The Epilepsy Foundation of America® is the national voluntary agency dedicated solely to the welfare of the more than 2 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 U.S. are served by 48 Epilepsy Foundation affiliates around the country.
The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to stop seizures and SUDEP, find a cure and overcome the challenges created by epilepsy through efforts including education, advocacy and research to accelerate ideas into therapies.
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 African American, Hispanic and Asian American communities; 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 websites, www.epilepsyfoundation.org and www.epilepsy.com, offer the most comprehensive, medically approved consumer information about epilepsy and seizures on the Internet and are 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. Donations to the Foundation and its affiliates are tax deductible as allowed by law.
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. The national board of directors is chaired by Warren Lammert, former chairman and co-founder of the Epilepsy Therapy Project. The Foundation’s professional advisory board is chaired by Joseph Sirven, M.D., Professor of Neurology and Chairman of the Department of Neurology at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona.
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.