UNMC News

UNMC reaches out to pediatric epilepsy patients in rural Nebraska

Grant will allow patients to be seen via telemedicine

As part of a $265,000 grant awarded to the University of Nebraska Medical Center’s Munroe-Meyer Institute, epilepsy clinics are now being offered to pediatric patients in rural Nebraska via telemedicine.

Currently, all of Nebraska’s pediatric neurologists and epileptologists practice in Omaha. That means parents of children with epilepsy who live in rural Nebraska sometimes wait between four to six months for an appointment. When they do manage to schedule a visit with a specialist, many families have to travel 60 to 250 miles to see the pediatric neurologist.

Project ACCESS, the Nebraska Epilepsy Initiative – in partnership with the Epilepsy Foundation North/Central Illinois, Iowa & Nebraska  – seeks to link rural epilepsy patients from birth to age 18 with urban specialists through telemedicine.

"These clinics have the potential to bring top-notch epilepsy care to the remote areas of our state,” said Joseph Evans, Ph.D., director of Project Access-Nebraska. “Not only are we using telemedicine for actual medical visits, but we are also delivering support group services and epilepsy education via the Nebraska State Telehealth Network.”

The process is simple. Patients check in at either Good Samaritan Hospital in Kearney or a telemedicine site approved by Medicaid closer to their hometown. Nurses set up the visit via telemedicine technology, so patients are face-to-face with a pediatric neurologist, located in a specially designed telemedicine examination room at UNMC’s Munroe-Meyer Institute in Omaha.

Dr. Evans said Project Access faculty and staff are hopeful that the clinics will lead to early detection and treatment for children and youth with epilepsy and seizure disorders as well as greater access to services for this population.

Future clinics are scheduled for the following Fridays: • October 7 • November 18 • December 9

There are currently several openings. To schedule an appointment, call 308-865-7742.

For more information on Project Access, epilepsy support groups and free epilepsy education programs, contact Laura Neece-Baltaro at 402-559-3014 (office), 402-680-1158 (cell) or efnebraska@efncil.org.

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Through world-class research and patient care, UNMC generates breakthroughs that make life better for people throughout Nebraska and beyond. Its education programs train more health professionals than any other institution in the state. Learn more at unmc.edu.

Munroe-Meyer Institute is committed to unlocking the potential of children and adults with developmental disabilities and genetic disorders through exceptional patient care, education and research. MMI health care providers annually diagnose and treat more than 10,000 children and adults with special needs.

 

Contact

Nicole Lindquist
UNMC Public Relations
(402) 559-9149
nlindquist@unmc.ed

Tom O'Connor
UNMC Public Relations
(402) 559-4690 (office)
(402) 650-7063 (cell)
toconnor@unmc.edu