Local Office Spotlight: Epilepsy Foundation of East Tennessee

Local Office Spotlight

Epilepsy News From:

Monday, October 29, 2018

This month, the Epilepsy Foundation shines a spotlight on the Epilepsy Foundation of East Tennessee (EFET). This local Foundation provides a variety of programs and services, including emergency medical assistance and public education about epilepsy. Recently, EFET collaborated with the Epilepsy Foundation at the national conference of the Tennessee Academy of Physician Assistants (TAPA).

Collaborating with NEEAC to Reach Front Line Providers

Pam Hughes and Patty Shafer at the Tennessee Academy of Physician Assistants

A crucial part of the Epilepsy Foundation’s National Epilepsy Education and Awareness Collaborative (NEEAC) is to improve the ability of healthcare professionals in the community to provide quality care to people with epilepsy. One aspect of this work is to provide epilepsy education to physician assistants (PAs) at the national and local level and connect local PA organizations with local Epilepsy Foundations. 

In October, Pam Hughes, executive director of EFET, joined Patty Shafer, senior director of health & information services at the Epilepsy Foundation, at the national conference of TAPA Fall Fest 2018 in Gatlinburg, Tennessee.

  • More than 400 PAs attended this conference.
  • Pam provided education and local resources to PAs in Tennessee and surrounding states. Patty was a featured speaker addressing epilepsy and other co-existing disorders.
  • The hope is that by combining efforts, these activities will strengthen connections between front line providers and local Epilepsy Foundations and improve care for people with epilepsy and other conditions, especially emotional health problems.
It was exciting to see so many in the medical profession interested in epilepsy and having a session specifically focused on it. I was honored to attend and be a part of it, said Pam.

A special thank you to Pam’s husband, David, who volunteered at the TAPA conference.

Meeting a Variety of Needs for the Epilepsy Community

In the last year, the Epilepsy Foundation of East Tennessee:

  • Provided emergency assistance to individuals diagnosed with epilepsy who do not have access to insurance for: medication, neurology visits, and diagnostic tests such as MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) or EEG (electroencephalography) tests, and dental care related to seizures.
  • Assisted with enrollment in pharmaceutical programs and emergency help with seizure medication. EFET has a 99% success rate in helping their clients successfully enroll in one of these programs to receive long-term assistance with medication.
  • Trained nearly 4,000 individuals in seizure first aid.
  • Supplied and fit over 1,000 helmets for free for children ages 3-18 to reduce head injury. EFET specifically targets schools with a high percentage of children on the free and reduced lunch program.
  • Provided community referral services to assist individuals in locating additional resources, including assistance with legal, medical, vocational, transportation, housing, and insurance issues that are not provided by EFET.
  • Gave camp scholarships to children with epilepsy.
  • Promoted the Human Epilepsy Project: Resistant Focal Seizures Study.

EFET recently received grants from two United Way partners to start a critically needed transportation program. This new program will provide transportation to work, medical visits, the grocery store, and other needed errands for individuals with seizures who cannot drive.

Leadership in East Tennsee

  • Pam Hughes, Executive Director
  • Paula Ellis, Education/Awareness Coordinator
  • Sarah Ammons, Client Services Coordinator
  • Selena Lonas, Children & Support Services Coordinator

Thank you, Epilepsy Foundation of East Tennessee, for your leadership at the Tennessee Academy of Physician Assistants and for all the services and programs you provide in your region.

Our Mission

The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.

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