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News Archives - Epilepsy Foundation Orange County

17 Aug


Donate Clothes and Household Items Today!

August 17, 2020 | By |

No money? No problem. Donate goods to help END EPILEPSY.
Savers Thrift Stores have partnered with the Epilepsy Foundation to help turn gently-used clothing and household goods into money for research, programs and awareness. The Epilepsy Foundation Orange County receives funding from your donations for local programs and services.

22 Jul


Announcing Virtual Epilepsy Education Series

July 22, 2020 | By |

The Epilepsy Foundation Orange County is offering an ONGOING Virtual Epilepsy Education Series, to be held on the second Wednesday of every month. This series is for people living with epilepsy, caregivers and family members.


Topics include:

  • September 9, 2020 – Epilepsy, Pregnancy & Conception
  • October 14, 2020 – SUDEP: Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy
  • November 11, 2020 – Infantile Spasms: Diagnostics, Treatments and New Therapies
  • December 9, 2020 – Epilepsy, Pregnancy & Conception
  • January 13, 2021 – New Year, New You: Best Self-Management Practices for People with Epilepsy
  • February 10, 2021 – The ABC’s of EEG’s – An Evolving Tool for Epilepsy Diagnosis
  • March 10, 2021 – Genetics and Epilepsy – New Developments and Targeted Treatments
  • April 14, 2021 – Self Advocacy in Epilepsy: Tips and Tricks to Be Your Best Advocate
  • May 12, 2021 – Anti-Epileptic Drugs – How they work, what they do, generic vs. brand and more
  • June 9, 2021 – Epilepsy Surgery – Advancements, Options and Considerations
  • July 14, 2021 – Epilepsy & School Aged Children: IEPs, 504s, Seizure Plans and More
  • August 11, 2021 – Driving, Transportation & Epilepsy



October 14, 2020, 6:00pm

SUDEP: Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy

Everyone is aware of the dangers of fire and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS). Yet each year, SUDEP kills more Americans than either of these. The Epilepsy Foundation understands and places a priority on the importance of educating and supporting everyone affected by epilepsy, including those who have lost. Join us on as we hear from Sally Schaeffer, Senior Director of SUDEP Institute of the Epilepsy Foundation. Learn why sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is important to talk about, how the SUDEP Institute is leading the charge to put an end to SUDEP and much more.



November 11, 2020, 6:00pm

Infantile Spasms: Diagnostics, Treatments and New Therapies

During this webinar, leading pediatric epileptologists from CHOC will focus on the challenges of diagnosing and treating Infantile Spasms, and how advances in epilepsy medicine and technology have improved this process. We will also take a look at currently available treatment options for infantile spasms.



December 9, 2020

Epilepsy, Pregnancy and Contraception

Epilepsy affects women differently. Their hormonal and menstrual cycles, pregnancy, menopause—all of those life stages are affected by epilepsy. The treatment of their epilepsy may be affected by their hormonal state or their epilepsy and its treatment could affect their hormones. Join us as we discuss the research surrounding epilepsy and pregnancy and provide strategies to help minimize risks for both mother and baby.



January 13, 2021

New Year, New You: Best Self Management Practices for People with Epilepsy

Join Dr. Elaine Kiriakopolous, Co-Director, HOBSCOTCH Institute for Cognitive Health & Well Being at the Dartmouth-Hitchcock Epilepsy Center as she discusses best practices for dealing with stress, anxiety, and depression as they specifically relate to people with epilepsy.



February 10, 2021

The ABC’s of EEG’s – An Evolving Tool for Epilepsy Diagnosis

Join us as we welcome Epileptologist and Director of the Epilepsy Program at HOAG, Dr. David Millett as he discusses both the intracacies and advancements in the very well known diagnostic tool; an EEG.



March 10, 2021

Genetics and Epilepsy – New Developments and Targeted Treatments

Join us for a conversation discussing what we know about the genetics of epilepsy, the benefits and limitations of testing, and how to go about getting testing and insurance coverage.



April 14, 2021

Self Advocacy in Epilepsy – Tips & Tricks to be your own best advocate

Join our epilepsy patient advocates as they speak from personal experience to amplify the voices of those who face health inequities in our society. You will learn how to take an active, educated role in your treatment, decision making by asking questions to seek clarification and making sure your values and goals are part of the discussion.



