Touro University Nevada received a $3 million endowment gift from the State of Qatar to support and expand Touro’s Center for Autism & Developmental Disabilities (CADD) through 2027. The gift, known as the Qatar Patient Care Fund, is being facilitated by the Embassy of the State of Qatar in Washington, D.C.
According to a 2019 autism prevalence survey, the prevalence of autism among school-aged children in Qatar is 1.14 percent – or 1 in 88 children – which is 1.4 percent higher than the worldwide average. The staggering statistic has driven government officials in Qatar to increase focus on programs and funding that address the epidemic both in Qatar and globally.
“We are grateful to the State of Qatar for this extremely generous and significant gift that will support and expand our Center for Autism & Developmental Disabilities,” said Shelley Berkley, CEO and Senior Provost, Touro University Nevada. “We take great pride in the work we do at the Center and acknowledge the greatest reward is seeing first-hand the progress and improvement in our young clients after they work closely with our qualified therapists. This gift could not come at a better time as we continue to deal with the fall-out of COVID-19 that has created ripple effects for so many families across the valley, including families dealing with autism. This gift ensures our ability to continue to provide these critical services to children and families for years to come.”
“The State of Qatar is proud to take a leading role in working with partners in the United States to ensure that individuals with autism spectrum disorder can lead full and meaningful lives” said His Excellency Meshal bin Hamad Al-Thani, Qatar’s Ambassador to the U.S. “With the establishment of this endowment, we aim to help more people on the spectrum access the healthcare resources they need. We look forward to supporting Touro University’s mission to innovate new therapies and better serve children and families in Southern Nevada.”
With this gift, finances will not be a barrier to receiving therapy services at Touro. In 2019, Touro had more than 5,800 patient appointments. The funds from this gift will be available for distribution starting in June 2022. As therapy services get back to post-pandemic levels, Touro will hire more therapists and increase the number of families served.