VA Begins Creating Epilepsy Centers of Excellence

July 20, 2009

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The Veterans Health Administration (VA) has begun creating the Epilepsy Centers of Excellence with $3.8 million in funding for the last three months of FY2009 (July to September). The money will be used for startup costs, which include staffing, supplies, and equipment.

Four geographic locations have been designated for the Centers:

  • Northwest: Madison, Portland, and Seattle. Polytrauma site: Minneapolis
  • Southwest: San Francisco, West Los Angeles, Albuquerque, and Houston. Polytrauma site: Palo Alto
  • Southeast: Miami, Gainesville, FL, and Durham, NC. Polytrauma site: Tampa
  • Northeast: Baltimore and New Haven, CT. Polytrauma site: Richmond, VA

This comes after Congress last year authorized the creation of the centers in legislation offered by Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) and Rep. Ed Perlmutter (D-CO). The legislation was suggested by the Academy and largely drafted by John Booss, MD, FAAN, a former director of neurology at the VA and a member of the Academy's Legislative Affairs Committee.

Initially, there will be four multi-site centers that leverage existing VA epilepsy resources, with it eventually leading to a spoke system that reaches out to other facilities linking the existing sites of strength with the Polytrauma Network. This will enable the VA to treat the veterans with post traumatic epilepsy while minimizing outsourcing.

For more information, contact Mike Amery, Legislative Counsel, at mamery@aan.com.

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