Our History

Established in 1948, the Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan is the only statewide nonprofit organization focusing on epilepsy. The Foundation provides information, resources, and support to help individuals understand and manage epilepsy.

How we got started…

1939- Dilantin is approved by the FDA. Parke Davis, a Detroit company, which had aquired the compound in 1908, produced and marketed it.

1948- A group of represenatives from the fields of medicine, eduation, and public health incorporate the organization. The Epileptic Clinic opens in Detroit.  The organization's name soon changes to the Michigan Epilepsy Center.

1951- The Michigan Epilepsy Center provides the only mobile electroencephalographic (EEG) laboratory in the United States.

1958- The Michigan Epilepsy Center changes its name to the Michigan Epilepsy Center and Association (MEC-A) following a merger with the Michigan Association for Epilepsy.

1971- The organization's name changes again to the Epilepsy Center of Michigan.

1973- The Epilepsy Center of Michigan develops a clinical chemistry laboratory, making it a pioneer in the field of anticonvulsant determinations.

1975- The Epilepsy Center of Michigan receives a grant from the State of Michigan Developmental Disabilities Planning Council that enables the Foundation to open a Pediatric Seizure Clinic.

1982- The deinstitutionalization of patients into group homes led to the establishment of the Consultation and Evaluation Program at the Epilepsy Center of Michigan.

1991- The Epilepsy Center of Michigan becomes an affiliate of the Epilepsy Foundation of America, a national epilepsy organization in Landover, Maryland.

1998- The Epilepsy Center of Michigan changes its name to the Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan and adopts a three-branched flame as the new logo.

Now, together with the national office of the Epilepsy Foundation, the Epilepsy Foundation of Michigan leads the fight to overcome the challenges of living with epilepsy and to accelerate therapies to stop seizures, find cures, and save lives.  Here’s how:

Education & Consultation – Information and guidance, through both one-on-one and group interactions, that promotes effective management of epilepsy and related issues. Services include our toll-free Here for You Helpline, monthly Learn & Share Conference Calls, the annual Wellness & Epilepsy Conference, and epilepsy self-management programs. As needed, Individual Advocacy services are offered to resolve conflicts in areas such as employment, education, healthcare, public benefits, and legal matters.

Camp Discovery – 5-day, 4-night camp for youth with epilepsy that builds social skills, self-esteem, independence, and lifelong friendships; features a variety of exciting recreational activities, an “Ask the Pediatric Neurologist” session, and 24-hour medical staffing.

Social & Enrichment Programs – Opportunities for networking, informal learning, and creative expression with others touched by epilepsy, including Open Houses, Community Nights, our Celebrating Abilities event, and the Studio E Art Therapy program.

Advocacy – Ongoing efforts to protect the rights of people with epilepsy and promote public policies that benefit them; public policy priorities include access to medication and specialty healthcare services, patient safety, and mental health parity; the Foundation’s public policy agenda is promoted through grassroots efforts and regular communication with policy makers.

Seizure Smart – Tailored epilepsy awareness & first aid workshops for students, educators, school nurses, first responders, senior service providers, and other public and professional audiences.

Innovative Therapies and Research – Support for research into the nature, causes, treatment, and prevention of epilepsy; the development of promising new therapies and, ultimately, a cure; and the advancement of tools and strategies to help people live well with epilepsy.

Ultimately what we do is change lives...we are here for you!