PI: Joe Evans
Title: Innovative Epilepsy Services Expansion - Nebraska
Grant Agency: HRSA
In Nebraska, hundreds of children and adolescents are projected to be affected with epilepsy. Based upon Nebraska demographics, it is projected that 47% of youngsters with epilepsy reside in rural areas of the state, outside of the metropolitan areas of Omaha and Lincoln. Getting adequate and effective epilepsy management for youngsters in rural areas can be problematic due to lack of available specialists (epileptologists or pediatric neurologists), travel distance, and expense. This grant proposes to address significant shortages in epilepsy specialists in rural areas through the use of a "telehealth model" developed at the University of West Virginia that was initially funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau. The project will also attempt to partially replicate findings from the successful program established at the University of Southern California's University Center of Excellence on Developmental Disabilities (UCEDD).
A collaborative, consisting of: a) the University of Nebraska UCEDD, b) the Department of Pediatrics Neurology Section of the College of Medicine of the University of Nebraska Medical Center, c) the Nebraska Title V agency, and d) the North Central Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska Epilepsy Foundation Affiliate Chapter, is combining efforts to address assessment and management needs of children with epilepsy and their families in rural areas of Nebraska.
Overall, the project will create access to new services, improve access at the local level, build capacity for local providers to meet family needs and will offer new educational opportunities for health providers, families, and communities.