Video Introduces VA Epilepsy Centers of Excellence

Epilepsy News From: Sunday, January 08, 2017

The VA Epilepsy Centers of Excellence (ECoE) has released the sixth video in its “Veterans and Epilepsy: Basic Training” series. This new video introduces epilepsy and the VA ECoE. These specialty care centers are located at 16 sites across the VA health care system and are organized into four regional centers. The ECoE strives to improve the health and well-being of veterans with epilepsy and other seizure disorders through the integration of clinical care, outreach, research, and education.

In the New Video

  • Jim Farias, a veteran from San Francisco VA Health Care System, discusses how having epilepsy has affected his life. He says, “It’s a myriad of emotions; you have so many questions as to why this happened.”
  • Karen Parko MD, the inaugural national director of the VA ECoE, explains, “Epilepsy is the tendency to have recurrent seizures. One in 26 people will develop epilepsy in their lifetime, and it’s the fourth most common neurological disease in the United States.”
  • Christine Houston LCSW, a clinical social worker at the San Francisco VA ECoE, discusses what it means to a patient and their family when they find out they have epilepsy. She says, “This is pretty profound experience that the patient undergoes.”

About the “Veterans and Epilepsy: Basic Training” Video Series

Each video in the “Veterans and Epilepsy: Basic Training” series features a veteran sharing his or her personal experiences and unique challenges balancing the medical, personal, and social aspects associated with having recurring seizures. The goal of the video series is to promote public awareness of the impact of epilepsy in the lives of veterans and to convey that these patients are able to live full, productive, successful lives. Subsequent videos will be released every few months over the next year and include topics such as epilepsy surgery and psychogenic non-epileptic seizures. Viewers can also check the YouTube playlist for recent and future videos in this series.

Finding Help

If you or someone you know is a veteran with seizures interested in seeking services at one of the Epilepsy Centers of Excellence, please speak with your local primary care provider or neurologist. Your health care provider will be able to determine if you might benefit from the services provided by the ECoE and assist you with scheduling an appointment.

For more information, please email or visit the VA epilepsy website at

Reviewed Date

Sunday, January 08, 2017

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