May 12, 2021

Anti-Epileptic Drugs – How they work, what they do, generic vs. brand and more

For most people with epilepsy, treatment for their seizures includes anti-epileptic drugs (AEDs). But what do these drugs do? Join Epileptologist and Chief of Neurology at Mission Hospital, Dr. Parshaw Dorriz as he gives us an in-depth look at how AED’s are absorbed, travel to our brain and ultimately help stop seizures.



June 9, 2021

Epilepsy Surgery – Advancements, Options and Considerations

Please join us for a conversation with HOAG Neurosurgeon, Dr. Vivek Mehta, as he talks about epilepsy surgery.



02 Jun


COVID-19 Local Operations Update

June 2, 2020 | By |

As many of us are hearing reports of states, counties, and cities throughout the United States beginning to reopen in different phases, you are probably wondering how this effects your local Epilepsy Foundation. We are continuing to operate based on the most recent guidance issued by our public health experts and government officials surrounding the COVID-19 pandemic and the safety of our community.

Our highest priority has been and continues to be the health and well-being of our community. As you know, we have not been able to host in person activities since early March when the stay-at-home orders first went into effect. At this exact time we do not yet know as to when restrictions will be lifted to allow us to resume our in-person activities. We are hoping that our much loved programs, like Family Weekend Camp, and crucial fundraising and awareness events, including our biggest community event, the Walk to END EPILEPSY® in November, may reunite us all in person.

Due to the ban on in-person gatherings, and local health and safety guidelines, our current remote-based staff team is focused on making sure to continue ongoing services and introduce some new activities in a virtual capacity.

We have been so pleased and are forever grateful for the interest and participation you all have shown in our virtual events – from support groups, comedy corner, Instagram Live Events, art therapy and our upcoming Innovations in Epilepsy Webinar series. To learn more about upcoming programs and events, please visit .

Always remember that we are here for you, just as much as we were before the pandemic. Know that we miss seeing you in-person but are loving still being able to see you virtually and we are here to assist if you need anything.

Please contact us at or call 714-798-EFOC.

21 May


Preparing for a Telemedicine Visit

May 21, 2020 | By |

Telemedicine or telehealth visits use audio and video to connect you to your healthcare provider from your location or home. These are sometimes called “virtual visits”. You will be able to see, hear, and talk to your provider, just like you do in the office. Currently, these visits can be done between you at home and your provider in their office. The telehealth appointment is private, using secure software to make the connection. You can also have a family member or friend accompany you during the visit. You will be billed for the visit the same as if you were seeing your health care provider in person.


Download the Guide in English   |   Download the Guide in Spanish


How to Prepare for a Virtual Visit


1-2 days before your telemedicine appointment


  • Decide which device you will use for the visit. Virtual visits work best when your doctor can clearly see you. There are many options for the visit:
    • Desktop computer with external webcam and microphone
    • Laptop with webcam (integrated or external) and microphone
    • Tablet with camera (iPad or Android tablet)
    • Phone with camera (iPhone, Android phone, Windows phone)
  • Plan where you will be during the visit. Make sure the space is private, so you can discuss personal medical information. You should do the visit in a quiet, well-lit room. You can sit near a window for natural light or neara lamp. But don’t sit in front of the window or lamp, or you will appear like a shadow.
  • You can also have a family member or friend added to the visit, but they will need to be invited to the visit. Let your provider know the phone number or email of anyone you want to have in the visit.
  • If you need a translator for the visit, let your provider know and use the global common name for your language.
  • Find a steady place to put your laptop, tablet, or phone. You should not hold your tablet or phone during the visit, as this can cause a very wobbly video. If you use a webcam, place it at eye level. You can use books or boxes to prop up your phone or tablet. Your doctor will need to do an exam, so you may need to move your chair or the camera during the visit.
    • One view of your face, during the history part of the visit
    • One view of your whole body, during the exam part of the visit
  • If possible, use a wired internet connection (with a cable), or make sure your phone is connected to your location’s or home’s wi-fi.
  • You will receive instructions from your doctor’s office on using the telemedicine software. If possible, do a test call with a friend or family member to make sure everything is working.
  • If possible, arrange for someone to be with you for the visit. This person can help adjust the camera, troubleshoot any technical problems, and help your doctor during parts of the exam.
  • If you have balance problems or fall frequently, you should have someone with you during the visit to make sure you are safe.
  • Complete any forms sent to you by your provider and send any notes such as your seizure calendar to your provider. If possible, send these back to the provider before the visit using a patient portal, email, or fax.


