Strong Kids

Tom Golisano gives $5 million for new Pediatric Behavioral Health & Wellness Center

Nov. 28, 2017

Golisano Gift

The new building will be the primary outpatient location for the children’s hospital’s Pediatric Behavioral Health & Wellness program — which treats children with depression, anxiety, psychosis, substance abuse, PTSD, and other behavioral and emotional conditions — and will be staffed by a multidisciplinary team that includes child psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, mental health counselors, nurses, and more.

“I am pleased to partner with URMC to build the new Golisano Pediatric Behavioral Health & Wellness Center, which will address gaps in care and accommodate more clinical staff to help reduce the number of children on the wait list for services,” said Golisano. “Now, when we talk about providing comprehensive care to children and their families, we can include expanded and enhanced behavioral health services. I’m confident that Golisano Children’s Hospital will become a leader in this field.”

The university is matching Golisano’s gift, and the $10 million building, estimated at 30,000 sq. ft., will be located near the intersection of South Avenue and Science Parkway, next door to the planned location of the Golisano Autism Center, a collaborative venture between Al Sigl Community of Agencies, AutismUp, and CP Rochester. Construction on both buildings is expected to begin next spring, with completion of the Behavioral Health & Wellness Center slated for 2019.

The new building will enable introduction of one new service for the Rochester region and expansion of two existing Pediatric Behavioral Health & Wellness services:

  • The new Intensive Outpatient Service Line would allow youths to receive a higher level of care than in traditional outpatient services, while staying home and attending their regular school. 
  • An outpatient program, which serves children and adolescents battling depression, anxiety, psychosis, substance abuse, ADHD, PTSD, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and other conditions, including experiencing stress due to a medical illness, change in family situation, or other adverse or traumatic events. 
  • A partial hospitalization program, which serves children ages 12-18 who require intensive services throughout the day, but are able to stay home with their families safely without constant medical observation. This program is the only adolescent partial hospitalization service in the state west of the Hudson River. 

jakob quoteMichael A. Scharf, M.D., Chief of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, said he is excited to partner with his future neighbors in the Golisano Autism Center. Discussions have already begun on how the two groups — URMC and the Al Family of Agencies — can collaborate to better serve youth, families, and other community providers.

“Thanks to the generosity of Mr. Golisano, we anticipate this location will become the regional hub, both for providing comprehensive care and for educating families and other providers about how best to meet the needs of the children and families we serve,” said Scharf. 

Teenager Jakob O’May, who has struggled with depression, also shared his story at the announcement.

“I still remember saying to my dad that my dream when I get older is for someone to open a mental health facility in Rochester tending to the needs of teens,” said O’May. “I never would have thought this would have come true. Standing here today, this moment still seems so surreal.”

With the gift, Golisano — already the University of Rochester’s most generous living donor — has now given $41 million in support of the children’s hospital.