A Brief History of Amos Cottage

Amos Cottage has evolved and changed over the years as evident by our long history. Yet, our caring and commitment to children and families is stronger than ever. Here is a brief history of Amos Cottage from our beginnings as the Graylyn School for Exceptional Children in 1958 to our current mission and work at Amos Cottage.

The Amos Cottage Children’s Rehabilitation Hospital continues to meet the complex needs of children who have one of many chronic problems now classified as developmental disabilities. These disabilities may include cerebral palsy, epilepsy, psychosis of infancy and childhood, severe behavioral problems in developmentally disabled children, neuromuscular and neurologic disorders, orthopedic problems, nutritional disorders, and problems resulting from infection of the central nervous system. Children from birth to 21 years of age are served.

Amos Cottage began as the Graylyn School for Exceptional Children in 1958. In March of 1959, financial responsibility for the hospital was assumed by the Bowman Gray School of Medicine under the direction of Dr. Courtland Davis and a newly created Board of Trustees which consisted of thirty members from the Winston-Salem community and the state of North Carolina (The creation Amos Cottage Incorporated, the non-profit organization to oversee the building and grounds of Amos Cottage).

In August, 1960, Dr. Alanson Hinman was appointed Medical Director. The facility was renamed Amos Cottage and, in 1962, was licensed as a unit of North Carolina Baptist Hospital. In 1973, The Trustees made application to the Department of Health, Education, and Welfare for funds to construct a new building to house Amos Cottage. Land was provided by the Forsyth Hospital Authority and the Forsyth County Commissioners. Later, additional funds for construction were made possible by Dr. Anne Wolfe of Mental Retardation Services, Division of Mental Health, North Carolina Department of Human Resources, and by the generosity of several local foundations, corporations, citizens, and friends. In January, of 1974, it received an independent license as a rehabilitation hospital.

The original 22,000 square foot building, located at 3325 Silas Creek Parkway, was named in honor of Barbara Lassiter Hanes, who spearheaded the fundraising for the hospital. It opened in May of 1975 and was specially designed for maximum observation of patient rooms, yet allowed for privacy. Large play areas and special therapy areas were designed, as well as wooded outdoor areas for the children to explore.

At the end of 1993, a new 16,500 square foot addition was completed and approximately 14,000 square feet of the original hospital was completely renovated, increasing the total size of Amos Cottage to 38,500 square feet. The new addition and renovations were designed to provide a fresh, new appeal for the hospital and some much needed therapy space. The motif of the “Glass Castle” was developed to create an atmosphere that both parent and child could relate to and enjoy.

It is the continuing aim of Amos Cottage to provide quality care and treatment at the lowest possible cost. When Amos Cottage was an in-patient facility, the average stay for a child was 60-90 days. Financial support is through private health insurance, Children’s Special Health Services, Medicaid, and the United Way of Forsyth County.

In August of 2002, the in-patient hospitalization services at Amos Cottage were discontinued and after thoughtful consideration, the outpatient services were expanded and the Therapeutic Day Program thrived.

Amos Cottage Children’s Rehabilitation Hospital was unique in North Carolina, and indeed, in the Southeast. It was an approach to fill the great gap that existed in medical and hospital care for the developmentally disabled. As such, it has proved its immense worth, both to the medical profession and to the parents of hundreds of special needs children that participated in programs housed at Amos Cottage.

Amos Cottage and the Developmental Evaluation Clinic, which share the hospital building, are integral parts of the Department of Pediatrics at Wake Forest Baptist Health/Brenner Children’s Hospital. Thus, consultants are immediately available in all the clinical and basic science departments of the medical center plus the sophisticated laboratory and radiologic facilities.

Amos Cottage’s programs and services continued to evolve. The Developmental Evaluation Clinic was renamed and the changes included new avenues of service to children and families. The primary services include: The out-patient services provided by Dr. Kurt Klinepeter and other physicians in the Department of Pediatrics of Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center; the Therapeutic Day Program (TDP), and the Children’s Developmental Services Agency (CDSA) of Brenner Children’s Hospital, Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center. Additional programs and services housed at Amos Cottage include: Brenner FIT, Fetal Echocardiography Clinic, Neonatal Follow-Up Clinics, and Pediatric Specialties.

Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center has taken over the on-going maintenance and upkeep of the physical campus known as Amos Cottage causing Amos Cottage, Incorporated (The non-profit Board of Trustees and the former Amos Cottage Guild) to re-examine their role from maintenance and repairs to a more of an advocacy, volunteerism, and development focus.

Most importantly, Amos Cottage continues to serve children and their families and is a vital part in the holistic approach to help children in our region reach their fullest potential.

A special thank you to Board of Trustees member, Margaret P. Foster, for compiling much of our history.