Dr. Bernard Maria Named Healthcare Professional of the Year

Dr. Bernard Maria accepts award from NJCTS Youth Advocate Peter Frantz Pendell.

NJ Center for Tourette Syndrome and Associated Disorders (NJCTS) has awarded the 2024 Health Professional of the Year to Dr. Bernard Maria, a pediatric neurologist and neuro-oncologist with Atlantic Health System.

The award was created for healthcare professionals in New Jersey who have had a positive influence on the Tourette Syndrome (TS) community through patient interactions, education outreach, or research efforts. The Frantz-Pendell family of Mendham nominated Dr. Maria.

“Dr. Maria has proven himself to be warm, compassionate and knowledgeable, and has expressed great empathy towards our family,” said Stephanie Pendell in her nomination. “His interest in and concern about Tourette was evident on our first visit, ten years ago, and our most recent one. I feel fortunate that we are under his care.”

Listed repeatedly among the Castle Connolly America’s Top Doctors and a recipient of distinguished service, leadership and clinical expertise awards, Dr. Maria has garnered local and national recognition. In 2018, he received the Child Neurology Society’s highest honor, the Hower Award, given annually to a single child neurologist for contributions to the field.

While trying to best explain Tourette Syndrome to families, Dr. Maria created the Tourette Train, an educational model he uses to discuss the scope of associated disorders throughout life. He took the idea to NJCTS founder Faith Rice, who worked with him to create the train illustration, a tool he now uses in his office and has gotten recognition across the globe.

The mission of NJCTS is to ensure children and adults with Tourette Syndrome and associated disorders are empowered and accepted through education, advocacy and research. Based in Somerville, NJCTS actively trains and provides resources to healthcare professionals throughout the state. They also provide families with referrals to healthcare providers who specialize in treating patients with TS.

To learn more about the NJCTS Medical Outreach program, visit www.njcts.org or call 908.575.7350.