Academy Signs Letter Supporting Senate Version of Epilepsy Center Legislation

August 4, 2008


The American Academy of Neurology Professional Association (AANPA)–in conjunction with the Epilepsy Foundation and other supporters–recently sent a letter to the Chairs and Ranking Members of the House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees asking for support of S. 2004, a bill that creates six Epilepsy Centers of Excellence (ECoE) within the Department of Veterans’ Affairs (VA).

While both the House (HR 2818) and Senate (S. 2004) have passed ECoE legislation, the AANPA and Epilepsy Foundation feel there are two points that make the Senate language stronger:

  • First, S. 2004 develops centers that attract national leaders in epilepsy, while also requiring a strong relationship with university-based comprehensive programs that Polytrauma Centers cannot offer. The House version links ECoEs with VA Polytrauma Centers, which may not result in the highest quality of care.
  • While linking with the Polytrauma Centers gives new ECoEs the advantage of being near other complex rehabilitation programs, the locations in Palo Alto, CA; Minneapolis, MN; San Antonio, TX; Richmond, VA; and Tampa, FL, provide a disadvantage, as only one center would be located in the western portion of the country. Establishing six geographically dispersed, competitively chosen centers reduces hardship on veterans who would have difficulty traveling.

There is no question the ECoE legislation passed in the House is an improvement over the current situation at the VA. But the Senate version promotes a higher quality of care, which our Veterans unquestionably deserve.

View the letter sent to House and Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committees. For questions or concerns, please email