Assistant Secretary for Health Howard Koh, MD Highlights PRC Epilepsy Research

February 2013

Dr. Howard Koh is the Assistant Secretary for Health for the United States Department of Health and Human Sciences

In an interview for Neurology Reviews, a publication that covers emerging news and innovative approaches to neurological disorders, Assistant Secretary for Health Howard Koh, MD describes federal initiatives that have been undertaken in response to the 2012 Institute of Medicine report, Epilepsy Across the Spectrum: Promoting Health and Understanding. The report was sponsored by 24 federal agencies and nonprofit organizations to examine the public health dimensions of epilepsy and to provide a vision for moving the field forward to improve the lives of people with epilepsy.

During the interview, Dr. Koh refers to the Managing Epilepsy Well (MEW) Network as advancing educational efforts for the public and for health professionals, which is in line with one of the key recommendations from the Institute of Medicine report. The MEW Network was established in 2007 by the CDC’s Epilepsy Program. The MEW Network was originally made up of four PRCs, expanded to six PRCs in 2012, and works together to develop and test epilepsy self-management programs and tools. The network promotes epilepsy research and shares findings with the epilepsy community. The network partners with CDC, community-based organizations, nonprofit organizations, and local, state, and federal health and social services agencies.

The MEW Network was established in 2007 with support from CDC’s Epilepsy Program.

Dr. Koh also refers to three examples of effective self-management programs for epilepsy:

These programs were developed and tested by PRCs that are members of the MEW Network. He emphasizes that these types of epilepsy self-management and support programs are essential to achieve the best quality of life for people with epilepsy.