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  • The Epilepsy Foundation is the national voluntary agency solely dedicated to the welfare of the 2.7 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; and to prevent, control and cure epilepsy through research, education, advocacy and services. In addition to programs conducted at the national level, epilepsy clients throughout the United States are served by local Epilepsy Foundation offices in nearly 100 communities.

    The Foundation conducts programs throughout the United States, including a number of signature activities through a cooperative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Programs include activities in schools designed to educate the next generation of Americans about epilepsy -- with the goal to eliminate stigma and discrimination in our lifetimes. Programs are also focused on improving epilepsy treatment for persons with epilepsy of all ages, including emphasis on youth and seniors.

    In addition, the Foundation is dedicated to educating our government about epilepsy and the need for improved treatment and research. Each year the Foundation holds a Public Policy Institute and special youth-oriented advocacy program (Kids Speak Up!) in Washington, DC -- and year-round the Foundation's 'Speak Up, Speak Out' grassroots network works with federal, state and local officials to help improve the lives of people with epilepsy.

    Every year the Foundation provides millions of dollars towards epilepsy research. The Foundation funds young investigators to help ensure that the best and brightest research minds focus on epilepsy for their careers. We also focus special targeted research in areas like mood disorders and pediatrics. The Foundation has strong ties with the CDC, National Institutes of Health (NIH), and epilepsy-specific research partnerships with the American Epilepsy Society and the Epilepsy Therapy Development Project.

    The Epilepsy Foundation was established on January 1, 1968 as the Epilepsy Foundation of America, culminating the merger of 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.

    The Foundation is governed by a Board of Directors composed of business leaders, healthcare professionals and client representatives, with the advice and counsel of a 50-member Professional Advisory Board whose members are among the world's leading epilepsy physicians and health experts. Its chief staff executive is its president and CEO Eric R. Hargis. Former U.S. Congressman Tony Coelho, who himself has epilepsy, chairs the organization's national board of directors. The Foundation's professional advisory board is chaired by Bruce Hermann, Ph.D. Hermann is Professor of Neurology, University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health, and Director of the Charles Matthews Neuropsychology Lab in the Department of Neurology.

    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.