One solution is to develop a relationship between disability organizations and health care providers. The Epilepsy Foundation Of Greater Chicago recognized the need to help consumers with epilepsy get treatment that will enable them not only control their seizures but live independently. They created a unique program with Rush Hospital and Alexian Brothers Medical Center.
Alexian Brother Medical Center in the northwest suburb has a comprehensive epilepsy clinic. Claudia Ramirez and Jeremy Fetting are two patients with epilepsy who are enrolled in the program. Now 24, Claudia started having seizures when she was 15 years old.
" I have grand mal seizures and petite mal seizures," sad Claudia.
With no health insurance or job she needed specialized treatment for her epilepsy.
"Through the Epilepsy Foundation they have free clinics and I'm able to see my neurologist on regular basis," said Claudia.
Jeremy has had epilepsy since he was 2 years old. Now he's 32 and has no health insurance. But, he needed help control his seizures.
"I'd be in a deep hole, I'd be really in bad situation because if it wasn't for the Epilepsy Foundation? They help me out very, very much," said Jeremy.
"We are able to enroll some of these uninsured patients in the Alexian Brothers charity program. Once they're approved, they are able to access doctor visit diagnostic testing laboratory testing for their Epilepsy," said Debbie Flatter, suburban outreach coordinator at Epilepsy Foundation. "We've been in Alexian a year and a half and the program is growing rapidly we have three Epilepsy specialists who come out from Rush practice and they are each here one day a month."
While Claudia and Jeremy are doing well, 30-percent of people with epilepsy do not ever gain control of their seizures.
"I'm so glad that there is a foundation, there is an organization that here to help me and anybody else who needs help," said Claudia.