Champions Of The Heart

Advocacy Champion of the Year Senator Nan Rich

Nan Rich

Our very first Advocacy Champion, Senator Nan Rich, has a distinguished and vibrant history as one of Florida’s leading advocates for children’s issues and for access to quality health care. From her days serving in the Florida House of Representatives starting in the year 2000, to her service in the Florida State Senate since 2004, and in her current role as the Senate’s Democratic Leader, Nan’s name has become synonymous with the fight for children’s rights and for meeting the needs of the medically underserved. We are grateful to Senator Rich, a leader whose passion and dedication has served to improve the lives of those touched by epilepsy.

Philanthropic Leadership Award The Esman Foundation


The Esman Foundation provides heartfelt, financial support in the fight against devastating diseases.

Theresa Esman created the Saul and Theresa Esman Foundation, Inc. (SATEF) after her husband, Saul, passed away after nearly 50 years of marriage. Mrs. Esman is dedicated to continue her husband’s legacy of helping people. During the recent economic crisis, insufficient funding jeopardized the epilepsy clinics and several facilities were scheduled to close. The closures would have resulted in a loss of vital services and devastated many Floridians living with epilepsy and their families. With the leadership of Murray Levin, SATEF’s Executive Director, EFOF was rescued with a $40,000 a year, multi year pledge and long-term promise to fund our programs in upcoming years from the SATEF. Thanks to the generosity and commitment of the SATEF, the clinics will serve people with epilepsy for the foreseeable future.

Volunteer Hero Award Lizzie and Burt Golumbic and Daniel Rosenfeld


Dedication and hard work best describes Dan Rosenfeld, a 26 year old Naples resident, and his parents, Burt and Lizzie Golumbic. Danny who has had epilepsy for 16 years chose to devote his time to help others with epilepsy and bring support services to the Naples area. Together with his parents and with the help of friends and supporters, the family organized the first “Walk the Talk for Epilepsy” in Naples in 2010. It was an enormous success and raised over $20,000. This past autumn they held their second walk and doubled both the attendance and funds raised. The family started the SWFL Educational Series & Support Group in Naples in 2011 where they help inform and educate the community. Danny is a trained HOPE Mentor, a member of the Foundation’s Project Access program and he volunteered at the epilepsy summer camp program at Camp Boggy Creek where surely he was an inspiration to our campers.

The Epilepsy Foundation of Florida is Proud to Inaugurate the Patricia M. Dean, ARNP Beacon Award

Pat Dean

The award is presented in recognition of an individual or entity that demonstrates diligent and tireless efforts to improve the lives of those living with epilepsy through exceptional and passionate care services.

No other individual than Pat Dean has had such a profound and all-encompassing impact on the thousands of Florida’s children living with epilepsy. From being involved in epilepsy research to running the Comprehensive Epilepsy Center of Miami Children’s Hospital, to yearly volunteering at a summer camp for children with epilepsy for over 20 years - a camp that she helped establish, to serving on the Board and as President at the Epilepsy Foundation of Florida and the national Epilepsy Foundation. Pat brings hope and daylight into the lives of so many contendingwith the impacts of epilepsy and she makes the world a compassionate and less confusing place for their parents. Many a mother who has met Pat Dean leaves with a feeling they have a new best friend and that life will be better thanks to Pat. She was recently awarded the J. Kiffin Penry Award for Excellence in Epilepsy Care by the American Epilepsy Society and those involved in the Florida epilepsy movement describe her as a “beacon of hope”. Pat Dean inspires us all to be true “care-givers”.