03.24.21

SCHUMER ANNOUNCES HISTORIC $35 MILLION FEDERAL INVESTMENT TO BUILD THE CENTER FOR DISCOVERY’S CHILDREN’S SPECIALTY HOSPITAL; SENATOR SAYS SURGE OF FEDERAL $$$ WILL BRING FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL TO NY, INCREASE ACCESS FOR NY’S CHILDREN AND FAMILIES & WILL CREATE +400 JOBS IN THE HUDSON VALLEY

Hospital Would Be New York’s First Short-term Inpatient Program For Children With Complex Developmental Disabilities And Would Be Sorely Needed Resource For New York’s Most Developmentally Complex Children

COVID-19 Pandemic’s Devastating Financial Impacts Caused Over $5 Million in Lost Revenue for TCFD Jeopardizing Construction; Schumer Pushed Feds To Keep Project On Track & Secured $35 Million USDA Loan 

Schumer: Center For Discovery Will Now Be Center Of Hope For NY Families and Children 

Following his tireless advocacy for children with complex conditions, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer today announced an unprecedented $35 million loan for The Center for Discovery’s (TCFD) first of its kind Children’s Specialty Hospital in Rock Hill, New York, through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Office of Rural Development’s Community Facilities Program. The funding will allow for New York’s first short-term inpatient assessment program for children with complex conditions to begin construction, creating over 400 healthcare jobs and 150 construction jobs in Sullivan County while improving access to quality care and services for Upstate New York’s most vulnerable.

Schumer explained that, through its groundbreaking research, the Children’s Specialty Hospital, slated to break ground this June, will provide comprehensive, clinical assessments to diagnose underlying physiological, medical, and mental health problems. The hospital will create targeted treatments and interventions for children and adolescents to receive care that allows them to remain in their homes, saving the state millions each year by reducing the need for long-term residential care. Furthermore, the senator said that the project will include an Education Academy to expand TCFD’s existing programs with 853 special education schools. Construction supported by the USDA investment announced today will include new classrooms, accessible bathrooms, a full-service kitchen, dining hall, gymnasium, athletic fields, a traffic circulation system for school buses, and paved walking and biking paths for physical education and recreation. By building this critical infrastructure, TCFD will serve 60 additional students from surrounding communities while building on its preexisting relationships with 250 school districts. Schumer said that the new hospital will create a nationwide model transforming the standard of care for those with complex conditions right here in Upstate New York.

"From day one of this pandemic, I have worked with the Center for Discovery to make sure they had all the federal resources necessary to continue providing high-quality care for their vulnerable patients with complex disabilities," said Senator Schumer. "As a lead negotiator for last year’s COVID relief bills, and as Majority Leader this year, I have fought tirelessly to make sure that the Center has all of the tools it needs to rebuild and recover from the pandemic. That’s why, after months of our tireless advocacy, I'm happy to announce this historic $35 million USDA loan for The Center for Discovery’s Children’s Specialty Hospital. This first-of-its-kind hospital will support our most vulnerable New Yorkers and their families while creating over 400 new jobs in Sullivan County. I am proud to continue my support for the essential role carried out by the Center for Discovery as both a health care provider and the largest employer in Sullivan County, and I will not rest until they have all the federal resources they need to continue their service for all of Upstate New York."

 “We are so thankful to Senator Schumer for his support,” said Patrick H. Dollard the CEO of The Center for Discovery. “The Children’s Specialty Hospital will transform the model of care for people with complex conditions. It will offer families a place to turn at first diagnosis and expertise on a path forward. The Senator has always understood that. We are so grateful that he has been such a champion for our cause.”

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 350 medically and highly vulnerable patients. These added costs included additional PPE, compensation, benefits, emergency childcare, and more. As TCFD faced unprecedented financial burdens, the $35 million USDA investment, announced by Schumer today, became increasingly critical to keep the Children’s Specialty Hospital project on track.

Furthermore, the senator explained that the hospital will help to provide essential healthcare services to its surrounding rural communities in Upstate, New York, and will help the Sullivan County economy rebuild and thrive by creating approximately 400 full-time jobs and 150 construction jobs in Rock Hill, New York. The hospital’s development will also directly impact rural communities beyond Sullivan County, including Broome, Chenango, Columbia, Delaware, Greene, Orange, Otsego, Ulster, Schoharie, and other rural counties across New York and in surrounding states that lack access to this critical specialized care.

Schumer has been a champion for the TCFD throughout 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 deliver over $1M to TCFD. 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.

