MDHHS awarded $1.66 million grant to transform health care for Michigan children with epilepsy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Aug. 21, 2019                                                    

CONTACT: Bob Wheaton, 517-241-2112

LANSING, Mich. – Michigan children with epilepsy will see improved outcomes through expanded services funded by a $1.66 million grant that the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) has received.

The 4-year-grant for $416,000 annually from the Health Resources and Services Administration’s Maternal Child and Health Systems Branch 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.”  

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 4 years, strategies to improve health outcomes among Michigan’s children and youth with epilepsy will include 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, and integration of shared decision-making practices between patients and providers.

In addition to the epilepsy centers, other key partners in the project include the Family Center for Children and Youth with Special Health Care Needs; Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan; the Michigan Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics; Michigan Primary Care Association; Michigan Public Health Institute; Alcona Health Center; Michigan State University’s Child Health Care Clinic, Pediatric Clinic, and Neurology Clinic; Northpointe Pediatrics; the University of Michigan Child Health Evaluation and Research Unit; and the Upper Peninsula Health System Marquette Hospital Neurology Clinic.

For more information about the Michigan Pediatric Epilepsy Project, visit www.michigan.gov/pediatricepilepsy.

Note: This project is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) under grant number H98MC26257, Awareness and Access to Care for Children and Youth with Epilepsy, in the amount of $416,000. The contents are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement, by HRSA, HHS or the U.S. Government.

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