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H H S Department of Health and Human Services
Health Resources and Services Administration
Maternal and Child Health

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Epilepsy

November is National Epilepsy Awareness Month. Join the Epilepsy Foundation's Now I Know campaign contest to create a video go to exit disclaimer that educates the public about epilepsy.

Nearly 3 million Americans have diagnosed epilepsy, about 300,000 of them are 18 or younger. Every year, approximately 50,000 new cases are diagnosed in children and adolescents under the age of 18.

Epilepsy is a central nervous system disorder characterized by unprovoked, recurrent seizures. Although it often can be treated successfully with medications, surgery and diet, epilepsy can be a life-altering condition.

Improving Care to Children & Youth with Epilepsy

The Epilepsy Grant Program integrates public health, epilepsy affiliates and providers to develop more seamless services across primary and specialty care, educational services and other community resources. 

Project Access grants to states and local governments support demonstration projects to improve access to seizure-related health and other services and encourage early detection and treatment in children and others residing in medically underserved areas. The projects

  • Assure the involvement of all relevant persons in the system of care (families, providers, community members etc.);
  • Implement family-centered, culturally competent medical home components; and
  • Improve clinical practices.  
Three phases have been funded. There are currently seven grantees:
Cleveland Clinic go to exit disclaimer                           
Tatiana Falcone, MD, project director
216-444-7459
 
Epilepsy Foundation go to exit disclaimer     
Mimi E. Browne, MPH, project director
301.918.3718
 
Epilepsy Foundation of Florida go to exit disclaimer
Judy Clauser, director of special projects
305-670-4949
    
Epilepsy Foundation of Western & Central Pennsylvania go to exit disclaimer
Peggy Beem-Jelley, project director
412-322-5880
Michigan Department of Community Health go to exit disclaimer
CSHCS Division

320 S. Walnut Street
Lansing, MI 48913
Linda Fletcher, project coordinator
517-241-5071
Munroe-Meyer Institute University of Nebraska Medical Center go to exit disclaimer
Dr. Linda Cook, project coordinator
402-559-5007

 
New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services, Special Medical Services go to exit disclaimer
Elizabeth Collins, CSHCN director
603-271-8181
  

Project Access national resource center cooperative agreement supports

  • technical assistance to grantees;
  • public awareness;
  • program evaluation; and
  • ongoing continuous quality improvement activities, such as learning collaboratives.

The Epilepsy Foundation go to exit disclaimer is the current grantee.

Both funding opportunities will help to address recommendations from the Institute Of Medicine report, Epilepsy Across the Spectrum: Promoting Health and Understanding go to exit disclaimer, focusing on the following:

  • Develop and evaluate prevention efforts for epilepsy and its consequences (Recommendation 3)
  • Improve the early identification of epilepsy and its co-morbid health conditions (Recommendation 4)
  • Develop and implement a national quality measurement and improvement strategy for epilepsy care (Recommendation 5); and
  • Improve the delivery and coordination of community services (Recommendation 8 )

These activities will also contribute to potential areas of collaboration for HRSA as a participant in an ongoing HHS-wide Epilepsies Workgroup that focuses on follow-up activities to address the IOM study.

A clinician with a mother and infant patient

Project Access Resources

Case Studies from Project Access Phase II Grantees

Community Engagement and Partnerships to Improve Access to Medical Homes exit disclaimer icon (PDF - 144 KB)

Cultural Brokers Help Families and Providers Bridge the Cultural Divide exit disclaimer icon (PDF - 140 KB)

Toolkits 

Project Access Toolkits exit disclaimer icon are sets of information, collected together by category, to facilitate the ease of understanding how to successfully interact with various aspects and elements of epilepsy and those affected by epilepsy. Titles include Epilepsy and My Child and Manual de la Epilepsia y Mi Hijo - The Newly Diagnosed Parent.

e-Newsletters

Sign up for Project Access and/or Project Access: Epilepsy and My Child exit disclaimer icon quarterly newsletters and view archived copies