The National Epilepsy Education and Awareness Collaborative (NEEAC)
What is the NEEAC?
The NEEAC, or National Epilepsy Education and Awareness Collaborative Community of Practice (COP), is a five-year initiative designed to advance the recommendations of the Institute of Medicines 2012 report on epilepsy to promote health and understanding of the epilepsies. Central to this vision was engaging the epilepsy community and working together towards common goals through a community of practice.
The mission of the NEEAC is to increase public and professional understanding of epilepsy by:
- Mobilizing community partnerships
- Improving care coordination
- Enhancing delivery of community resources and support
What is a community of practice?
A community of practice is a group of people with common concerns, goals, or passion. They come together to work towards their shared concerns and learn how to do it better as a group.
For the NEEAC, members of the communities of practice include people from the Epilepsy Foundation network and partner organizations representing health care professions, advocates, educators, public health experts, people with epilepsy, and family members.
What will the NEEAC achieve?
The goal of the NEEAC is to improve outcomes in people living with epilepsy and their families in a number of areas such as:
- Enhancing epilepsy education and awareness among many groups
- Ensuring a competent workforce, including health care providers, teachers, direct care providers, caregivers, law enforcement, employers
- Expanding community partnerships for delivery and coordination of care
- Informing, educating and empowering people with epilepsy
- Working towards changing or transforming systems of care for people with epilepsy and their families
The Epilepsy Chronic Care Model and the NEEAC
Multiple people and agencies are involved in the care and lives of people with epilepsy:
- People get care in hospitals, doctors offices, and other health care settings.
- People also get help right in their community through school settings, job programs, recreational and social programs, disability services, and more.
- Local offices of the Epilepsy Foundation also serve many families living with seizures and epilepsy. They often give help and support that is not available in health care settings. They can also provide epilepsy education and support to health care providers and other caregivers.
The Epilepsy Chronic Care Model is a way to organize and integrate epilepsy care and services in both health care systems and communities. Key to this approach is:
- Focusing efforts and systems on the "patient" using person-centered health care
- Supporting families in the community with educational, recreational, vocational, and disability needs
- Ensuring access to self-management support for the person with epilepsy and their family across settings
- Encouraging care teams that include
- Informed and engaged people with epilepsy and families
- Prepared and proactive health care teams
- Supportive and integrated community services
Who is involved in the NEEAC?
- American Academy of Neurology
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- American Academy of Physician Assistants
- American Association of Neuroscience Nurses
- American Epilepsy Society
- CBS Cares - Community Partnerships
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
- Managing Epilepsy Well Network
- National Association of Epilepsy Centers
- National Association of County Behavioral Health & Developmental Disability DIrectors
- National Association of Council on Developmental Disabilities
- National Medical Association
- Public Health Management Corporation
- Veterans Affairs - Epilepsy Centers of Excellence
To learn more about the NEEAC, send an email to CDCprograms@efa.org
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