ArchCare Facility for Medically Fragile Children Receives Major Renovations, New Name


Cardinal Dolan recently cut the ribbon at the grand opening of ArchCare at Mother Cabrini Hospital—formerly known as the Specialty Hospital for Children—as the Manhattan facility has significantly expanded its footprint and brought transformative modernizations to maintain its reputation as a premier hospital for young residents.

It is New York state’s only facility for profoundly disabled children, according to ArchCare, the archdiocese’s health care system.

The hospital is located at ArchCare at Terence Cardinal Cooke Health Care Center, 1249 Fifth Ave. at 105th St. Cardinal Dolan celebrated the opening of ArchCare at Mother Cabrini Hospital with a special Mass and blessing Oct. 4. 

“The children in our care are the community members who need the most help, and God’s love has delivered magnanimously,” the cardinal said. “We are blessed and thankful that the marvelous transformation of ArchCare at Mother Cabrini Hospital allows us to be of service to a greater number of families who rely on the care provided at our facility.”

ArchCare at Mother Cabrini Hospital has undergone meaningful growth with the addition of 16 beds, bringing the number of available beds in the facility to 72. The complete reconstruction, totaling $23 million, expands the facility to 31,000 square feet over two floors. The facility will feature enhanced infection control with negative pressure rooms as well as upgraded ventilation; a new electronic medical records system (EMR) will allow for the wireless transfer of vital signs to residents’ records and technology-enabled beds that take certain vital signs and automatically upload them to the EMR.

Scott LaRue, ArchCare’s president and CEO, said ArchCare at Mother Cabrini Hospital will provide “unparalleled comprehensive care.”

 “This hospital is critically important to New York families who simply have no other choice because their children require complex, high-level care that cannot be managed in a home setting,” LaRue said. “There is no other facility like this throughout the entire state, and we are deeply grateful to have the opportunity to open a new, modernized, larger hospital, furthering our mission to help the most vulnerable in our communities.”

The creation of ArchCare at Mother Cabrini Hospital was made possible in part by support from the New York State Office for People With Developmental Disabilities and the Catholic Health Care Foundation as well as by a grant from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation.

LaRue told CNY it is a “tremendous investment” by the archdiocese.

It’s a reflection of the Church’s commitment “to always make sure we’re focused on those most in need,” he said.

The parents, LaRue said, “are so enthusiastic about the new hospital because now we’re matching the high quality care that their children have received with a brand new, modern facility that brings new technology to bear…”

ArchCare at Mother Cabrini Hospital is focused on providing comprehensive medical care to children and young adults with profound neurological impairments and other complex medical conditions. 

The hospital’s extended family of caregivers includes physicians, nurses, social workers, therapists and other professionals. 

Of the hospital’s namesake, LaRue said, “It’s timeless, the ministry that Mother Cabrini had and the people that she helped…It’s great to see her work continuing in her name and mission through the hospital.”

ArchCare’s original Specialty Hospital for Children was founded following the exposure of horrific conditions and abuse of children with disabilities at Willowbrook State School on Staten Island 50 years ago, according to ArchCare. The school closed in 1987.

New York state had turned to the archdiocese and to Cardinal Terence Cooke for help, according to LaRue. The archdiocese created a unique facility to provide a nurturing home for profoundly disabled and medically fragile children, some receiving palliative care.

“And in this building, known then as Flower and Fifth Avenue Hospital, the Church created a facility just for them, the Specialty Hospital for Children, where they would be welcomed to their loving and forever home,” LaRue said in remarks at the ribbon cutting and blessing.

“Today, 44 years later,” he continued, “we come together to dedicate the new and expanded ArchCare at Mother Cabrini Hospital, capable of caring for nearly a third more medically fragile infants, children and young adults with other profound disabilitites with the dignity, compassion, respect and medical and other expertise that they need and deserve.”