UF Health Jacksonville is launching a new groundbreaking center dedicated to epilepsy wellness. The center, part of the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville’s department of neurology, will be used to simultaneously address many of the social and psychological needs of epilepsy patients during the course of their clinical visit.
Patients who enroll in the Epilepsy Wellness Center program, opening in June, will be assessed in areas such as memory and stress management, while others will be evaluated on how much difficulty they have in remembering to take their medications or on how accurate they are in documenting the number of seizures they have daily or weekly.
Those with difficulty in these areas will receive counseling and training. The services will be provided in addition to the dedicated therapy that epilepsy patients who come to UF Health Jacksonville already receive.
“Having an epilepsy wellness center will give our patients another layer of expert care many of them desperately need,” said Ramon Bautista, MD, MBA, a professor and associate chair of neurology at UF COMJ. “For many individuals, epilepsy is a lifelong condition that negatively impacts every facet of their lives.”
The center will be part of the UF Health Neuroscience Institute, which houses a nationally recognized interdisciplinary team of UF neurologists and neurosurgeons who use the most sophisticated technology available to offer state-of-the-art diagnostic, therapeutic and rehabilitative neurologic services.
“Epilepsy is a condition that has a dramatic effect on a patient’s day-to-day life, so any advancements we can make as physicians and caregivers can help them immensely,” said Alan Berger, MD, a professor and chair of neurology at UF COMJ. “This center will bring together specialists who will be able to document the issues patients confront, and then use that information to give them a plan to improve their lifestyle.”
Bautista, who is director of the comprehensive epilepsy program at UF Health Jacksonville, says the center will also provide assistance to family members and caregivers impacted by the disorder.
“The current services provided by the epilepsy wellness center are but a first step in the long list of initiatives we hope to provide our patients,” Bautista said. “We plan to expand the program to help our patients sleep better and even help their caregivers and loved ones deal with the condition. These services should really aid everyone affected by improving their quality of life as they deal with this devastating condition.”
The Epilepsy Wellness Center, located in the neurology suite on the campus of UF Health Jacksonville, is supported by grants from the Riverside Hospital Foundation, Jessie Ball duPont Fund, Florida Blue Foundation and the UF COMJ dean’s office.