John Votto, D.O., F.C.C.P., chief executive officer, Center for Special Care; Brian Becker, Connecticut state representative; First lady Cathy Malloy; Governor Dannel P. Malloy; Dr. Paul Scalise, M.D., F.C.C.P., executive vice president, Hospital for Special Care; Patricia Aguayo, M.D., M.P.H., medical director of autism services, Hospital for Special Care; and Lynn Ricci, FACHE, president & CEO, Hospital for Special Care.

NEW BRITAIN, Conn. (Nov. 9, 2015) – On Wednesday Nov. 4, 2015, Governor Dannel P. Malloy cut the ribbon on Hospital for Special Care’s new in-patient unit for children with autism. The 8-bed unit was first proposed by Malloy in 2010 and is the first of its kind in Connecticut and only the 10th of its kind in the nation.

“This service will help ensure that children with ASD receive the clinical treatment and support services that they need and deserve,” Malloy said, noting that until now, children in need of these services had no choice but to travel out of state.

Malloy was joined at the ribbon cutting by his wife Cathy, House Majority Leader Joe Aresimowicz, Representative Brian Becker and HSC board members, leadership and staff.

Hospital for Special Care responded to an RFP issued by the state Department of Developmental Services over the summer. The hospital was awarded the RFP and a $500,000 development grant in September. The unit will serve children from ages 10 to 21, and it will create 38 new in-state jobs.

Expected to open in early December, the unit will be one of only 10 designated units in the country that provide inter-disciplinary treatment to meet the complex needs of children who need intensive treatment for aggression, self-injury, or severely impaired functioning which threatens their or others’ safety in the community.

“With access to the right services and resources, many children with ASD grow up to lead independent lives, succeed in fulfilling careers, establish rewarding relationships, and make strong impacts in their communities,” Malloy said. “The Hospital for Special Care's in-patient program will have a critical impact on the lives of many here in Connecticut. It should be celebrated.”

“The inpatient unit is the next step for HSC to continue to meet the specialized needs of this patient population in Connecticut. Driving out of state is an undue burden that disrupts family dynamics and can be financially challenging to many,” said, Lynn Ricci, president and CEO, Hospital for Special Care.

HSC has emerged as a leader in providing diagnostic, assessment and therapy services for children and adolescents in an outpatient setting at The Autism Center at Hospital for Special Care. As the first autism center in Connecticut, The National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) has recognized The Autism Center at Hospital for Special Care as the nation’s first Patient-centered Specialty Practice (PCSP).