Family's Gift Enables Rush to Reach More Patients With Autism and Their Families

Because of the expert care that their son received, Julie and Michael Tracy have made a gift to support autism research and care at Rush.

Louis Kraus
Louis Kraus, MD, meets with a patient in the AARTS Program and her mother. 

Diagnosed with autism at age 2, John Tracy was admitted to Rush University Medical Center in 2011 because of severe mood instability. Now 20, John has stabilized and is exploring educational and vocational possibilities in his neighborhood.

“He’s back,” said John’s mother, Julie Tracy. “He’s the sweetest kid you’ve ever met.” 

Out of gratitude for the care John received and the desire to make such treatments more widely available for the patients and families that need them, the Julie and Michael Tracy Family Foundation has made a significant gift in sup­port of Rush’s Autism Assessment, Research, Treatment and Services (AARTS) Program. “We are committed to materially support­ing the program over the years,” said Julie. 

The Tracys chose to support the AARTS Program because of the physicians’ expertise in managing autism spectrum disorder with medication, as well as the program’s com­mitment to furthering that capability with its clinical research program. “They’ll be developing that knowledge base with the research component,” Julie said. “One can’t exist without the other.” 

The AARTS Program also has received major support from the Boler Family Foundation. Such donor support is critical for the AARTS Program to deliver comprehensive services to the large number of children and young adults in the Chicago area with autism spectrum disorder. “It’s enabling us to make a huge difference in the lives of the individuals we serve,” said Louis Kraus, MD, head of the AARTS Program. 

“The Boler family’s generosity, sup­port and belief in what we’ve been doing is tremendous. The Tracy family also has been amazingly supportive, both emotionally and financially. I’m enormously grateful to them for giving us the means to help people like John Tracy and the many other young people with autism who can benefit from what we’re doing.” 

Written by Kevin McKeough, this story first appeared in Progress Notes, the newsletter for friends and advocates of the Rush University Medical Center Department of Psychiatry.

Related Links


Julie and Michael Tracy Family Foundation


All active news articles