The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) today announced a partnership between three not-for-profit agencies, The Center for Discovery (TCFD), Developmental Disabilities Institute (DDI), and Upstate Cerebral Palsy (Upstate CP), in the creation of the Centers of Excellence which will address the care and treatment of children with complex disabilities, such as autism and other neurodevelopmental conditions. This partnership is made possible through an award of federal Balancing Incentive Program (BIP) funding administered through OPWDD, in coordination with the New York State Education Department and the New York State Department of Health.
The goals of the Centers of Excellence are to launch an intense and coordinated effort aimed at identifying best practices for intervention, conducting research, and developing new treatments and strategies to support children with autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders in the most integrated setting. The three separate Centers of Excellence will benefit from the collective intelligence and insights of each member organization and, in turn, work with New York State agencies and other providers.
“Now that we are better able to identify children and families who need support, we need to better address the supports and systems available and make sure we are better able to meet their complex needs,” said Kerry Delaney, Acting Commissioner of the NYS Office for People With Developmental Disabilities. “This innovative project will address the urgent and fast growing needs of children with autism and other intellectual disabilities and define more effective supports for children and their families. We look forward to working with the three agencies involved in the Centers of Excellence partnership to ensure that more effective and seamless approaches to care are achieved across New York State.”
“This initiative supports and nurtures the cutting edge clinical practices that our Centers have and will develop to support children with complex needs and their families,” said Patrick Dollard, President and CEO of The Center for Discovery.
While progress has been made in identifying children and families who need support, there has been a need for a coordinated effort to provide care and education. The Centers of Excellence will develop an interactive database and other tools to improve information gathering and sharing with federal, state, and local agencies in an effort to provide more timely and cost effective approaches to care.
Developmental Disabilities Institute Executive Director John Lessard noted, “The funding under this grant is giving our Centers the ability to take current systems supporting our children to an exciting new level, one that will have a significant positive impact on their quality of life and the quality of life of their families.”
“The opportunity to share best practices with our colleagues in other parts of the State as we work toward streamlining our processes is unprecedented in this area, and the staff at all three Centers have been inspired and excited by the possibilities this project presents,” said Louis Tehan, President & CEO of Upstate Cerebral Palsy.
The efforts of the Centers of Excellence will be coordinated through the Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State.