National Epilepsy Foundation
The Epilepsy Foundation of America® is the national voluntary agency dedicated solely to the welfare of the almost 3 million people with epilepsy in the U.S. and their families. The organization works to ensure that people with seizures are able to participate in all life experiences; to improve how people with epilepsy are perceived, accepted and valued in society; and to promote research for a cure. In addition to programs conducted at the national level, epilepsy clients throughout the United States are served by more than 50 Epilepsy Foundation affiliates around the country.
Typical of the Foundation’s national programs are its Jeanne A. Carpenter Epilepsy Legal Defense Fund, the H.O.P.E. (Helping Other People with Epilepsy) Mentoring Program, a Public Policy Institute, Seniors’ and Women’s Health Initiatives, the Kids Speak Up! advocacy program, a school personnel training program, outreach to youth and to the Hispanic community, employment programs and a research grants program. Services commonly provided in local communities are information and referral, counseling, patient and family advocacy, school and community education, support groups and camps for children. Its Web site,www.epilepsyfoundation.org, offers the most comprehensive, medically approved consumer information about epilepsy and seizures on the Internet and is the trusted source for millions of people who seek reliable information about epilepsy.
The Epilepsy Foundation was established in 1967 as the Epilepsy Foundation of America, merging two largely regional epilepsy organizations. It began operating as the Epilepsy Foundation on January 1, 1998, formalizing the name most often used by the public in referring to the organization. It is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt charitable organization existing under the laws of the State of Delaware, with a national office in metropolitan Washington, D.C.
The Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors comprising business leaders, health care professionals and client representatives, with the advice and counsel of a 50 member Professional Advisory Board made up of the country's leading epilepsy physicians and health experts. National staff of the Foundation is overseen by Richard P. Denness, President and CEO. The national board of directors is chaired by Brien J. Smith, M.D, chief of neurology at Spectrum Health in Michigan. The Foundation’s professional advisory board is chaired by Page B. Pennell, M.D., Director of Research for the Epilepsy Division of the Department of Neurology at Brigham and Women’s Hospital, a Harvard Medical School teaching affiliate in Boston, Mass.
The Epilepsy Foundation is funded primarily through individual donations from the general public and receives restricted grant support from the federal government, foundations and private industry. The organization is a participant in the Combined Federal Campaign and a member of the National Health Council and of the International Bureau for Epilepsy.