Children's Hospital Los Angeles. Photo by Debster88 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
Children’s Hospital Los Angeles. Photo by Debster88 (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
The Care+Cure arm of the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles Monday announced plans to establish a $1.6 million endowment to fund the Pediatric Epilepsy Fellowship Program at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles.

The endowment will be used to launch a program in July that will train one epilepsy fellow every year in perpetuity.

“The Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles has been the leading voice and catalyst on building a workforce of child neurologists and epileptologists in Southern California to provide timely access to expert care,” said Dr. Brent Polk, chair of Pediatrics at CHLA. “We are so grateful for their commitment to CHLA’s Epilepsy Program by ensuring training of the next generation of pediatric epilepsy specialists.”

Andrew Gumpert, president of Worldwide Business Affairs and Operations for Sony Pictures Entertainment Motion Picture Group, is the co-chair of Care+Cure.

“There is a shortage of child neurologists in this country and in this region,” Gumpert said.  “The Care+Cure initiatives of the Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Los Angeles have led the way in supporting the training of specialists, specialty care, research and supportive care for families affected by epilepsy. This intent to establish an endowment is one step in our organization’s fight to end epilepsy.”

According to CHLA, advances in technology, such as brain mapping and genetic testing, are improving epilepsy treatment options. The fellowship program will train child neurologists in the latest treatments.

Dr. Deborah Holder, director of the Epilepsy Program, EEG Lab and Epilepsy Monitoring Unit at CHLA, said fellows will be eligible to become a Board-certified epileptologist at the conclusion of the yearlong fellowship.

“This program is a critical next step in our ability to carry out the vision of building a more robust team of epileptologists at CHLA given it will create an essential pipeline that currently does not exist,” she said.

Los Angeles and surrounding counties are home to more than 160,000 families living with epilepsy, according to the foundation, which is focused on specialty and supportive care, advocacy, research and education efforts.

—City News Service

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