The Evolution of The Center for Discovery

Our story began more than 70 years ago with a few determined families and a small plot of land. Today, The Center for Discovery is internationally recognized for its leadership in caring for people with complex disabilities and medical frailties, including autism.



A group of parents from Sullivan County begin to meet regularly to initiate services for their children with physical disabilities at Beth Abraham Hospital in New York City



United Cerebral Palsy Association of Sullivan County (UCPASC) is formally incorporated. This organization will eventually evolve into The Center for Discovery



The first UCPASC clinic opens in two rooms at Liberty-Loomis Hospital to treat physical, occupational, and social challenges, attracting children from all over the county



First UCPASC treatment center is opened on Wawanda Avenue, Liberty



Patrick H. Dollard is hired as Director; UCPASC becomes The Human Developmental Services Center; 30 total employees



The Birth to 5 Symposium, the first ever conference in the nation specifically designed as an educational tool for professionals, parents, and others caring for infants with disabilities, is held at Grossinger’s Resort; focus is on the effect of environmental toxins on infants intrauterine



The Birth to 5 Symposium is repeated at the Concord Hotel; the agency opens its first residential Intermediate Care Facility in Rock Hill; Twelve acres of land purchased in Harris for new facility



First farming operation begins (small plots of vegetable gardens behind the Rock Hill ICF)



Three residential homes are opened on the Harris property



Three more homes, to accommodate children previously placed out-of-state, are opened in Harris



Agency purchases a 50-acre farm in Harris for the construction of new residences and a supported work environment for children and adults with significant disabilities



Thanksgiving Farm, a community supported agriculture project featuring innovative work and residential programs for adults with multiple disabilities, opens in Harris; nature-based curriculum implemented



Human Developmental Services Center becomes The Center for Discovery



Discovery Health Center opens. This is the first healthcare facility in the country to be registered with the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC). Discovery Health Center receives the USGBC’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification in 2004



The Center begins a campaign to expand its music therapy programs through its new Music Therapy Center for Education and Research; The Center coordinates the purchase of development rights (PDR) easement at Stonewall Preserve Farm in Hurleyville with the Open Space Institute (OSI); The Center receives a $350,000 Kresge Foundation Construction Challenge grant for the Discovery Health Center



Thanksgiving Farm CSA receives USDA Organic Certification



Life Center opens, featuring residences specifically designed for medically fragile population



The Center receives a $1,000,000 Kresge Foundation Challenge Grant for the Michael Ritchie Big Barn Center for Environmental Health and Education at the Stonewall Preserve



Thanksgiving Farm CSA receives Demeter Certification as biodynamic farm



Ridge Campus opens, featuring first residences in NYS specifically designed for ASD population; Michael Ritchie Big Barn Center for Environmental Health and Education officially opens. Project is awarded Platinum LEED Certification



The Center purchases the 11,000 sq. ft. warehouse building at 202 Main Street, recently vacated by Samuel French, Inc. This will later become the Technology Hub and Incubator at The Center for Discovery (THINC)



The Center for Discovery partners with the Open Space Institute to purchase 9 miles of O&W Railway right of way to create a hiking and biking trail



The former Technology Hub and Incubator at The Center for Discovery (THINC) opens (January); Google.org awards The Center for Discovery a $1.125 million grant for the indieGo project, a device that turns any manual wheelchair into a power wheelchair, instantly; The Hurleyville Performing Arts Centre opens (September)



The Center for Discovery is designated as a Center of Excellence by the NYS Department of Health and OPWDD; 1,700 total employees



Three-mile long section of the Milk Train Rail Trail in Hurleyville, NY is paved, making it accessible for all



The Center announces several new research partnerships



The Center for Discovery opens the American Portfolios Assistive Technology Lab at the Technology Hub and Incubator (now Innovation Labs); a special segment about TCFD and its musical production of Beauty and The Beast airs on ABC Network’s Good Morning America during the July 4th weekend



The Center for Discovery and Northwell Health Announce Affiliation Agreement



The Center for Discovery receives a $45 million dollar low-interest loan from the USDA for the construction of the Children’s Specialty Hospital in Rock Hill, New York; The Center breaks ground on the Children’s Specialty Hospital, alongside Senator Charles E. Schumer; THINC moves to the Innovation Labs at the future Children’s Specialty Hospital



Report published by the John A. Hartford Foundation prepared by NORC on The Center’s groundbreaking model



The Center for Discovery expands its school program to include Early Learners and Explorers, serving K-2 students from 3 local counties



Dr. Terry Hamlin becomes President & CEO of The Center for Discovery, effective January 1; The Children’s Specialty Hospital at The Center for Discovery and the Research Institute for Brain and Body Health to open in Rock Hill, NY