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OUR MISSION

"The mission of the Epilepsy Foundation is to lead the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives."

 

HISTORY

In 1977, the Epilepsy Association of Southwestern Illinois (EASWI) was established. This was made possible through the combined efforts of a group of people whose lives were affected by epilepsy, the St. Clair County Mental Health Board and staff, former Governor Dan Walker, Roberta Nelson Walker, and interested professionals. The goal of EASWI was to assist people with epilepsy and their families to lead the fullest, most productive lives possible.

EASWI became a not-for-profit corporation and established a board of directors. Initially, EASWI was strictly an information and referral agency. The St. Clair County Mental Health Board granted EASWI "seed" money, which was used to capture Title XX funds. Shortly thereafter, the agency employed a case manager. Services were soon expanded to include a variety of services.

Services progressed well until the early 1980's. During those times the Title XX Administrative contract was not renewed due to a policy of cutting federal funding. However, the Board of Directors stepped forward to work for other funding sources. Funding was continued by Illinois Department of Mental Health/Developmental Disabilities and the St. Clair County Mental Health Board. This allowed EASWI to continue to serve people whose lives are affected by epilepsy and the community at large in 7 Illinois Metro East counties.

In 1986, the Association hired a full-time Executive Director/Case Manager. The Agency obtained funding from the Madison County Mental Health Board. In 1987, EASWI received funding from the Governors Planning Counsel for a School Alert Program. The agency continued to offer case management services to seven counties in the Southwestern portion of Illinois. Camp Roehr was also added in 1989 to offer children with epilepsy the opportunity to attend camp.

In 1990, the Association applied for provider status for the Community Integrated Living Arrangement (CILA) residential program, and in 1991 the agency opened its first 24-hour residential CILA group home. The agency now has 4 residential CILA group homes in operation. In 1995, the Association applied for Community Supported Living Arrangement (CSLA) and Home Based Services (HBS) status to serve individuals in their own homes. Then, the Association changed its name in 1998 to the Epilepsy Foundation of Southwestern Illinois (EFSWI) to more closely align itself as an affiliate of the Epilepsy Foundation of America, and then another name change took play in 2007 to include the territory of the entire greater southern Illinois area of 34 counties. Henceforth, the name change to Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Southern Illinois. Since 2007, the new organization has operated as a Parent/Subsidiary Corporation. The Parent Corporation is he Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Southern Illinois in Belleville, Illinois. The Subsidiary Corporation is the Epilepsy Foundation of Southern Illinois in Mount Vernon, Illinois. The Parent/Subsidiary Corporation files one combined audit, but files separate Federal Form 990s as separate 501(c)3 organizations. The Subsidiary Corporation operates under the administrative oversight of the Executive Director and Administrative/Finance Coordinator of the Parent Corporation. The Subsidiary Corporation's Board of Directors includes the officers and one general member of the Parent Corporation Board of Directors.

Today, the Foundation offers a wide range of epilepsy services to include information and referrals, case management, public and professional education, advocacy, support groups, recreational programs, a children's camp, epilepsy clinics and residential services.