HARRIS, N.Y. — It takes innovation, passion, and a willingness to fiercely confront challenges head-on to have the level of impact The Center for Discovery is making.
A newly released economic impact study highlights how The Center for Discovery is improving the local and state economy, the fields of education, healthcare and research, and most of all, the lives of individuals with complex disabilities. Still Sullivan County’s largest employer, The Center has created more than $1 billion of economic impact for the State of New York between 2011 and 2016. The non-profit organization generates nearly $200 million of economic activity for the state each year, according to the report, entitled “Transforming Lives Through Research, Innovation & Economic Development.”
From just 25 employees in 1980, The Center has grown to 1,560 employees in 2016, and it pays an average compensation that is 33 percent higher than the average private sector wage in Sullivan County. The Center has invested $9 million over the last decade into the hamlet of Hurleyville’s downtown area, refurbishing small businesses and building the Hurleyville Maker’s Lab, Hurleyville Arts Centre and sidewalks to benefit the public as well as residents and students of The Center. Major philanthropy, government grants, infrastructure support and new businesses have all contributed to these revitalization efforts, and their success has created jobs, preserved land, improved the local economy, and enhanced the lives of students, residents, and the whole community.
“Disability care has been stifled by the historic bigotry of a system with almost nonexistent expectations for individuals with complex conditions to have a quality of life,” said Patrick H. Dollard, President and CEO of The Center for Discovery. “We challenge that. We believe all people can have a meaningful life. We use research, philanthropy, public-private partnerships and other innovations to continually build better lives for our residents and students. But the best part is that this is good for everyone- our research breakthroughs can assist people with any form of brain dysregulation, from dementia to normal aging. And the private philanthropy we’ve brought to our local community of Hurleyville have resulted in resources like the Hurleyville Arts Centre and the Hurleyville Maker’s Lab, which everyone benefits from.” </p>
Among the highlights of the report:
- The Center’s pioneering practices are internationally-recognized and have led to its designation as a New York State Center of Excellence;
- The Center is uniquely positioned to conduct groundbreaking research that will improve health and learning outcomes for thousands of individuals with Autism and medical complexities worldwide;
- The Center’s public-private partnerships have brought in significant external funds that would not otherwise have entered Sullivan County;
- The Center’s Hurleyville revitalization initiatives serve as a model for how a prominent institution can play a leading role in economic redevelopment while creating more inclusive and supportive communities;
- In 2016, The Center paid nearly $200,000 in direct property taxes while generating $9.9 million total state and local tax revenue;
The Center for Discovery is a provider of healthcare and education services for more than 1,200 children and adults with complex disabilities, medical frailties and Autism Spectrum Disorders, located 90 miles northwest of New York City. It has long been a leader in developing new models of care for individuals with complex conditions. On 1,500 acres of land in Sullivan County, The Center houses school campuses, residences, medical and research facilities, organic and biodynamic farmland, and leased private businesses. Deeply focused on an individual’s personal potential and possibilities, rather than a disability, The Center strives to create better care and opportunity for the most vulnerable populations.