2015 Annual Report Page Header

Dear Special Friends of the Foundation,

PhilGattone_Headshot_for_CEOLetter.jpg

Today marks a new day of excitement and excellence in the epilepsy community. The Epilepsy Foundation serves as a catalyst for groundbreaking discoveries that will dramatically improve the lives of children, teens, and adults living with epilepsy and, ultimately, lead to a cure. Through strategic investments that are driving cutting-edge new therapy research development, preventing death in epilepsy, and building stronger communities and public policy initiatives, we are igniting a renewed sense of purpose, resolve, hope, and urgency in the epilepsy community.  

The Epilepsy Foundation is the ONLY national non-profit organization fighting epilepsy on every front. By leading the way in global research, providing assistance for people with epilepsy through our a nationwide network, and fostering partnerships, the Foundation builds hope and enhances quality of life while aggressively searching for and discovering new treatments and a cure.

In 2015, we have awarded more than $2 million in new therapies research designed to help accelerate treatment options to the consumer in a timeframe that matters. The Foundation has also maintained our young investigators program, adding to our historical legacy of providing start-up grants to the vast majority of epilepsy investigators and specialists working today. 

In building community through education, the Foundation is proud to host epilepsy.com, the preeminent epilepsy education and awareness Web site. Each day, our editorial board, made up of some of the greatest minds in epilepsy, adds critically important content in all areas of epilepsy and seizures to the site. From the latest news on treatments to the most important tips on managing and living with your seizures, people impacted by epilepsy find answers on this comprehensive site. Epilepsy.com is visited by over 800,000 people per month. In addition, our social media platforms spread awareness, provide support and connection, and educate many by receiving millions of impressions each month. 

Social and traditional media are key anchors in how the Foundation builds community through awareness. In 2015, we partnered with our friend and national board member Rick Harrison, from the TV show Pawn Stars, to create a series of public services announcements in support of our new #DareTo campaign. The Foundation is an unwavering ally in helping everyone with epilepsy and their caregivers dare to reach their fullest potential. 

We know that epilepsy is different for every individual living with seizures. As the Institute of Medicine pointed out in their ground-breaking 2012 report, epilepsy is a spectrum condition. Approximately one third of people living with epilepsy have no therapy that will help control their seizures. Another third have some seizure control, but also live with many times debilitating side effects from the medications. 

Some pay the ultimate price for living with epilepsy. The Epilepsy Foundation's SUDEP Institute has grown significantly in 2015, including adding grief counselors for families who have lost a loved one from seizures. The Institute is working closely with medical professionals to help educate all providers on how to discuss the possibility of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) with individuals and families. In addition, the SUDEP Institute continues to educate medical examiners so they know when and why to indicate epilepsy as a cause of death. 

The Foundation also plays a key role in federal and local legislative advocacy. We believe nothing should interfere with the ability of an individual living with epilepsy and their health care to work together to find the best therapy that will work for them. Some of these options may be controversial, but with medical consent, especially when all else fails, controversial therapies should be an option without legislative or geographic boundaries. 

I am proud of what we have achieved together as a community in 2015. We all also know there is a lot more work to do, and there are bold steps still to take to help overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy. 

The Epilepsy Foundation is honored to serve the 3 million Americans living with epilepsy and their caregivers.  We are your unwavering ally. 

 

Phil Gattone
President & CEO, Epilepsy Foundation

NEXT: About the Foundation

A<