THE FIRST OF ITS KIND
$35 Million for TCFD Children’s Hospital
SENATOR SCHUMER SAYS SURGE OF FEDERAL $$$ WILL BRING FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND CHILDREN’S HOSPITAL TO NY, INCREASE ACCESS FOR NY’S CHILDREN AND FAMILIES, AND CREATE 400-PLUS JOBS
ROCK HILL, April 2021– Following his tireless advocacy for children with complex conditions, U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer has announced an unprecedented $35 million loan for The Center for Discovery’s (TCFD) first-of-its-kind Children’s Specialty Hospital in Rock Hill, through the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Office of Rural Development’s Community Facilities Program.
The funding will allow 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.
Senator 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, the project will include an Education Academy to expand TCFD’s existing programs with 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 pre-existing 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.
“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,” Senator Schumer said. “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 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 Senator 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 Senator Schumer today, became increasingly critical to keep the Children’s Specialty Hospital project on track.
Senator Schumer said the hospital’s development will 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.
The senator 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 delivering 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 Center for Discovery will now be the Center of Hope for New York families and children.”
– U.S. Senator Charles E. Schumer