Not another moment lost to seizures

Our Mission

The mission of the Epilepsy Society of San Diego County is to empower individuals and families impacted by epilepsy to overcome challenges through education, advocacy, counseling, resources, and other supportive programs. 

The Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization serving the San Diego community since 1954, offering personal advocacy and counseling, seizure first aid training, Expressive Arts therapy, camp and a variety of supportive services. All these services are free and are available to anyone whose life is touched by epilepsy, regardless of the severity of the disability and without regard to race, creed, age, sex or nationality.


Timeline of our efforts

  • Top three funder for five years supporting National Research to find cures and new treatments for people with epilepsy.
  • Program Excellence Award for piloting the Hispanic Initiative designing a promotoras training program to improve outreach to Latino communities that was then replicated nationwide.
  • Received the 1st  inaugural Coelho Cup for Innovation for Statewide Advocacy Program in partnership with Greater Los Angeles and Northern California Epilepsy Foundation affiliates.
  • Expressive Arts Therapy Program for Children with epilepsy using five art forms of music, dance, drama, poetry, visual arts (first program of its kind in the country).
  • 50th Anniversary – honoring our past, a year-long celebration.  50th Gala honoring Dr. David Barba (founding president), Dr. John Alksne, Sally B. Thornton, Mim and Al Sally and honorary chair John O’Hurley.
  • Epilepsy Awareness Press Campaign – Epilepsy stories covered: ten nights on all major local television stations, two op-ed pieces in SD Union Tribune and Epilepsy Exchange newsletter reaches 10,000 circulation, and five live radio interviews all raising awareness of epilepsy.
  • The Epilepsy Society of San Diego County changes its name to the Epilepsy Foundation of San Diego County.
  • NurseNet (see 1997) receives national recognition for program excellence from the Epilepsy Foundation National Office.
  • 860 individuals, families & service providers received 4758 information, counseling, advocacy, &/or other support services. 4459 received our informative newsletters. We provided professional education & in-service training to 966 educators, health care & disability services providers, graduate students & other service professionals. 7048 children learned about epilepsy through classroom and Kids On the Block assembly programs. Public health presentations and other community contacts brought epilepsy awareness to 2163 people.
  • The San Diego Foundation Ariel W. Coggeshall Fund awarded EFSDC a $12,370 grant to help develop an epilepsy outreach and education program in the Latino community.
  • Power to Prevent, a health and safety curriculum for use in elementary and middle school classrooms, was developed. Copies distributed to 530 schools in San Diego County.
  • Executive Director, Jackie Vella, received the National Award for Exexecutive Director of the Year from the Epilepsy Foundation National Office.
  • Women’s International Center honored the Epilepsy Society with its Living Legacy Humanitarian Award.
  • NurseNet, a continuing education program for school nurses, was created. There have been over 350 participants to date.
  • Epilepsy Society received national recognition for its Epilepsy Statewide Media Campaign.
  • The first Summer Camp for children with epilepsy.
  • California Epilepsy/Seizure Disorder Needs Assessment Report was published. This represented a three-year project by the Epilepsy Society of San Diego County.
  • The State Council on Developmental Disabilities and Protection & Advocacy Inc. recognized the Epilepsy Society with its ‘Outstanding Program’ of the Year for employment services.
  • The Grand Opening of the Postal Annex+ Individual Work Transition Program.
  • The Epilepsy Society of San Diego County was named the EFA Affiliate on the Year.
  • A person having one grand mal seizure per month became eligible for some County jobs.
  • Employment Services start, free of charge to the applicant.
  • Assembly Bill 229 includes children with epilepsy under The Crippled Children’s Services Program. This represented 10 years of work by the Epilepsy Society.
  • Mayor Frank Curran proclaimed July as “Epilepsy Education Month.”
  • The Society reached its thousandth case.
  • The Society purchased and moved into a house at 1612 30th Street. This remained our headquarters until June of 1987.
  • First Society headquarters were rented.
  • The Society participated in a conference in Chicago to help organize a National Epilepsy Society.
  • The organization officially became known as the San Diego County Epilepsy Society.
  • Approximately 50 people attended a meeting at Mission Hills Methodist church to organize a San Diego Chapter of the California Society for the Welfare of Epileptics.


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