Researchers at the University of Iowa have received a $1.7 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to become part of the Managing Epilepsy Well Network (MEW), a national leader in developing, testing, and disseminating evidence-based epilepsy self-management programs.
The funding will allow researchers to deliver a self-management epilepsy program called SMART to rural and underserved communities where people with epilepsy often face challenges such as social isolation, limited access to care, and low levels of epilepsy awareness, all of which make it hard to seek help and worsen epilepsy stigma. The remotely delivered, group-format approach used to deliver SMART has the potential to be particularly helpful in these at-risk communities.
The University of Iowa MEW Network team is housed in the College of Public Health’s Prevention Research Center and led by Gena Ghearing, clinical associate professor of neurology in the UI’s Carver College of Medicine. The UI is paired with a study team at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, led by Martha Sajatovic, professor of psychiatry and neurology and director of the Neurological and Behavioral Outcomes Center at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center.
Other MEW Network collaborating centers and investigators are located at Emory University (coordinating center), Dartmouth College, University of Arizona, the University of Texas Sciences Center at Houston, New York University School of Medicine, and University of Washington.