Epilepsy Foundation of Florida Receives $10,000 Grant To Provide Veterans With New Outreach Program In South Florida

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

EPILEPSY FOUNDATION OF FLORIDA RECEIVES $10,000 GRANT

TO PROVIDE VETERANS WITH NEW OUTREACH PROGRAM IN SOUTH FLORIDA

Vets At Risk of Neurological Condition Due to Brain Injuries Suffered While Serving Nation

MIAMI – The Epilepsy Foundation of Florida (EFOF), which serves as the lead advocate for the rights and needs of people with epilepsy in Florida, has been awarded a $10,000 grant to offer a new outreach program for United States military veterans and their families.
Funded by the national Epilepsy Foundation, and administered by the EFOF’s Miami office, the “Veteran Outreach Project” will target thousands of veterans in Florida who are at increased risk of the neurological disorder due to possible Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) suffered while serving in action.
Head and brain injuries are linked to the onset of epilepsy, which is the third most prevalent neurological disorder in the nation. More than 360,000 Floridians suffer from the disorder, and 42,000 deaths result each year nationally from seizures and related causes.
Florida is a key region to offer these services due to its large number of military bases, and the tens of thousands of military families living in the state.
“While serving our country, many of our military personnel suffered some level of head and brain trauma, but they may not realize any of those injuries can have serious and lasting effects,” said Karen Basha Egozi, EFOF chief executive officer.  “We’re very proud to be able to serve our vets here in Florida and help them understand the signs and risks of epilepsy.”
Through booklets and a series interactive lectures and discussions soon to be scheduled in South Florida, the program will provide key messages to veterans and their families, instill general knowledge of epilepsy and seizures, and offer tips on recognizing, controlling and dealing with epilepsy in day-to-day life.
In addition, an interactive presentation will be launched in the near future on the EFOF website,www.epilepsyfla.org, that also will convey key messages on epilepsy to veterans, and how the condition impacts their families and friends.
The new program also will improve EFOF and veterans access to medical and psychological health benefits through collaboration with organizations such as the Epilepsy Centers of Excellence, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the National Guard and Reserve, and the Yellow Ribbon Reintegration Program.
“We appreciate the national Epilepsy Foundation recognizing this great need, especially here in Florida, and providing resources to help us serve this distinguished and deserving group of Americans,” Egozi said.
Military veterans or anyone wishing to learn more about the new outreach project may contact EFOF at 305.670.4949 or visit www.epilepsyfla.org.
The Epilepsy Foundation of Florida (EFOF) was established in 1971 as a not-for-profit 501 (c)(3) and  serves as the lead advocate for rights and needs of people with epilepsy and other seizure disorders.  The family of epilepsy disorders is the third-most prevalent neurological condition in the Uniteds States, striking approximately 3 million people nationally and 360,000 people in Florida. About 42,000 people die each year in the U.S. due to seizures from epilepsy and related causes.  The EFOF -- with offices in Miami, Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach, Jacksonville and Gainesville -- provides numerous services to individuals and families, such as advocacy and counseling, education and prevention, direct medical and neuropsychological services, as well as research and other programs regardless of financial situation or socioeconomic status.  For more information, visit www.epilepsyfla.org or call 305-670-4949.

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