Written by Steve Mosco Friday, 27 September 2013 00:00
A new state-of-the-art facility, aimed at meeting the health care needs of Long Island’s growing autistic and developmentally disabled population, held its ribbon-cutting ceremony in Bethpage last week.
With officials, donors and honored guests on hand, Adults and Children with Learning and Developmental Disabilities, Inc. (ACLD), opened the new Charles Evans Health Services Center at 807 South Oyster Bay Rd., adjacent to the ACLD headquarters.
“The opening of The Charles Evans Health Services Center is a significant milestone for ACLD,” said Aaron Lebowitz, executive director of the facility. “This Center is the culmination of many years of planning, hard work and dedication by a team of visionaries, professionals and supporters.”
The new, 22,000-square-foot facility combines a modern outpatient medical facility on the first floor and an adult-services center on the second floor. Officials said the layout allows for smooth transitions between reception, exam rooms and treatment rooms, and features a larger waiting area to avoid congestion and enhance privacy. There are also four dental suites stocked with the latest digital X-ray equipment for better imaging, reduced patient exposure to radiation and a more environmentally friendly approach to care.
Named in honor of Charles Evans, founder of the fashion house Evan-Picone, as well as a film producer, commercial real-estate developer and supporter of many charitable and community causes, the $8.5 million represents one of ACLD’s largest capital expansions in its more than 50-year history.
Evans’s widow, Bonnie Pfeifer-Evans, said the grand opening of the facility is the culmination of a whirlwind of emotions she has felt since the construction’s ground-breaking ceremony in June 2011.
“I see my husband’s name on the building and I get the chills,” she said. “I’m just so touched with emotion and so proud to have his name on this building.”
Donors Scott and Alicia Kabak of Manhasset said they believe the new facility will increase the level of care for all who attend, including their daughter, Melissa.
“The look and design of this facility now reflects the quality of care patients will receive,” said Scott Kabak, whose name, along with his his wife’s, graces the Behavioral Health Pavilion. “We really felt the wonderful staff deserved to work in an environment equal to their great service.”
Executive director Lebowitz said the number of individuals with developmental disabilities utilizing multiple services has increased steadily in recent years on Long Island, with primary care and women’s health becoming the most critically needed areas of service.
The center will help ACLD meet this demand more effectively and more efficiently.
“Now, individuals with autism and developmental disabilities and have a dedicated state-of-the-art center manned by health care professionals who understand their special needs,” he said. “This center will improve the lives of thousands of individuals who are in desperate need of care. This is a time to celebrate, and thank everyone involved especially our donors who helped make this dream a reality.”