Tourette syndrome and tic disorders clinic renewed as Center of Excellence

By Anna Shavers

Under the leadership of Irene Malaty, M.D., FAAN, the Norman Fixel Institute for Neurological Diseases at UF Healthreceived renewal as a Tourette Association of America (TAA) Center of Excellence for an additional three years.

“We’re committed to providing the best care and education for our patients and their families, and to continuing research for new therapies for Tourette syndrome and tic disorders. We are grateful for the designation as a TAA Center of Excellence, and we plan to keep working hard as a team moving forward,” said Dr. Malaty, professor of neurology and director of the TAA Center of Excellence.

The clinic sees more than 11,000 patients annually for tics, Tourette syndrome (TS) and TS-related disorders (e.g., OCD, ADHD, Anxiety) and has been a TAA Center of Excellence for eight years.

“It’s exciting to be part of a specialized team of providers that cares deeply about giving the proper care and support that children and adults with Tourette syndrome and tic disorders and their families need,” said Heather Simpson, OTD, MOT, ORT/L, CBIT provider, occupational therapist and coordinator for the TAA Center of Excellence.

The care team at the Fixel Institute consists of fellowship-trained movement disorder neurologists, expert psychiatrists and psychologists and occupational therapists trained in Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT). The TAA Center of Excellence is one of three in Florida and one of 21 nationwide.

To be designated as a Center of Excellence by the Tourette Association of America, a clinic must provide expert care, undertake groundbreaking research, train current and future healthcare providers and participate in community outreach and advocacy for Tourette syndrome, tic disorders and related and co-occurring disorders.

The TAA Center of Excellence at UF Health includes the Tourette syndrome and tic disorder clinic at the Fixel Institute; the Center for OCD, Anxiety and Related Disorders (COARD), led by Carol Mathews, M.D., chair and professor of psychiatry; and the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD).

Read about the Tourette Association of America’s Center of Excellence criteria.