The Epilepsy Foundation of North Central Illinois, Iowa & Nebraska (EFNCIL) in collaboration with Rush University Medical Center (RUMC) and SynaptiCOM.net have created a unique model of care for epilepsy and/or brain injury. This model is based on the principle that cutting edge medical care is crucial to treating refractory (uncontrolled epilepsy) and brain injury. This care model focuses on rural underserved populations with epilepsy and/or brain injury in McHenry County.
For the thousands of residents of McHenry County with epilepsy and/or brain injury, the geographic distance to the urban-based tertiary care medical centers that provide epilepsy sub-specialty care (Epileptologist) and Epilepsy Monitoring Unit capability (EMU) is a substantial barrier to treatment. In addition, a disproportionate number of residents with uncontrolled epilepsy have co-morbid psychiatric, cognitive and developmental disabilities. EFNCIL and RUMC, a nationally recognized EMU, have developed a unique care delivery model which uses intensive case management, mobile health (telemedicine) as well as direct Epileptologist visits to improve access to cutting edge sub-specialty care for patients living in McHenry County with epilepsy and/or brain injury. This unique model of care combines four typically disconnected domains: medical, mental health, medication reconciliation, and social services.
The EFNCIL Crystal Lake based office is the “hub” for this epilepsy care model. Patients receiving services are surrounded with care from each of the four (4) domains (medical, mental health, medication reconciliation, and social services). An on-site RUMC nurse clinician is available for medical support and prescription refills. Using a Population Health Management method of care, case managers are available to meet basic needs of patients and ensure follow through of physical and mental health care plans.
This program is funded by generous support from the following: McHenry County Mental Health Board, The Illinois Children’s Health Foundation, Sinfonia Rx, Liva Nova, Upsher- Smith Pharmaceuticals, UCB Pharmaceuticals, The McHenry County Community Foundation, the Foglia Family Foundation and a McHenry County Community Block Grant.
To contact the McHenry County office, please call 815-893-0709 (must be a resident of McHenry County).
A project partner, SynaptiCOM.net is a three-tiered translational technology initiative within the Rush Epilepsy Center founded by Marvin Rossi, MD., PhD. who also serves as the Medical Director for both epilepsy and brain injury in McHenry County. The three tiers of the SynaptoCOM.net initiative include:
1. advancing mobile health (mHealth) strategies.
2. advancing next-generation minimally invasive injectable nanotransponder technology (U.S. Patent 8,788,033) for delivering targeted therapeutics.
3. translational brain mapping tier is evolving a suite of innovative human brain mapping techniques for visualizing the footprint of epileptic brain circuits.
The mHealth initiative explains the purpose of our partnership as it targets children and adults with difficult to control epilepsy and associated mental health conditions. Underlying causes for these conditions range from traumatic brain injury to genetic disorders. Novel mHealth strategies are currently being implemented for sensing sudden changes in a patient’s brainwaves and body movements, and deploying innovative population health practices. Such practices include delivering real-time ambulatory and geographically remote emergency department-based treatment options.