New Clinic to Open for Special Children & Adults in Big Valley, PA

Dr. Holmes Morton, of the Clinic for Special Children located in Strasburg, PA is planning to open a new clinic in Pennsylvania’s second-largest Amish community, known as Big Valley.

three-color-buggiesThe modest Lancaster County medical center specializes in treating rare genetic diseases which disproportionately affect Amish and Mennonite communities. It garners wide support from the Plain community, seen financially in donations and auctions which help provide it funding.

The new clinic will be known as the Central Pennsylvania Clinic – A Medical Home For Special Children And Adults (update – this article previously described it as another branch of the Clinic for Special Children, which is not the case, though Dr. Morton is involved in both).

The Big Valley location will be more accessible for patients in Central and Western Pennsylvania. As Dr. Morton explained in 2014, this will not only make visits easier, but may help find new patients:

Morton said patients from central Pennsylvania – specifically Big Valley – are a significant percentage of the individuals served by the clinic. About 500 patients with 91 different disorders live within an hour and a half of this area.

“There are not only those children, but also a lot of undiagnosed cases in the community,” he said.

Dr. Morton already serves some patients at a small office, but the new clinic will have exam rooms and laboratory facilities. The new clinic is part of Morton’s plans over the next few years to establish clinics in other communities “throughout North America.”

There are other clinics in Amish areas which fulfill a similar mission, such as the DDC Clinic in Middlefield, Ohio, and the Community Health Clinic in Topeka, Indiana.

You can view a video about the Clinic and Dr. Morton below. As he notes in the video, “These children are seen as important to the culture and the community.”

Big Valley Clinic Auction

Reader Jerry recently attended an auction benefiting this new clinic in Big Valley, and shares some photos and comments below.

I’ve also included a list of this season’s Clinic for Special Children support auctions at the end. Of this season’s five auctions, there are still four which you can attend (3 in PA and 1 in Ohio).

Jerry writes:

Dr. Morton spoke at length about Special Needs Children and the new clinic to open in Belleville. He mentioned Vitamin D deficiency in Amish children and lead poisoning from hair braiding lead strands. I’ve never heard of that before.

This event was largely attended by Amish. All items were donated and nothing on consignment. Very friendly people and a good time out and about.

The quilts. Prices have rebounded and these all did well.








Air fresheners in a buggy! Really?


Listening to Dr. Morton.


The men (mostly beardless youth) were cooking the chicken.


Scooters only up here. The only bike I saw was the one I brought with me. That’s a shame because the terrain in the valley is bike friendly.


Clinic for Special Children Auction Schedule 2015

The Clinic website has this additional info: “all auctions begin with breakfast at 8:00AM and end when the last item is sold. Don’t forget your chicken BBQ!”

Union County – Saturday, June 6th
Buffalo Valley Produce Auction
22 Violet Road, Mifflinburg, PA 17844

Shippensburg – Saturday, June 27th
Shippensburg Auction Center
1120 Ritner Highway
Shippensburg, PA 17257

Shiloh, Ohio – Saturday, July 11th
Blooming Grove Produce Auction
1091 Free Road
Shiloh, OH 44878

Blair County – Saturday, September 12th
Morrison’s Cove Produce Auction
174 Windy Acres Lane
Roaring Spring, PA 16673

Lancaster County – Saturday, September 19th
Leola Produce Auction
135 Brethren Church Road
Leola, PA 17540

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    1. Robin Miller

      Clinic For Special Children

      Near and dear to my heart … my daughter and granddaughter (her daughter) were both born with Pierre Robin Syndrome (cleft palate) and my grandson is on the Autism spectrum. I would love to attend one of these auctions to benefit such a worthy cause. Bless these special children!!

      1. randy

        Special needs children

        Many other cultures have accepted “special needs” children as a true “Godsend.” 1 of our 3 children “has” Aspergers and schizophrenia, as well as being a “slow learner.” Some folks have actually thought he’s “demonized,” among other really negative labels. We are so grateful for being Bible believers. Where we go to “church” is such an encouraging place. There may be a few who are sorta “stand offish,” mainly because they aren’t sure how to relate to or with him, but the vast majority try to be encouraging. If folks could only make/take the time to communicate with him, they would find out how much of a gift from God he truly is. May God continue to grant these folks the strength and patience to endure.

    2. Amish girl - Rebecca

      Truly a gift !

      God’s special children are truly a gift and I enjoy every moment I spend with them. And I also thank all parents of special children who share their children with the rest of us. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Many times we just don’t know how to help or respond and we’re afraid of hurting or offending the parents. And to everyone else out there, if you have the chance- get to know a special child. You will truly be blessed. Last, but not least God bless all parents of his “special Angels” !

