Cerebral Palsy Association of the North Country has approximately 610 employees offering programs and services in 3 different counties. We also operate the Community Health Center of the North Country, which provides primary care and preventive care services to all members of the communities in which we serve. You do not need a developmental disability to use our top notch primary care facilities. Today, our non-profit organization is one of the largest employers in the North Country region, but it wasn’t always this way.
Cerebral Palsy Association of the North Country started as a division under Cerebral Palsy Associations of New York State in 1975. It was initially a single room office at the Canton-Potsdam Hospital, where case management-type services were offered by a Home Service Director. Over the next 40+ years, Cerebral Palsy Association of the North Country experienced an expansion of services and staff that had the agency moving and relocating a number of times.
A few years after the North Country Division opened, Home Service Director positions were established in Clinton/Essex, Franklin, and Jefferson Counties. Within this same time frame, Orthopedic and Pediatric clinic services, administered by volunteer physicians, were initiated to prevent parents from having to drive to Watertown, Syracuse or Burlington for diagnostic evaluations and follow-ups.
In 1985 the office moved from the Canton-Potsdam Hospital to the E.J. Noble building in Canton, where there were approximately 6 employees. Two years later, the office relocated to the current location at 4 Commerce Lane in Canton, with approximately 21 employees. Shortly after this second move, the agency met the criteria to become certified by the New York State Department of Health as an Article 28 Diagnostic and Treatment Center. It operated as an Extension Clinic under CPA of NYS, and part-time clinics were set up in Franklin and Clinton counties.
In the 1990's, Cerebral palsy Association of the North Country started administering a number of new services, many of which provided individuals with disabilities more opportunities for residential support. During this time, the agency developed supportive community residences and started its first supervised Individualized Residential Alternatives (IRAs). Cerebral Palsy Association of the North Country also started providing Respite and Community & Day Habilitation services after OPWDD was granted a waiver from the federal government to participate in Home and Community Based Waiver Services. In the latter part of the decade, our agency received a grant from the Developmental Disabilities Planning Council to provide the Consumer Directed Personal Assistant Program. In 1995, because of this drastic increase of services, the agency had to move all administrative & program staff, except clinic, from the 4 Commerce Lane building to 101 Main Street.
In 2002, Cerebral Palsy Association of the North Country became its own entity under a local Board of Directors. Two years after this, the agency added an additional 18,000 square feet to the 4 Commerce Lane building to bring its staff back together. As the organization continued to grow, it eventually outgrew the additional space and purchased a building at 3 Commerce Lane to house staff providing OPWDD services.
Though things have settled down in the past few years, Cerebral Palsy Association of the North Country is ever changing and always evolving to provide its community members with the best services possible.