EFOF TO EXPAND STATEWIDE SERVICES
FOR ENHANCED, STREAMLINED CARE FOR FLORIDIANS WITH EPILEPSY
MIAMI – The Epilepsy Foundation of Florida (EFOF), designated as the lead agency by the Florida Department of Health (FDOH) to provide epilepsy services in the state, today announced it will expand its services statewide to improve care for residents with epilepsy and seizure disorders.
The plan, with implementation beginning July 1, is designed to serve more Floridians with epilepsy, especially children, with standardized, modernized and improved care, while at the same time operating more cost-efficiently.
Approximately 360,000 Floridians suffer today from epilepsy and related disorders, with thousands more diagnosed each year.
Part of the new contract entails merging all DOH-funded epilepsy services statewide to be under the management of EFOF, along with its one sub-contracted agency, the Epilepsy Association of Central Florida (EACF). Services previously provided by several smaller sub-contractors in Tallahassee, the Panhandle, Tampa Bay area, Sarasota and some other areas would be consolidated into EFOF and EACF operations.
The EFOF and EACF are currently working to welcome and integrate the other agencies and service providers, plus the volunteers and boards of directors that served their communities so well, into the statewide operation.
This consolidation will allow for standardized and enhanced services for all Floridians suffering epilepsy and a variety of seizure disorders. These initiatives include a centralized statewide intake process and regionalized direct client services.
The effort streamlines and improves a system that previously had varying levels of care in different parts of the state. For example, services for children were not available in all Florida counties due to funding/insurance issues and the varying capabilities and certifications of individual sub-contractors.
However, beginning July 1, uniform accredited epilepsy services directed by EFOF will be provided to any child in need throughout the state.
“We’re very pleased to be able to offer our services in new areas in Florida, and especially to children in these communities,” said Karen Basha Egozi, EFOF chief executive officer. “And to be able to achieve this more cost-effectively makes the process that much more attractive.”
With centralized intake and streamlined administrative processes, it is estimated that the agency will be able to serve 35 percent more clients with existing funding levels. This savings also will allow service providers to spend more time delivering direct care, counseling and other key life-enhancing services to clients, rather than on redundant administrative tasks.
The EFOF also will implement a variety of new, modernized processes and services to expand and improve care. The agency will create and launch a suite of online prevention and education materials to allow a dramatically increased number of Floridians to learn about epilepsy and seizures. This will include a virtual “Epilepsy University” being developed by EACF to provide online curriculum, webinars, podcasts, blogs and more.
“We’re excited to be part of this new initiative to deliver modernized epilepsy services across the state,” said Chuck Carmen, executive director of EACF. “All of our existing clients will receive continuing but enhanced services, and new clients will experience advanced epilepsy care and communication from the start.”
The new overall and expanded service program also will allow and improve statewide fund-raising and awareness efforts to help residents with epilepsy. Currently, the main EFOF fund-raisers are walk-a-thons in New Smyrna Beach (April 10), Broward County (April 11), West Palm Beach (April 17), Miami-Dade (April 18), Jacksonville (April 24) and Gainesville (April 25). Additional walk-a-thons and other events will be developed for new areas soon to be directly served by EFOF and EACF.
For more information on epilepsy programs and services in Florida, call 800-940-6515 or visit www.epilepsyfla.org.