- October 1999
The New Jersey
Association...working to improve the lives of patients
It is amazing what people can do when they work together--especially when those people
fatigue syndrome (CFS). They understand that by combining their strength, goals can be met, disabilities
can be surmounted and a difference can be made in the lives of CFIDS patients. An outstanding example
of this philosophy is the New Jersey CFS Association (NJCFSA).
When leaders of NJCFSA incorporated
their association, they realized that to best serve their membership they had to become a true state organization,
not just a network of local support groups. Projects undertaken were chosen because they would help the
mainstream medical community as well as the general public understand CFS. Two recent projects are the
signing into law of New Jersey CFS Bill A-507 and the first annual scholarship award.
Monumental bill passes
On April 16, 1999, New Jersey CFS Bill A-507 was signed
into law by
Governor Christine Todd Whitman. This legislation directs the state's Department of Health and Senior
Services to establish medical education and public awareness programs on CFS. It also appropriates $95,000
for the Department to create a physician's manual on the diagnosis, treatment and management of CFS patients.
This manual will be made available to health care providers throughout the state and will be developed
in consultation with NJCFSA, the Academy of Medicine of New Jersey and the University of Medicine and
Dentistry of New Jersey, where federally funded CFS research is conducted.
Because NJCFSA is committed to increasing public awareness
of the educational
difficulties of young persons with CFS, they have sponsored a $1,000 youth scholarship. This annual scholarship
is offered to a New Jersey high school senior who has been diagnosed with CFS and has applied, been accepted
and enrolled, either full time or part time, in a college, university or accredited technical school.
The first award was made to Joseph A. Amoroso in June.
What makes this scholarship different is
that less emphasis is placed upon grade point average and academic achievements. Knowing the cognitive
difficulties associated with CFS, applicants were judged by their other merits, the sincerity of their
essay and financial need.
These are just two of the many accomplishments of NJCFSA. This state
organization is an exceptional role model, as they are truly dedicated to making a difference in the lives
of their members.
NJCFSA can be contacted by writing to Ted Nilson, President, PO Box
841, Chatham, NJ 07928 or by calling 973/635-4361.
Kris Hopkins is Support Network Services Director for The CFIDS Association of America.
in her ninth year of service to the Association.