Centers of Excellence

Centers of Excellence

The Discovery Health Center
The Discovery Health Center is a 27,00 square foot NYS Department of health certified Article 28 Clinic. It offers residents of The Center and hundreds of individuals from the larger community a broad range of outpatient services. It is the first healthcare facility in the world to receive the U.S. Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Certification.

The Janet and Gerald Carrus Institute
The Janet and Gerald Carrus Institute has become a resource hub at The Center for Discovery. It provides training for professionals (teachers, administrators and clinicians) in the treatment and education of those with a wide range of disabilites. It also houses The Center for Discovery’s Workforce Development and Training team who provide ongoing education to Center staff and orientation to new employees. From June to November The Carrus Institute plays host to the Thanksgiving Farm Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) pick-up, where over 300 staff members, freinds of The Center and families come to gather their weekly share of organically grown produce – a product of The Center’s farm team’s hard work. Funding for The Carrus Institute was made possible by a generous gift from the Carrus Foundation.

Thanksgiving Farm Community Supported Agriculture Program (CSA)
Thanksgiving Farm CSA is the heart of The Center’s Demeter Certified biodynamic agriculture program. Many of The Center’s adult residents are engaged in a varietyof work/vocational opportunities in the large-scale production of organic food for use by The Center and more than 300 families/members of the CSA. The farm properties include an organic farm with herb gardens, greenhouses, livestock, a food cooperative and a bakery.

Michael Ritchie Big Barn Center for Environmental Health and Education
The Michael Ritchie Big Barn Center is devoted to exploring the interconnections between the environment, nutrition, education and human health. Located at The Center’s 300 acre Stonewall Preserve Farm, the Big Barn is a model for universal design and sustainable living, with Platinum level Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification, the highest level attainable, by the U.S. Green Building Council. The Michael Ritchie Big Barn was made possible in part by a generous gift from Michael and Nelly Arougheti, and is named in memory of renowned film director Michael Ritchie.

Serving as the nexus for some of The Center for Discovery’s most innovative initiatives, the Big Barn houses and brings together the following programs and capabilities:

  • The Big Barn Discovery School to provide improved interventions for individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other disabilities
  • The DaVinci Project in bio-dynamic farming and food production
  • The Community Building Project to develop new, sustainable models for caring for individuals with a range of physical and intellectual disabilities throughout the lifespan, as well as related efforts to contribute to the revitalization of the historic town of Hurleyville


Milligan Hill
Milligan Hill is home to The Center’s Equine program. Set in an Amish stye barn and large indoor riding arena, the program enables multiple clinical disciplines with the aid of specially trained horses to provide recreational horseback riding with therapeutic benefits. Students at The Center participate in the care of the horses from grooming to feeding and other farm related work.

The Discovery Research School The Discovery Research School is housed in the Michael Ritchie Big Barn Center for Environmental Health and Education. It is an innovative partnership with leading researchers from highly renown universities and hospitals working to improve response and intervention for those with Autism Spectrum Disorders and other disabilities. It is specially designed to bridge the gap between diverse disciplines and systems of care by combining the applied knowledge and expertise found in school settings with the resources and expertise found in research and clinical facilities. Using sophisticated technology such as biometric sensors, computer vision  and other advanced techniques unobtrusively integrated into the classroom setting, data on human interactions is collected and analyzed highlighting the most effective interventions and treatments while advancing our understanding of the complexity of autism.