1950: Families Found Upstate Cerebral Palsy To Address Unmet Needs of Their Loved Ones
Over a half-century ago, parents and grandparents from the Utica area were desperate to find a way to help children with Cerebral Palsy. The outlook for children with a developmental disability at that time was bleak since there were no programs or services to meet their needs. Through these families’ hope for a brighter future for their children, the agency was formed.
The idea for Upstate Cerebral Palsy of Utica began in April of 1949 when three local community leaders Eiddon L. Jones, Maurice Sheehan and Harry Gosling met at Hotel Utica to discuss the need for an organization dedicated to children with cerebral palsy. Each founding member was truly dedicated to this cause as each had a child or grandchild with cerebral palsy and was desperate to find hope at a time when none was offered to them. They followed in the steps of parents across the country to form an organization that would change lives… and in fact it would evolve to change the lives of thousands of people over the years.
In September of 1950, the first clinic officially opened its doors in Kernan School. At that time, there were five staff members who provided a combination of therapeutic and educational services to seven children. In the 1970’s the services continued to grow and in 1974 the New York State Department of Health licensed Upstate Cerebral Palsy as a diagnostic and treatment center.