What is Project Access?
Project Access is a national effort funded by the Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA). The project involves state agencies, physicians and other healthcare providers, families, schools, and community resources to implement demonstration projects in medically underserved areas to improve access to health services and to achieve early detection and treatment for children and youth with epilepsy and seizure disorders.
The successful strategies implemented under this initiative will be replicated in other communities across the United States, providing broader national significance.
Why is access to health care important for children and youths with epilepsy?
In the United States, those affected by epilepsy often lack access to organized community-based health care services and family-centered systems of care. As a result, the families are prevented from receiving appropriate and timely medical treatment and essential support services. This system and its service gaps emphasize the need for public and private organizations to collaborate to provide competent care and services for children, youths and their families.
What states are implementing Project Access?
The Maternal and Child Health Bureau of HRSA awarded grants to four organizations to improve access to care for children and youth with epilepsy through community-based service systems:
- The USC University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, Children's Hospital Los Angeles is a regional epilepsy cooperative focusing on system change and training using distance learning technologies in Alaska, California, Nevada, and Wyoming.
- The Epilepsy Foundation is partnering with local affiliates to improve the system of care for Hispanic and Haitian populations in Florida and Chinese and Caribbean immigrants in New York.
- The Trustees of Dartmouth College seek to enhance the capacity of primary care physicians and pediatric neurologists to co-manage the care of children and youths with epilepsy in New Hampshire and Maine.
- The Washington State Department of Health is working to improve care in rural communities with Hispanic populations in Washington.
How are the states implementing Project Access?
Each state has established a project team that includes a minimum of physicians, parents, children with special health care need representatives, social service agencies, and others invested in improving the care of children and youth with special health care needs. The teams design, implement and evaluate strategies to create systems change under the direction and guidance of the National Initiative for Children’s Healthcare Quality (NICHQ) through a learning collaborative approach to achieve optimal health care for children and youth with epilepsy.
The National Center works with these states on:
- Developing public education and awareness campaigns to raise general public and professional awareness about epilepsy
- Creating skill-building programs for youth and families with epilepsy
- Reviewing and disseminating the most up-to-date information on trends and issues related to access to care for children and youth with epilepsy
About the Epilepsy Foundation
The Epilepsy Foundation, a national non-profit with affiliated organizations throughout the United States, has led the fight against epilepsy since 1968. The Foundation’s goals are to ensure that people with seizures are able to participate in all life experiences; and to prevent, control and cure epilepsy through services, education, advocacy, and research, so not another moment is lost to seizures.
This site was developed with funding from the Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, under grant U23MC08582 for Project Access: Improving Care for Children and Youth with Epilepsy.