Schumer Has Relentlessly Championed The Center for Discovery’s Children’s Specialty Hospital In Sullivan County, Delivering Unprecedented $35M USDA Loan To Ensure The 400+ Job Project Could Begin

Now Senator Keeps Delivering With More Fed $$$ To Deliver Sorely Needed Resources For New York’s Most Developmentally Complex Children

Schumer: More Fed $$$ Will Help Turn Center For Discovery Into A Center Of Hope For NY Families and Children

After securing an unprecedented $35 million federal loan to jumpstart the project, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today announced a major $622,954 grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Office of Rural Development’s Community Facilities Program to support the design and construction The Center for Discovery’s (TCFD) first-of-its-kind Children’s Specialty Hospital in Sullivan County. The funding will boost ongoing efforts to build New York’s first short-term inpatient assessment program for children with complex conditions, creating over 400 good-paying healthcare jobs and access to critical care for children and their families in the Hudson Valley and across New York State.

“The Center for Discovery is a pillar of the Sullivan County economy, and now, thanks to this major federal investment I helped secure, we are boosting it as a beacon of hope for our most vulnerable people with complex disabilities,” said Senator Schumer. “With the upcoming school year just around the corner, I am thrilled to announce this critical $620,000 USDA grant that will enable the Center to bring lifesaving care to our children and create new jobs that expand the world-class care provided at the Center and support the countless families who depend on its services. This first-of-its-kind hospital is not just about improving the lives of our most vulnerable individuals and their families; it is about paving the way for a healthier future for all residents in the Hudson Valley and across New York, ensuring that quality healthcare is accessible for generations to come.”

“We thank Senator Schumer for his leadership on our project from the beginning and for being a true champion of the Center for Discovery and the population of people with complex disabilities,” said Patrick H. Dollard, CEO of The Center For Discovery. “The USDA in Washington and USDA RD team in New York have been incredible partners as well and a perfect example of the positive impact government can have in working together to lift rural communities. We are enormously grateful.”

Schumer has a long history of fighting to deliver the federal resources needed to make this critical project for Sullivan County a success, going back to the project’s inception in 2019 when he first met The Center for Discovery’s leadership in Washington D.C. on the project. In early 2020, USDA’s New York State Director of Rural Development, Richard Mayfield, visited the site at Schumer’s request to discuss the USDA Community Facilities Program. A few days after the visit, COVID-19 cases surged in Sullivan County creating unprecedented challenges for TCFD and its employees and those they serve.

The pandemic’s disruptive health and economic impacts resulted in roughly $5 million in lost revenue for TCFD on top of the disabilities nonprofit experiencing millions in additional costs so it could continue safely caring for 360 medically and highly vulnerable patients. These added costs included additional PPE, compensation, benefits, emergency childcare, and more. As TCFD faced unprecedented financial burdens, Schumer helped secure a critical $35 million USDA loan to keep the Children’s Specialty Hospital project on track. The project broke ground later that year.

Specifically, today’s funding will boost construction of an educational wing with classrooms, a Wellness Therapy Gym, a test Kitchen, a Rural Health Extension Health Clinic, as well as a Learning Center. The renovation impacts approximately 78,950 square feet of combined renovation on the first floor and lower level, with a 6,300 square foot addition on the first floor. Other areas will be used to create a state of the art facility for research and development as well as areas to recruit and train new staff. The Center plans to use these facilities to develop individualized treatment plans and ensure the personal needs of patients and students are met. TCFD expects students to begin arriving in the Fall of 2023 and the first hospital patients by early Winter. Once the hospital portion of the building is up and running, 18 beds will be made available for students making short term stays, 12 beds for people with autism and 6 beds for those with medical frailties. Students will be able to access these amenities with staff members, building practical skills in a safe and supportive environment.

In 2022, Schumer also delivered $605,000 in federal funding to help the development of the Food Is Medicine Greenhouse for The Center’s Children’s Specialty Hospital. The Food Is Medicine Greenhouse will support The Center for Discovery by strengthening the standard of care for their highly complex and vulnerable population through high quality, nutrient-dense food, and improve health outcomes through better food security.  Students will learn to work, grow edible plants, and enjoy the fruits of their labor through the instruction and support of the Center’s professional staff. The Center’s farm which helps support the greenhouse project currently spans over 300 certified organic and biodynamic acres in rural Sullivan County.

According the TCFD, the first-of-its kind Children’s Specialty Hospital will provide critical care for those with complex conditions eventually bringing 400 new healthcare jobs to Sullivan County. TCFD currently has 1,700 dedicated doctors, nurses, direct care workers, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, physical therapists, adaptive recreation experts, therapists, special educators, farmers, orchardists, nutritionists, chefs, researchers, and other support staff.

Schumer has long championed The Center and helped TCFD expand their work throughout the Hudson Valley and recover from the pandemic. After learning that TCFD only received $14K from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) CARES Act Provider Relief Fund, he brought the issue directly to Secretary Azar at HHS, eventually delivering over $1M to support the Center throughout the pandemic. Furthermore, the Senator helped TCFD cut through red tape with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) securing over $1.5M for PPE, quarantine housing, and for other critical supplies that were log-jammed in the system for months.

Originally published via Press Releases | Senator Chuck Schumer of New York (