NJ Center for Tourette Syndrome Executive Director is finalist for 2010 Russ Berrie Award for Making A Difference
June 9, 2010- Faith Rice of Califon is a 2010 Russ Berrie Award for Making A Difference Finalist for her work on behalf of the Tourette Syndrome community. It’s an honor two decades in the making. After years of struggling to get an accurate diagnosis for her son, the retired IBM executive set her mind on creating an organization to provide a road-map of services and referrals for children and families facing a Tourette Syndrome diagnosis.
As many as 1 in 100 individuals are affected by this neurological disorder which manifests as involuntary motor or vocal movements known as tics. TS is often accompanied by other issues including ADHD, OCD, learning disabilities, depression, anxiety and rage. “Back when my son was younger, doctor after doctor couldn’t tells us what was going on,” said Rice, “ It’s not that Tourette Syndrome is rare, it was that the majority of doctors were unfamiliar with how to recognize, diagnose and treat it. I realized that they were in the dark almost as much as the families seeking diagnosis.”
In 2000, Faith started the NJ Center for Tourette Syndrome as an offshoot of the Tourette Syndrome Association of New Jersey which she led since 1994. With a grant from the New Jersey Department of Health, NJCTS is a collaboration among Rutgers University, hospital and health care professionals throughout the state. Programs include the world’s first TS DNA Sharing Repository, a TS Clinic providing mental health treatment to children and families, referrals for diagnosis and treatment, in-service training for educators, workshops and grand rounds presentations for medical professionals, a practicum for doctoral students, family retreat weekends, a helpline and support groups for TS families throughout the state. NJCTS has emerged as the nation’s first Center of Excellence for Tourette Syndrome and is making significant contributions to Tourette Syndrome research worldwide.
The Russ Berrie Foundation honored Faith Rice as a finalist for the Russ Berrie Award for Making a Difference. In all, 11 finalists were selected by a committee comprised of eminent New Jersey business leaders and professionals. Established in 1997 by the late Russell Berrie and administered by Ramapo College of New Jersey, the Russ Berrie Award for Making a Difference honors Garden State residents for their unselfish dedication to serving others within the state.
Angelica Berrie, president of the Russell Berrie Foundation told those in attendance, “The award recognizes the power of making a difference. Every nominee embodies a sense of purpose that spurs them to action.”
The keynote speaker was Governor Thomas H. Kean, the former president of Drew University in Madison, NJ.
For more information about Faith Rice and the NJ Center for Tourette Syndrome please visit www.njcts.org.