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Maine Behavioral Healthcare Announces Opening of World Class Autism and Developmental Disorders Treatment Facility

October 14, 2021

Marc Glass

Front entrance of the Glickman Lauder Center of Excellence in Autism and Developmental DisordersSOUTH PORTLAND, MAINE – In a bold move to expand and elevate care for the more than 40,000 Maine children and adults with autism or other developmental disorders, Maine Behavioral Healthcare (MBH), part of the MaineHealth system of care, recently opened the new 28,000-square-foot Glickman Lauder Center of Excellence in Autism and Developmental Disorders in Portland, Maine. Construction of the nearly $15 million donor-funded facility began in spring 2020 and opened to patients in August 2021.

The Glickman Lauder Center of Excellence in Autism and Developmental Disorders provides comprehensive care and services to individuals with autism and developmental disorders at every stage of their lives. As an integrated care, research and training facility, the center offers coordinated services under one roof and has already attracted expert clinicians from across the country to join the care team.

A dedicated team of community volunteers led a successful capital campaign that raised more than $7.3 million, which was matched by MaineHealth, Maine Behavioral Healthcare’s parent organization, to fund the construction and outfitting of the building.

Honorary Campaign Co-Chairs Leonard Lauder and Judy Glickman Lauder
A transformative gift from honorary Campaign Co-Chairs Judy Glickman Lauder, a longstanding Maine philanthropist, and her husband Leonard A. Lauder, chairman emeritus of The Estee Lauder Companies, brought the capital campaign to a successful close. In honor of their generosity, the new facility bears their names.

Dr. Matthew Siegel, vice president of medical affairs at Maine Behavioral Healthcare, said the new facility has capacity to serve 600 to 700 patients at any given time. The center includes early intervention services for toddlers, preschool and K-12 services for school-age children, and an outpatient clinic for children through adults, a historically underserved population in Maine.


“We are focused on the need to help patients and families with the real problems they face, specifically emotional and behavioral challenges. These are the issues that have the greatest impact on the individual and family, and here they have access to the best care,” said Siegel, who recently was one of 22 specialists nationwide selected by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services to serve on the board overseeing the federal government’s work in support of people impacted by autism spectrum disorders. “Our program is a national leader because of our commitment to multidisciplinary treatment and studying the biological mechanisms associated with autism and developmental disorders.”

Designed by the architectural firm of E4H Environments for Health Architecture and built with the services of Portland-based Langford & Low Construction, the new facility’s finishes include natural materials and graphics to bring the outside in. Among the building’s features is a dedicated space to provide people with opportunities to master the skills for tolerating haircuts, receiving EKGs and having blood drawn -- all experiences that can be traumatic for people with autism and other developmental disorders. 

Given the shortage of care options in Maine and New England, the investment from MaineHealth and campaign donors will result in life-changing supports and services. Campaign co-chair Wendi O’Donovan, who is the parent of an adult with autism, said that with the Glickman Lauder Center of Excellence “our loved ones can live much fuller lives than we once thought possible.”

“Families with someone who has been diagnosed with autism know what it feels like to stare into the abyss -- to wonder what life will be like for their loved one,” O’Donovan said. “Those families are no longer alone, because there are now close to 100 specialized, experienced staff in one location, at the Glickman Lauder Center of Excellence, to guide and support their loved one, as well as the family.”

Young clients and staff learn together at the centerCampaign co-chair Nancy Pond said, “This stunning, thoughtfully designed building is now the destination for all who require our services, including children under five, who require early intervention, and adults of all ages. To all who supported our campaign to establish comprehensive care for autism and developmental disorders care in Maine, we are humbled by your generosity -- and by the duty and loyalty you have shown to your friends and neighbors.”

Maine Behavioral Healthcare President Kelly Barton said the center is more than a new building with state-of-the art spaces for expanded programs and services.

“It is about the future that families hope to see for their loved ones, where they can reach their greatest potential,” Barton said. “We are deeply grateful to the MaineHealth system for investing in this project so that we can ensure providing care to this underserved population is part of our ongoing efforts to create the healthiest communities in America. And to the campaign cabinet and the more than 400 donors whose gifts helped make the dream a reality, thank you for making the Glickman Lauder Center of Excellence a philanthropic priority. Your generosity will be truly transformative for our patients and their families.”

For more information about the new Glickman Lauder Center of Excellence in Autism and Developmental Disorders, please visit


About Maine Behavioral Healthcare
Maine Behavioral Healthcare is a leading provider of mental health services, with over 30 outpatient locations throughout southern, western and mid-coast Maine, as well as Spring Harbor Hospital, providing an integrated continuum of comprehensive, coordinated behavioral healthcare for Maine residents of all ages. Learn more at

About MaineHealth:
MaineHealth is a not-for-profit integrated health system consisting of nine local hospital systems, a comprehensive behavioral healthcare network, diagnostic services, home health agencies, and more than 1,700 employed and independent physicians working together through an Accountable Care Organization. With close to 22,000 employees, MaineHealth is the largest health system in northern New England and provides preventive care, diagnosis and treatment to 1.1 million residents in Maine and New Hampshire. It includes Franklin Memorial Hospital/Franklin Community Health Network in Farmington, LincolnHealth in Damariscotta and Boothbay Harbor, Maine Behavioral Healthcare in South Portland, MaineHealth Care at Home in Saco, Maine Medical Center in Portland, Memorial Hospital in North Conway, N.H., Mid Coast-Parkview Health in Brunswick, NorDx in Scarborough, Pen Bay Medical Center and Waldo County Hospital in Rockport and Belfast, Southern Maine Health Care in Biddeford and Sanford, Spring Harbor Hospital in Westbrook and Stephens Memorial Hospital/Western Maine Health Care in Norway. MaineHealth Affiliates include Maine General Health in Augusta and Waterville, New England Rehabilitation Hospital in Portland and St. Mary's Regional Medical Center in Lewiston. It is also a significant stakeholder in the MaineHealth Accountable Care Organization in Portland.

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