Jul 25, 2021

American Epilepsy Society Awarded $1.5M Grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

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Press Release



CHICAGO, IL (July 26, 2021) - The American Epilepsy Society (AES) announced today that it has been awarded a five-year grant totaling $1.5 million from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for Disrupting Disparities: Documenting and Addressing Gaps in Epilepsy Care through Healthcare Provider Education and Training.  

The project aims to improve outcomes for underserved people with epilepsy (PWE) by: (a) improving the epilepsy clinical knowledge of the non-specialist epilepsy care workforce and (b) deepening understanding of social determinants of health and commitment to epilepsy self-management by the epilepsy specialist workforce.   

“As the only medical society in the United States focused solely on the study, prevention, treatment and cure of epilepsy, we are always eager to share our collective scientific and clinical knowledge about epilepsy with the entire spectrum of dedicated physicians, advanced practice providers, nurses, and community health workers who play a critical role in caring for people with epilepsy,” said Douglas A. Coulter, PhD, president of the American Epilepsy Society, and Professor of Pediatrics and Neuroscience at University of Pennsylvania and Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. “At the same time, we are committed to helping epilepsy specialists adopt proven strategies for addressing social determinants of health as part of their day-to-day practices.” 

AES will partner with the HOBSCOTCH Institute of the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Epilepsy Center to deliver education and evidence-based self-management resources both online and through in-person and virtual training events. “Improving clinical and community performance relating to epilepsy, self-management, and social determinants of health has been shown to be an important step in disrupting healthcare disparities that impact people with epilepsy,” noted Barbara C. Jobst, MD, FAES, chair of the AES Council on Education, and Chair of Neurology, Louis and Ruth Frank Professor of Neurosciences, Dartmouth-Hitchcock Health and  Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth. “This project promises to add an important dimension to the specialist and non-specialist education for which AES is so highly respected by elevating the focus on these important factors that impact health outcomes.” 

Disrupting Disparities: Documenting and Addressing Gaps in Epilepsy Care through Healthcare Provider Education and Training will be informed by an extensive needs assessment to identify the most significant areas of need for increased clinician education about epilepsy.  The initiative is one of five programs funded by the CDC under a competitive call for proposals for Improving Epilepsy Education, Systems of Care, and Health Outcomes through National and Community Partnerships.

“We are grateful to the CDC for making this important new expansion of work possible for AES,” said Eileen M. Murray, MM, CAE, Executive Director of AES. “Documenting clinician gaps in the understanding of epilepsy and piloting education that addresses them will have an impact on epilepsy care for years to come. We look forward to working with the Dartmouth-Hitchcock team and collaborating with the other CDC epilepsy-related grantees—including the Epilepsy Foundation (EF), Epilepsy Association of Western & Central PA, Epilepsy Foundation New England, and the National Association of School Nurses (NASN)—to make a lasting difference for people with epilepsy.”

The project will launch in September 2021. 


Davis Renzelmann
Public Communications Inc.

About the American Epilepsy Society

Founded in 1936, the American Epilepsy Society (AES) is a medical and scientific society whose members are dedicated to advancing research and education for preventing, treating and curing epilepsy. AES is an inclusive global forum where professionals from academia, private practice, not-for-profit, government and industry can learn, share and grow to eradicate epilepsy and its consequences.