Published on: 09/21/2022
State Senator Ileana Garcia and Senator-Elect Bryan Avila this month presented a $500,000 check, funded by the state of Florida, to representatives of Nicklaus Children's. The funds will support the work of the hospital's Epilepsy Program, a world-leader in treating children with medically resistant epilepsy.
Senator Garcia and Senator Elect Avila championed the funding which will enable the hospital to acquire a next-generation, high-density electroencephalogram (EEG) system to support precise and accurate localization of seizure activity in a child's brain.
“We are enormously grateful to Senator Garcia and Senator-Elect Avila for their commitment to the care of children with epilepsy,” said Matthew A. Love, president and CEO of Nicklaus Children's Health System, parent organization of the hospital. “These two leaders understand the value of our state's four specialty licensed children's hospitals, including Nicklaus Children's. The four hospitals provide the most acute care services solely to children here in Florida, demonstrating their importance in ensuring the state's children have access to expert pediatric care without the need to leave their communities.”
“This has been a great opportunity for me to give back to a wonderful place that helped me when my mother and I were at our most vulnerable – when I was diagnosed with epilepsy as a child,” said Senator Garcia. “For me this moment is very nostalgic, because I remember always telling my mother that I would give back some day.”
Senator-Elect Avila, said, “It has been an honor to help support an organization that is so essential to the children and families of our community. We are fortunate that children with epilepsy in Florida have access to one of the top programs in the nation when they seek care.”
In addition, Senator Garcia was also the sponsor of Senate Bill 340, passed earlier this year, which requires that Florida public schools create individualized seizure action plans for children with epileptic seizures. The companion bill, House Bill 173, was sponsored by Representatives Nicholas Duran and Michael Gottlieb. Both bills passed unanimously and were signed into law by the governor. Thanks to these efforts, children with seizures are in a safer environment while in the classroom.
The Epilepsy Program is a premier program of the Nicklaus Children's Brain Institute, the nation's first comprehensive medical program dedicated solely to the care of the developing brain. It brings together world-renowned specialists in numerous pediatric neuroscience subspecialties with cumulative clinical experience unparalleled in the United States. The team fosters integrated research and offers the latest in assessment and treatment for children with disorders of the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves. Nicklaus Children's is routinely ranked among the best children's hospitals in the nation for neurology and neurosurgery.