutic practices through this collection of training videos centered on health and wellness.

Recently, the IA team shared a series of videos focused on reducing stress through emotional health and wellness, which can be found on our YouTube channel. Stay tuned for the next video, which will discuss planning seasonal activities and how to organize your events calendar. To sign up for our 2022 Virtual Training Series, click here.

Main Street News at The Mews!

We will soon know the winner of the Hurleyville, New York Entrepreneurial Program – our own local version of the hit TV show, Shark Tank!

Dreamed up by The Mews Owner & Developer, Jeffrey T. Stevenson, the contest challenges prospective businesses owners to submit plans for one of the brand-new four Hurleyville storefront locations.  The winner will receive free rent for up to a year, a new business loan up to $50 thousand and mentorship from Stevenson, Managing Partner of VSS – a private investment firm that focuses on the information, business services, healthcare, and education sectors.

In an interview with the Hurleyville Sentinel, Stevenson said The Mews idea started when he met TCFD CEO, Patrick H. Dollard, at the Hurleyville General Store; “Patrick outlined his vision for Hurleyville, and I wanted to be part of that…That cup of coffee is what launched the building next door.”

We also welcome Morgan Outdoors, new to Main Street as of late April, a well- established business that has moved from its home of 17-years in Livingston Manor to a new space in the Main Street Mews building complex.

Morgan Outdoors sells quality clothing, footwear, gear, books, maps, cards, puppets, games and natural products.  But owner Lisa Lyons says it’s so much more than a store – it’s a hub of resources, education and programming for outdoor adventure and true connection with the Earth like senior walks and walks for families.


We are celebrating new life here at The Center – it is indeed a baby boom.

At Sweet Hill Farm alone – we have 16 new kids. They are the new darlings of our residents, students, and staff, too!