Center for Developmental Services highlighted in the New England Journal of Medicine

March 1, 2023

The Center for Developmental Services (CDS) was highlighted in the New England Journal of Medicine as a successful example of how to best serve individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

CDS was created so families of children with IDD have access to a variety of services in one location and to better coordinate care. The unique partnerships and collaborative approach at CDS provide more comprehensive and effective care for children with IDD, which ultimately makes life easier for their families.

The Center for Developmental Services is honored to be highlighted in such a renowned international medical journal and to be part of the message that coordinated care is the best approach to health care for patients with IDD.

Jonathan Gleason, MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer of Prisma Health in Greenville, South Carolina, wrote the paper “Health Care Falls Short for Patients with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities” published in the January volume of the New England Journal of Medicine Catalyst | Innovations in Care Delivery, a journal read by medical professionals around the world.

The report includes several important findings, including that “patients with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) face a myriad of health challenges, including poor outcomes, insufficient services, and a fragmented health care system that often lacks an understanding of their unique needs.” CDS’ innovative model of collaborative and coordinated care helps to address these challenges.

Desmond Kelly, MD, a practicing pediatrician and Chief Medical Research Officer at Prisma Health, contributed to the article, saying that “many families and guardians of patients with IDD look to community-based partnerships for help.”

Dr. Kelly has been an integral part of the leadership at CDS as the Medical Director of the Wonder Center, the only day care in the Upstate for children with medically complex needs. The NEJM article included his perspective in this excerpt:

Kelly mentions that the partnership between Prisma Health Children’s Hospital and the Center for Developmental Services (CDS) is a successful example of how these collaborations can work. CDS has five co-located agencies that provide multidisciplinary services for children with IDD (clinical services, education, outreach, legal aid, case management, and day care), while Prisma provides developmental pediatrics, pediatric developmental therapies (speech, physical therapy, occupational therapy), orthotics, and day care for children through age six.

“It’s tough for any patient to receive care in different settings and work with multiple providers, and that’s just exponentially multiplied in patients with IDD,” said Kelly. “Plus, a key benefit of using a shared facility is that families spend less time travelling to multiple treatment locations and find it easier to maintain their employment and other facets of daily life.”

At CDS, prosthetists and orthotists can work directly with physical therapists to ensure a child’s prosthetics and orthotics fit and function correctly. Families can bring several children to receive services all in one afternoon. Therapists can refer families to other providers in the building to ensure patients receive the most appropriate care for their needs. Medically complex children who attend the Prisma Health Children’s Hospital Wonder Center Day Care can receive therapy services during the day while their parents are at work, giving families more time to just be families.

These are just a few examples of how the multidisciplinary approach at CDS supports individuals with IDD and their families. CDS and our partners serve our community with the highest quality coordinated care, and we look forward to continuing to serve children and individuals with developmental delays and disabilities and their families.


About CDS

CDS is the largest multidisciplinary treatment facility in the Upstate for children with disabilities and developmental delays. In one location, children receive services in therapy, diagnosis, psychology, audiology, day care needs for the medically complex, early intervention, case management, and a family support network. The partnership is comprised of the Center for Developmental Services; Clarity; KidVentures of Thrive Upstate; and four programs of Prisma Health – Upstate: Developmental-Behavioral Pediatrics/Pediatric Psychology, Kidnetics, The Wonder Center, and Prosthetics and Orthotics. CDS and its partners serve over 8,000 children and their families each year on property donated by the First Presbyterian Church at 29 North Academy Street in Greenville, SC. For more information about CDS and its partners, visit