Message from the Executive Director
Joseph R. Scardapane, Ph.D.
Welcome to the Web pages for Hofstra University's Joan and Arnold Saltzman Community Services Center, where community service, education, training and research are at the core of our mission. The Saltzman Center opened its doors in 1991 and has been largely credited for introducing a growing nationwide trend toward academic partnerships between community service and multidisciplinary education and research.
When visitors tour the Saltzman Center, they often will be delighted by the sight of happy children at play from our nationally accredited Diane Lindner-Goldberg Child Care Institute (CCI), which is not so much a daycare service as it is a center devoted to early childhood education for both Hofstra families and the community-at-large.
But what is truly unique about our CCI students is how they benefit not only from the care and attention they receive from their teachers but also from the other clinics housed at the Saltzman Center. These include:
- Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic
- Psychological Evaluation Research and Counseling Clinic (PERC)
- Reading/Writing Learning Clinic
- Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic
These clinics serve patients of every age, with a variety of needs, for a very nominal fee. No one in financial need is ever turned away from the Saltzman Center clinics.
Among the most important benefits of the Saltzman Center are those that impact the education of Hofstra students. The Saltzman Center exemplifies professional training. We teach Hofstra students the latest, empirically-supported, evidence-based treatments and pride ourselves on providing and following the latest scientific research in each field.
New Services and Programs at the Saltzman Center
One treatment at the Saltzman Center that has attracted a lot of attention is virtual reality therapy in our Phobia Clinic, housed within the PERC Clinic. Patients with phobias such as flying, heights and public speaking are able to work through their fears and deal with situations that are necessary for leading full and active lives. Though the study of virtual reality treatment is ongoing, initial feedback from patients, thus far, has been very positive.
The Saltzman Center has recently unveiled several other new programs – all of which have grown in popularity very quickly. The Speech-Language-Hearing Clinic has introduced the Toddler Language Development Program. Here, toddlers who have been identified as being somewhat delayed in their language development participate in weekly group enrichment sessions with other toddlers and their parents.
Another new and much needed program is the Diagnostic and Research Institute for Autism Spectrum Disorders, a division of the PERC Clinic. Unfortunately, with a growing number of autism diagnoses, the psychological and medical community has had to expand the definition of the spectrum. It is now more likely that people would fall under the diagnosis of autism and autism spectrum disorders. An accurate diagnosis is crucial, and this Institute is attempting to provide the most current diagnostic and treatment services.
Early intervention is important, but this program is not limited to early intervention. We work with children, adolescents and, at times, adults who need help with activities for daily living, communication and socialization.
The Community Literacy Connections Program, housed in the Reading/Writing Learning Clinic, provides support to emerging readers who would otherwise not be able to afford services beyond what is offered in the schools.
There is such an awareness today of knowing your life partner as well as you can before you get married. To that end, the Premarital Assessment and Counseling Program, operating out of the Marriage and Family Therapy Clinic is geared toward clients who want to learn how to create and maintain a healthy family environment from the start of their relationship.
One final program that is growing rapidly is the Institute for the Study and Treatment of Anger and Aggression which, like the Phobia Clinic, falls under the umbrella of the PERC Clinic. This Institute gets many referrals from the courts, from physicians and from other psychologists to treat patients who are suffering not only from anger but from the consequences of aggressive behavior.
The Saltzman Center also hosts breakfast lectures that are free and open to the public. These feature guest speakers who can address a topic of interest to the community that is also related to the work of the Saltzman Center.
I invite you to read about our many impressive services online, and - if you have questions about our offerings – to call us at (516) 463-6535 to make an appointment to discuss one or more of our clinics and institutes.