History

The Evolution of The Center for Discovery

1948 – A group of parents from the county begin to meet regularly to initiate services for their physically challenged children at Beth Abraham Hospital in New York City

1950  United Cerebral Palsy Association of Sullivan County (UCPASC) is formally incorporated. This organization will eventually evolve into The Center for Discovery

1951 – The first UCPASC clinic opens in two rooms at Liberty-Loomis Hospital to treat physical, occupational and social problems, attracting children from all over the county

1965  First UCPASC treatment center is opened on Wawanda Avenue, Liberty

1980 – Patrick H. Dollard is hired as Director; UCPASC becomes The Human Developmental Services Center; 30 total employees

1981  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 disabled infants, is held at Grossinger’s Resort; focus is on the effect of environmental toxins on infants intrauterine

1982  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

1983 – First farming operation begins (small plots of vegetable gardens behind the Rock Hill ICF)

1985  Three residential homes are opened on the Harris property

1987  Three more homes, to accommodate out of state children, are opened in Harris

1992  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

1995  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

1999  Human Developmental Services Center becomes The Center for Discovery

2002 – 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

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

2006 – Thanksgiving Farm CSA receives USDA Organic Certification

2007  Life Center opens; residences specifically designed for medically fragile population

2008  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

2009  Thanksgiving Farm CSA receives Demeter Certification as biodynamic farm

2010  Ridge Campus Opens; 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

2011  The Center purchases the 11,000 sq. ft. warehouse building at 202 Main Street, recently vacated by Samuel French, Inc. This will become the Hurleyville Maker’s Lab

2013  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

2014  The Hurleyville Market opens as The Center’s first retail operation on the historic, revitalized Main Street of Hurleyville, NY

2016  The Hurleyville Maker’s Lab 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 Arts Centre opens (September)

2016  The Center for Discovery is designated as a Center of Excellence by the NYS Department of Health and OPWDD; 1600 total employees

2017  Three-mile long section of the Milk Train Rail Trail in Hurleyville, NY is paved, making it accessible for all

Working Here

We have over 1,600 employees, many of whom started their careers with us and are now expert farmers, whole-food chefs, teachers, clinicians, doctors, and celebrated leaders. Our growing reputation for excellence has attracted talented staff from all over the world. The possibilities here are limitless - join our team today.