Striving for Health Equity in Epilepsy Care: Elizabeth Felton, MD, PhD


At the 2022 AES annual meeting, the assistant professor in the Department of Neurology at the University of Wisconsin talked about her presentation and the key actions for addressing health equity. [WATCH TIME: 4 minutes]

WATCH TIME: 4 minutes

“We need more people that are in the healthcare field that look like the patients that we're serving. I had shown some data that in the United States in 2019, about 13% of the population is Black or African American, but only 2.8% of us neurologists are Black or African American. That's a huge mismatch.”

The concern about health equity, a complex and multifaceted issue, has been brought up in many conversations across fields of medicine. In neurology specifically, there have been several conversations about improving access to care and making sure patients are receiving the best care possible. As conversations continue, more awareness is brought to the issue, promoting additional action from clinicians and health organizations.

At the 2022 American Epilepsy Society Annual Meeting, held December 2 to 6, in Nashville, Tennessee, Elizabeth Felton, MD, presented a talk on progressing health equity for patients with epilepsy.1 In her talk, she discussed the two major areas where physicians and clinical settings could take action to work towards this goal. The one area she mentioned is the implicit bias and communication approaches clinicians have with their patients while the second involved having more diversity in the clinical workforce.

At the meeting, Felton sat down with NeurologyLive® in an interview to talk about how to provide equal health care to patients with epilepsy. She also described the drivers observed in the literature that causing barriers to healthcare equity. Felton, assistant professor, Department of Neurology, University of Wisconsin, explained that medication access depends on insurance and cost for patients which she thinks are the key actions to take in the next couple of years.

Click here for more coverage of AES 2022.

1. Felton, E. Advancing Health Equity in Epilepsy. Presented at: AES Annual Meeting; December 2-6, 2022; Nashville, TN, and virtual. Special Lecture.
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