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$3M Center For Special Needs Established At Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital

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Golisano photo (L to R): Dr. Gregory Conners, Ann Costello and Eileen Pezzi

A new $3M Center for Special Needs is on the way to Syracuse’s Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital, announced Friday (September 27) at their 10th birthday celebration.

Golisano Foundation Executive Director Ann Costello was in attendance to announce the latest donation, which will build a new center to provide medical and behavioral care for children and adolescents with all types of intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).

Over the past decade, Upstate Golisano has served nearly a half million children from hundreds of thousands of families across Central New York.

More than $21M has been donated in that time from some 8,000 individual donors, including billionaire businessman and philanthropist Tom Golisano, who gave the naming $6M gift back in 2005.

“It gives me great pleasure to contribute $3 million to help create the Center for Special Needs, and improve and expand services for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families,” Golisano said. “The number of children needing services and the number currently on the wait list is staggering. The expansion and co-location will help meet the growing demand for services and expedite patients’ progress toward healthy, productive lives.”

New clinical offices will now be constructed, along with upgrades made in several areas to broaden choices and opportunities for inclusion. Additionally, new staff will be recruited to increase access to services and help families navigate educational systems.

Officials with the Foundation say the center will act as an umbrella, creating a framework to increase collaboration and improve patient care, while centralizing programs and services available to the I/DD population.
Children’s Hospital Executive Director Gregory Conners said it will significantly increase their capacity to 7,600 children per year, a 167% increase in unique numbers served compared to 2018.
That’s estimated to be an additional 563 evaluations per year, which will likely result in more than 200 diagnoses of autism.
“Since the doors of the Upstate Golisano Children’s Hospital opened in 2009, we have Upstate Golisano After Hours Care, a pediatric emergency department that is a Level-One Trauma Center, a renovated nursery and maternity unit at our Community campus, and a center for children’s cancer and blood disorders in our beautiful new Cancer Center,” said Interim Upstate Medical University President Dr. Mantosh Dewan. “And now, the Golisano Center for Special Needs will provide many additional critical services to the community and continue to connect opportunities to better serve patients and their families.”

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