The Epilepsy Foundation continues its commitment to raise awareness about epilepsy among African American and Hispanic communities by funding and supporting programs that through its national network of affiliates raise awareness about epilepsy.
The Epilepsy Foundation is providing this opportunity for affiliates to forge partnerships with Institutions of Higher Education that are Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU)/Predominantly Black Institutions (PBI), Hispanic Serving Institutions (HSI) or on campuses without these designations with campus organizations serving African American and Hispanic transition-age youth and young adults to further mutual goals of health and wellness through community collaboration, service and excellence. Through the work of the successful affiliate grantees, the Foundation expects to leverage the influence that Higher Education Institutions have in surrounding communities in order to further promote inclusion in African American and Hispanic communities so people with epilepsy can live, learn, work, play, thrive and participate fully.
The "African American and Hispanic Transition-Age Youth and Young Adult Outreach" program implemented in 2012 by 6 affiliates reached over 11,000 people in 28 Institutions of Higher Education. This program addressed the prevalence of epilepsy in diverse populations, highlighting strategies that effectively reduce the stigma experienced. It connected the vision for culturally and linguistically responsive care for diverse children, youth, young and older adults with epilepsy and their families, with effective strategies to achieve desired health and wellness outcomes for the individuals, and the desired health equity outcomes for their communities.
Affiliates who completed the 2012 African American and Hispanic Transition-Age Youth and Young Adult Outreach: Furthering Campus-Community Partnerships for Epilepsy Education program noted that Campus outreach is transformative," that it produces positive impacts on audiences, increasing awareness and knowledge and promoting healthy behaviors and practices.
The 2013 "African American and Hispanic Transition-Age Youth and Young Adult Outreach: Furthering Campus-Community Partnerships for Epilepsy Education" program is now being implemented by 9 affiliates in 6 states and Puerto Rico who in their proposals highlighted innovative strategies to reach African American and Hispanic youth and young adults participating in various programs at 47 colleges and universities across the nation. As with the last years' program affiliates partner with the Institutions of Higher Education to address health disparities by reaching underserved and often isolated population groups with information about epilepsy, and facilitate access to the full array of treatment options currently available to effectively manage the condition. They implement of innovative outreach strategies to move information from the clearinghouses to the hands of those who need it, those who will benefit from it. Their efforts improve outcomes, meeting organizations and communities where they are, and helping them move forward to achieving their goals of health equity in ways that are responsive to individuals' needs and interests, and are congruent to their life views.
The power of effective collaborations and partnerships between individuals and families impacted by epilepsy, their service providers, community advocates and policymakers to improve access to culturally appropriate services and opportunities in support of living well with epilepsy will be exemplified.
Innovative strategies developed based on the recognition that achieving positive health outcomes requires reaching populations that are diverse with regard to race, ethnicity, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, disability, spirituality, socio-economic status, geography, language, immigration status, acculturation and family composition.