1-2 hours before your telemedicine appointment


Set-up and check your computer or phone you plan to use.

  • Make sure your space is quiet.
    • Put your pets in another room.
    • Have someone watch your children, preferably in another room.
    • Turn off the TV, radio, or any other things that may make noise.
  • Make sure your computer or device is ready.
    • Check that your laptop, tablet, or phone is either fully charged or plugged in.
    • Check your audio: Make sure your volume is on (sound not muted). Test your microphone.
    • Test your video to make sure that the lighting is good – turn on overhead lights, put a lamp near your phone,or sit near (but not in front of) a window or lamp.
    • If you are using a computer with a webcam, try to have the webcam at the same level as your eyes.
    • If you are using a smartphone or tablet, you will need a steady surface to prop up your phone.
      If you are using wi-fi, turn off other devices to prevent slow and weak signals.
      Close any other programs that are running on your computer, tablet, or phone.
  • Have your doctor’s office number handy in case you have technical problems and need to call.

Prepare yourself.

  • Dress appropriately. Your doctor may need to do an exam, so if possible, wear a short-sleeved shirt or T-shirt,shorts, and socks but not shoes.
  • Wear your glasses and hearing aid, if you need them.
  • Write down anything you’d like to ask or discuss with the doctor. Have a list of your current medications.
  • Try to have these things available: paper and pen to take notes and do parts of the exam; a flashlight or another phone with a flashlight app.
  • If you can, check your “vital signs” before the visit.
    • Temperature, using a thermometer.
    • Blood pressure, if you have a home monitoring blood pressure device.
    • Weight, if you have a scale at home.
  • Join the telemedicine visit at least 15 minutes before the scheduled time, so any problems can be fixed.

During the visit.

  • Your provider will introduce themselves and anyone else on the video visit. You should do the same.
  • Let your provider know if you can’t hear or see them well.
  • At the end of the visit, make sure you know next steps:
    • Any needed prescriptions
    • Any testing to be scheduled
    • Follow up appointment
    • Best way to contact your provider
  • Give your provider feedback about how the visit went. Remember that this visit type is new to everyone.

We hope you found this checklist helpful. Please take a few minutes and complete this survey to share your feedback with us. Thank you!

13 Apr


COVID-19 and Epilepsy Fact Sheet

April 13, 2020 | By |

While most people who may develop COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) will have only mild to moderate symptoms, some people may need to see a health care provider or be hospitalized. The focus by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), and all of us, is on slowing down the spread of COVID-19 and ensuring people can receive the care they need.

16 Mar


Support Epilepsy/Seizure Legislation in California

March 16, 2020 | By |

On February 6, 2020, Assembly Member Levine, Assembly Member Blanca Rubio, and Senator Umberg introduced the Seizure Safe Schools Act (AB 2116). This bill will improve the care of students with epilepsy in schools by ensuring:

1. Prescribed FDA-approved medications are administered to the student with epilepsy

2. Students have a seizure action plan in their file and that the action plan is properly distributed to any school personnel responsible for the supervision of the students

3. School personnel and students to be trained in seizure recognition and response using the Epilepsy Foundation training materials.

Learn more about how Epilepsy Foundation Orange County is joining in this important legislation at Epilepsy California was created through the collaborative efforts of the Epilepsy Foundations in California.

Epilepsy California is the recognized, unified voice of people with epilepsy throughout California. We are pro-active in developing a statewide epilepsy agenda, and advocate within state government and state agencies for public policy which ensures the rights of people affected by epilepsy to fully participate as contributing members of their communities.

Learn More

14 Oct



October 14, 2019 | By |

Volunteers are very important to the daily function and impact of the Epilepsy Foundation Orange County. Volunteering can be a rich, rewarding experience. We have numerous opportunities for volunteers to plug-in on a short term or long-term basis – whatever fits your schedule!

29 May


Epilepsy Foundation Orange County hires new Executive Director

May 29, 2019 | By |

Prior to becoming Executive Director of the Orange County chapter, Shannon was a 7 year veteran on the board for the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles. While there, she co-chaired the annual Walk to End Epilepsy at The Rose Bowl, eventually helping to lead the charge for the Walk to End Epilepsy Nationwide. Shannon’s walks reached nearly 20,000 people and raised close to $2 million dollars under her leadership. More recently, Shannon was asked to serve alongside some of the most esteemed members in the epilepsy community on the National Board for the Epilepsy Foundation.