Louisville, KY, April 16, 2011 --(PR.com
)-- The University of Louisville and Kosair Charities today dedicated the UofL Autism Center at Kosair Charities Centre in a partnership that brings under one roof an array of services to help people with autism and those who have regular interactions with them.
“For more than two years, our resources to provide care to children with autism, and provide other services to people who come into contact with these children on a regular basis, have been spread across a number of locations,” said Dr. James Ramsey, president of the University of Louisville. “Kosair Charities’ very generous charitable lease agreement allows us to unite them into a single location that is more convenient for our patients, their families and others.”
“Our entire purpose is to enable children to receive the highest quality health care possible,” said Jerry Ward, chairman of the board for Kosair Charities. “Partnering with the University of Louisville to enable professionals to treat children and work with people who have regular interaction with these children enables us to carry out our mission for the children in Louisville and beyond.”
Kosair Charities is donating the rent amount to UofL during the five-year lease. The agreement allows for two additional five-year terms to the lease, bringing the value of the agreement to more than $2 million. This brings the support from Kosair Charities to UofL to more than $27.5 million. Additionally, Kosair Charities has provided more than $1 million in operating funds for the center. Kosair Charities is UofL’s fourth leading private supporter.
“Through the years, we have been fortunate to have a partner like Kosair Charities so that our young, vulnerable population has what it needs to be successful,” Ramsey said. “There is no way we ever can express our gratitude to Kosair Charities.”
The Center has more than 12,650 gross square feet between the first floor and the basement.
For many years, UofL has provided clinical services to children in several locations through the UofL School of Medicine’s Bingham Clinic, the Weisskopf Child Evaluation Center and the STAR program, as well as training services to help people who have regular interaction with children with autism through the Kentucky Autism Training Center (KATC) through the UofL College of Education and Human Development.
“It is our goal that the single location will be much more convenient for the people who need the services of the autism center,” Ward said.
Once children are evaluated at the Weisskopf Center downtown, they receive their care via the STAR program, which is specifically for children with autism spectrum disorders (ASDs) and their families. It offers an array of programs such as behavior management, family counseling, speech and language therapy and more.
KATC’s mission is to strengthen our state's systems of support for persons affected by autism by bridging research to practice and by providing training and resources to families and professionals. KATC is committed to improving the quality of life for those affected by ASDs. KATC strives to “bridge the research to practice gap” by leveraging resources, building sustainable collaborative relationships, and “scaling-up” the use of evidence-based practices in all regions of Kentucky.
In addition to dedicating the Autism Center, Dr. Ramsey announced that the lobby will be named for Sandy Metts Snowden.
“Sandy Metts Snowden has never allowed us to falter or fail in our efforts to create the UofL Autism Center,” Ramsey said. “Her years of service creating awareness in our community is matched only by her fund-raising efforts that support the programs within the Autism Center. And indeed, some of those are personal funds. I cannot think of anyone else more deserving for this special recognition.”