Michigan children with epilepsy will see improved outcomes through expanded services funded by a $1.66 million four-year grant that the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has received. The grant will fund the Michigan Pediatric Epilepsy Project.
The focus of the grant is to improve health outcomes for children and youth with epilepsy, especially those in Michigan’s rural and medically underserved areas. This grant enables the Michigan Children’s Special Health Care Services Division to expand upon current efforts to improve access to specialized pediatric epilepsy services.
“This new funding opportunity provides greater access to comprehensive services for children, youth and their families living with epilepsy,” said MDHHS Director Robert Gordon. “By partnering with four of the major epilepsy centers in Michigan — Beaumont Children’s hospital, Children’s Hospital of Michigan, Helen DeVos Children’s Hospital and Mercy Health Hauenstein Neurosciences — epilepsy patients and their families will have better access to specialty care and more successful transitions to adult specialists to effectively manage their epilepsy.”
Adriana Tanner, MD, medical director of the Mercy Health’s Epilepsy Clinic, and Susan Woolner, CPXP, Mercy Health’s neuroscience patient and caregiver support and community partner coordinator, represent Mercy Health Hauenstein Neurosciences on this task force.
“I am very proud to have been part of this task force for the past four years and even more proud that, as a group, we received this incredible grant,” said Tanner. “As the only adult neurologist on the task force, I will continue to work tirelessly on behalf of Mercy Health to ensure our kids with epilepsy transition in a smooth way to adult care.”
More than 13,000 Michigan children up to 17 years old have active epilepsy, and approximately 25 percent of Michigan’s youth population resides in rural areas. Children in rural and underserved areas often have less access to pediatricians, pediatric sub-specialists and coordinated care. By increasing access to care, this funding will help positively impact the overall health and well-being of children with epilepsy.
During the next four years, strategies to improve health outcomes among Michigan’s children and youth with epilepsy will include the following:
- Widespread implementation of health care transition practices (transitioning from a pediatric to adult provider).
- Adoption of practices to improve collaboration and communication between primary and specialty care providers.
- Expansion of telemedicine.
- Integration of shared decision-making practices between patients and providers.
Click here for more information about epilepsy care at Mercy Health Hauenstein Neurosciences.