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Epilepsy event to educate, encourage
by Mary Helen
Despite enjoying the services of MUSC’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center,
patients and their families in the Lowcountry area are generally
removed from networking opportun-ities and support systems available in
MUSC’s team of epilepsy specialists intends to change that with the
first-ever gathering expressly for epilepsy patients, their friends and
“It’s just a time for patients and families and other health care
providers to come for an informal program,” said Janelle Wagner, Ph.D.,
assistant professor of Pediatrics and Comprehensive Epilepsy Center
team member. “We are trying to raise awareness about epilepsy and
resources in the Lowcountry; we also want to encourage families to
mingle with each other.”
The primary goal is to create an epilepsy network and encourage
families to get involved with the Epilepsy Foundation of South Carolina
and discuss the current legislative work regarding epilepsy in our
state, Wagner said.
The center, which is the only Level 4 (advanced care) epilepsy center
in the state, is working with the S.C. epilepsy foundation to generate
community and patient interest in coming together where they will be
provided information and encouraged to ask questions about their
“We plan to talk about Epilepsy Foundation programs, fundraising, and
epilepsy research in South Carolina,” Wagner said.
In addition, Wagner said the Lowcountry epilepsy community could
influence decisions of the foundation’s legislative committee, created
through the Epilepsy Act 168, which is preparing a report on the needs
of persons with epilepsy.
Between 1 percent and 2 percent of South Carolinians have
“I cannot emphasize enough how unique the issues persons with epilepsy
and their families deal with each day in this state,” said pediatric
nurse practitioner, Gigi Smith, who is part of the clinical team. “We
not only want to be a sounding board and share info about things we are
doing to try to help with this, but also encourage families to get
involved and be heard and seen.”
The meeting will be held 6-8 p.m. May 8 in Room 214, College of
Nursing. Refreshments will be provided.
More information about the epilepsy bill can be found at http://www.epilepsyservicesandresearch.com/topic.asp?pid=1.
For information on MUSC’s Comprehensive Epilepsy Center, go to, http://neurosciences.musc.edu:16080/epilepsy/team.html.
Friday, May 2, 2008
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