July 1, 2018


Summit Center Updates

Summit unveils $3.7M “Building Hope” capital campaign

The Golisano Foundation and M&T Bank, along with other major donors, were recognized for their contributions to The “Building Hope” Capital Campaign which has raised $1.3 million to date to help improve the lives of Western New York children and adults with autism. “M&T’s unrestricted funding has supported completion of Phase 1 of the campaign and allowed us to move ahead with Phase 2 which will create a new campus in Amherst focused on children with autism with significant behavioral challenges,” explained Stephen R. Anderson, Ph.D., BCBA-D, Chief Executive Officer of The Summit Center.

The Golisano Foundation’s gift supports Phase 2 of the campaign which features a Center for Autism Assessment and Treatment (CAAT) for children and youth with autism who demonstrate severe behavior disorders. The CAAT will be the first of its kind in Western New York and only the second in New York State. “In Western New York, children with intellectual/developmental disabilities with severe behavior disorders who are in crisis are often hospitalized or sent to out-of-state facilities for treatment,” Dr. Anderson explained. “Our Center for Autism Assessment and Treatment will provide a proven treatment model to conduct behavioral diagnostics, develop effective treatment plans, and train caregivers in recommended best practice.”

“We applaud The Summit Center’s commitment to serve children and youth with autism who exhibit severe behavior challenges,” said Ann Costello, Director of the Golisano Foundation. “We hope that through the new Center for Autism Assessment and Treatment, this specialized treatment option will prevent the need for long-term inpatient care and out-of-state placement.”

In addition to the CAAT, five new classrooms will be constructed to form the core of the new Amherst campus. The campus will be created by joining Summit’s 165 Creekside Drive property with an additional 15,000 square feet of adjacent space at 25 Woodridge Avenue via a connector between the two buildings. The new classrooms will serve children with autism from Summit Academy’s growing waitlist. Summit Academy currently serves 340 students ages 3-21. Summit Academy is a program of The Summit Center.

Funds from Phase 1 of the Building Hope Capital Campaign have already been used to remodel 14,500 sq. ft. of existing space at 75 Pineview Drive, Amherst, for new offices for The Summit Center’s Behavioral Pediatrics Clinic and Feeding Disorders Clinic which opened in April. A Conference Center and offices for The Summit Center’s Community & Adult divisions are also housed in the building.

“With the prevalence of autism now at one in 59 children and a growing waitlist for our services, it’s critical that we expand our physical space to address the growing need,” Dr. Anderson said. “We greatly appreciate the support of the Golisano Foundation and M&T Bank who share our vision to provide additional services and supports for WNY children with autism and their families.”