    3. ShipshewanaIndiana

      Thanks for sharing!

      Wonderful article and wonderful pictures to complement! Thanks for sharing. I know dr. Morton’s brother has spent years laying the groundwork for this clinic, so nice to see it advancing!

      1. Linda

        Central Pennsylvania Clinic

        Hi Shipshewana, thought of you when I saw this:

    4. Rick

      Mifflinburg auction

      I attended the Mifflinburg auction last week – my first time for that one. It is perhaps 1/3 the size of the main auction in Leola, which made it much easier to get back and forth between the auction and the food. I would put the attendance at about 80% Mennonite and 20% Amish, though of course there were some English folks there as well. Drs. Morton, Strauss, and Williams made their usual inspiring speeches, which are always well-received. I am always amazed at how quiet it gets when they are ready to talk. The scenery around Mifflinburg and nearby Penn’s Valley is very similar to the rolling hills and valleys of Lancaster or Holmes counties.

      1. Jerry

        Hello Rick, I was at Mifflinburg as well. I have never attended a Lancaster County auction and try to stay on this side of the River. OK, Gratz and Lebanon are my exceptions. Mifflinburg had such a variety of plain folks. I noticed three different groups of Amish and five or six sects of Mennonite. I noticed the Mennonite men cooked the chicked and Amish men made the ice cream. Have yo ever been to the Beaver Run sale in Danville? I’m wondering haow it compares in size to the Lancaster County events.

    5. Linda

      Clinics for Special Children

      Thank you for this post, Erik!
      Eleven more photos from the Union County auction can be seen at:

      Another clinic in the “family,” in collaboration with the Clinic for Special Children, is New Leaf Center in Mt. Eaton, Ohio, in the Wayne/Holmes County area, which opened in January 2013.
      New Leaf Center
      PO Box 336
      15988B East Chestnut St.
      Mt. Eaton, OH 44659
      Phone: 330-359-9888
      Fax: 330-359-9890 (article and pictures)

      The Indiana Community Health Clinic had their 3rd annual benefit fundraiser auction on May 8, 2015. In the fall, they have a Dutch Dinner fundraiser.

      The Clinic for Special Children is co-hosting the 3rd annual “Translational Medicine in Plain Populations” conference, July 9-10, 2015, in Lancaster, PA. Registration deadline: Tuesday, June 30th.
      The aim is to bring together clinicians, scientists, administrators, and other interested parties to discuss health and science topics related to the Plain populations of North America.

      Is the Wisconsin clinic in the planning stage, or already going, or expanding? “La Farge clinic tailored to revolutionize, economize treatments for Amish”
      (Center for Special Children – A presentation by Dr. James DeLine of the La Farge Medical Clinic-VMH. May 4, 2015, Wisconsin. 1:03:36. They plan to have a family medical clinic, not just for children with special needs.)
      (Windows of Hope project, understanding inherited conditions.

      1. Amish girl- Rebecca

        I’m so glad to see people in different states/communities starting these clinics to help “special” children. Here in Holmes we have a program set up where single ladies volunteer to take care of special children on week-ends. This is a good break for the parents and it’s a blessing to the caregivers as we get to know these girls and their parents. We usually have 2 or 3 caregivers and up to 5 or 6 children each Sunday and it’s also available for them Fri. eve and Saturday.
        There would be a great need for more of these places, so hopefully in the future more can be set up. And perhaps others could set up similar programs in other communities. You will be blessed for helping these “special” children.

      2. And thanks for the nice addition Linda. You always seem to have your finger on the pulse of what’s going on out there 🙂

    6. Rick

      to Jerry

      No, I haven’t been to the Beaver Run sale. I live in Virginia, so I only make it to a few auctions in PA each year. It becomes difficult to decide which ones on occasion since they have a tendency to be on the same Saturday of the month each year. I usually opt for the New Wilmington PA auction but wanted to see the Mifflinburg one for something different – can’t say which of those 2 I’d pick for next year.

    7. Linda

      Center for Special Children Auction in Wisconsin

      First Annual Public Benefit Auction and Bake Sale to support the CENTER FOR SPECIAL CHILDREN, A place for families with genetic and metabolic conditions, a program in LaFarge, Wisconsin.

      Saturday, July 25, 2015, 9:30 a.m.
      at the Central Wisconsin Produce Auction, Withee, Wisconsin
      Breakfast starts at 8:00!

      Amish and Mennonite families are organizing this auction to assist. Money raised at this benefit auction will go to a restricted fund in the Vernon Memorial Healthcare Foundation.