TCFD provides extraordinary residential, medical, clinical, and special education programs for over 1,200 children and adults with complex conditions each year in Sullivan County, New York. The senator has visited TCFD many times over the years, meeting many of the Center’s over 1,600 dedicated doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, physical therapists, adaptive recreation experts, therapists, special educators, farmers, orchardists, nutritionists, chefs, researchers, and other support staff. TCFD is Sullivan County’s largest employer acting as the economic anchor for a community where, according to the Census Bureau, 15.6% of residents are below the poverty line and roughly 20% of the population is living with a disability.

The senator’s July 31, 2020 letter to former USDA Secretary Perdue appears below:

Dear Secretary Perdue,

I write today in strong support of the application submitted by the Center for Discovery to the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Community Facilities Program to develop a first of its kind Children’s Specialty Hospital in Rock Hill, New York. The requested $35 million in federal investment would create New York’s first short-term inpatient assessment programs for children with complex developmental disabilities, including Autism Spectrum Disorders and medical frailties. I strongly urge USDA to approve this proposal, create roughly 400 healthcare jobs in Sullivan County, and vastly improve the lives of children with complex conditions and their families nationwide.

The Center for Discovery (TCFD) provides extraordinary residential, medical, clinical, and special education programs for over 1,200 children and adults with complex conditions each year in Sullivan County, New York. As the largest employer in Sullivan County, I have been fortunate enough to visit TCFD many times over the years and have met many of TCFD’s over 1,600 dedicated doctors, nurses, occupational therapists, speech pathologists, physical therapists, adaptive recreation experts, therapists, special educators, farmers, orchardists, nutritionists, chefs, researchers, and other support staff. These jobs act as the economic anchor for a community where, according to the Census Bureau, 15.6% of residents live below the poverty line. Similarly, Sullivan County, the proposed county for this revolutionary hospital, has roughly 20% of its population living with a disability, presenting a clear and pressing need for TCFD’s first-of-its-kind Children’s Specialty Hospital. As recent Center For Disease Control (CDC) data shows, an increased prevalence of ASD in children across the United States in recent years underscores the need for research and treatment to address the impact that ASD and related conditions have on children, families, and communities across the country. It is clear by the data that the undoubted need is present both locally and nationally, and I assure you that there is no place more fitting than TCFD to launch that work.

 

Through groundbreaking research, the Children’s Specialty Hospital will provide comprehensive, clinical assessments to diagnose underlying physiological, medical, and mental health problems. TCFD will create targeted treatments and interventions so that children and adolescents receive care while allowing them to remain in their homes, saving New York State millions of dollars each year by reducing the need for long-term residential care. The project also includes an Education Academy to expand on TCFD’s existing 853 school program. Construction will include new classrooms, accessible bathrooms, a full-service kitchen, dining hall, gymnasium, athletic fields, a traffic circulation system for school buses, and paved walking and biking paths for physical education and recreation. By building this critical infrastructure, TCFD can serve 60 additional students from surrounding communities while building on its preexisting relationships with 250 school districts. Overall, this project will create a nationwide model that transforms the standard of care for those with complex conditions in a rural community that desperately needs improved access to essential services.

Earlier this year, at my behest, USDA’s New York State Director of Rural Development, Richard Mayfield, visited the site to discuss the USDA Community Facilities Program. Unfortunately, a few days after the visit, COVID-19 cases began to surge in Sullivan County creating unprecedented challenges for TCFD. The disruptive health and economic impacts of the pandemic resulted in TCFD losing roughly $5 million in revenue and spending millions in additional expenses to continue safely caring for 350 medically and highly vulnerable residents. These added costs have included an increased supply of personal protective equipment, additional hazard pay and benefits for employees, emergency childcare for essential employees, and more. As they face unprecedented financial burden, now more than ever TCFD desires approval for a $35 million investment in the Children’s Specialty Hospital so it can provide essential healthcare services to the surrounding rural communities. This investment in TCFD will put Sullivan County’s economy into high gear, creating approximately 400 full-time jobs and 150 construction jobs. The hospital’s development will also directly impact rural communities beyond Sullivan County, including Broome, Chenango, Columbia, Delaware, Greene, Orange, Otsego, Ulster, Schoharie, and other rural counties across New York and in surrounding states that lack access to this critical specialized care.

I urge the USDA to make history and help create New York’s first short-term inpatient assessment program for children with complex developmental disabilities by investing $35 million in TCFD’s first-of-its-kind Children’s Specialty Hospital. This project will help offset the devastating health and economic impacts of COVID-19 in New York by creating hundreds of jobs in Sullivan County’s critically important healthcare sector while improving the lives of countless generations of school district personnel, families, and vulnerable children with complex conditions. 

Sincerely,

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