WPCNR HEALTH. By John F. Bailey. April 9, 2012 UPDATED April 10, 2012 2:25 P.M. E.D.T.:
White Plains’ own Dr. Steven J. Corwin, Chief Executive Officer of New York Presbyterian Hospital announced a partnership venture with the New York Center for Autism to transform the former womens gymnasium on the White Plains campus into the New York Center for Autism and the Developing Brain last Thursday at a news conference.
Women's Gymnasium to Be Turned into New York Center for Autism and the Developing Brain within Year.
First Director of the Center: Dr. Catherine Lord from the University of Michigan Autism Center that she helped to found, was introduced as the new Center's first leader.
Dr. Corwin introduced Dr. Catherine Lord, clinical pyschologist,formerly of the Autism and Communication Disorders Center at the University of Michigan that she helped establish to conduct research and provide clinical evaluations,diagnoses and therapeutic services. whom he described as one of the foremost experts in the diagnosis and treatment of autism, as the first Director of the Center. She is known for developing longitudinal studies of children with autism that oberve the progression of their social development and communication skills. The focus of her research is to find more effective ways to treat patients.
Dr. Lord told WPCNR the Center now has twenty personnel already on board, and can take on a limited number of age groups for diagnosis immediately. Dr.Lord told WPCNR The center has a grant that allows them to work up diagnosis of a limited number of children under the age of 2 at no charge; and another grant that will provide analysis, diagnosis and recommendations for adults with autism diagnoses with some speech at no charge for services. Lord said for details on these free, grant provided diagnostic services, the Center may be contacted at 914-997-5848.
"Diagnosis is just a start," Lord said. "By evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of each patient, and by monitoring and measuring that individual's response to a variety of approaches, we will fine-tune our ability to deliver the best short-term treatments while linking patients and their families to existing resources in their communities."
Schematic of the proposed renvoation of the former Gymnasium
Lord said the center expects to be opened in about one year from now with the mission of providing comprehensive care, “to patients of all ages with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental disorders of the brain.” The center will offer, “a full arrary of evaluative, diagnostic, and multi-disciplinary therapeutic services, as well as “gap” services to aid families in planning for future treatment and community-based care.”
Dr. Corwin introduced Nita Lowey, Congresswoman who spoke of the 1 of 88 boys being born diagnosed by autism, up from 1 in 2,500 ten years ago as one of the real priorities for the National Institute of Health research. Ms. Lowey was instrumental in obtaining government aid for the establishment of the center
Mayor Thomas Roach of White Plains expressed the need for research into autism and praised the decision to locate the center in White Plains.
Renovation of the gymnasium to establish The Center will cost approximately $6.1 Million, the hospital reported Tuesday it has already raised the $11.1 Million to construct and staff the new Center.
Laura Slatkin,(above) Co-Founder of the New Center for Autism, credited a "generous contribution from Marilyn and James Simons of the Simons Foundation" for the formation of the Center which is planned to open in early 2013. She remarked, "New York-Presbyterian Hospital has made it possible to build the Center. Our hope is to create state-of-the-art services for individuals across their lifespan that will become a model for the nation."
Until it officially opens, the center cannot accept insurance. Any treatment would have to be paid for without third party assistance, WPCNR learned. However, the grant opportunities for free treatment are available for consideration at the present time.
Over 200 persons attended the event.
Dignataries with hammers,posed before symbolic start of construction. Mr. Simons, a key donor is fourth from right, next to Mayor Tom Roach.
Note: To learn more about The Center, go to www.nyp.org/autism