Transcript - Epilepsy Centers of Excellence (ECoE)
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Epilepsy Centers of Excellence (ECoE)


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Epilepsy Center of Excellence
San Francisco VA Medical Center

Video Transcript

The mission of the San Francisco VA Medical Center Epilepsy Center of Excellence is to provide exceptional health care that improves the health and well-being of Veteran patient with epilepsy and other seizure disorders through the integration of research, education, and clinical care.

Karen Parko, M.D. FAAN, Director, SF Epilepsy Center of Excellence:

There’s been an epilepsy center at the San Francisco VA since 1997.  However in 2008, there was a congressional mandate to develop a national group called the Epilepsy Centers of Excellence across the United States.  And as a part of that, we’ve expanded the center here at the San Francisco VA to become the Southwest Regional Center of Excellence.

Our goals are to work together to allow any veteran from the Southwest region or anywhere across the United States access to the specialized epilepsy services we offer here, including diagnosis, treatment, [and] surgical treatment.

We’re a network to provide care to Veterans who suffer from seizures and epilepsy.

John D. Hixson, M.D., Staff Physician, Neurology:

Here at the VA we offer a full complement of services for the advanced evaluation of patients with epilepsy.  This includes the most advanced brain imaging techniques, which are intended to identify potential areas of the brain that may be causing seizures to occur in the first place.  This also includes advanced brain wave testing, otherwise known as Electroencephalography.  This allows us to determine what types of seizures a person is having as well as localize where they may be coming from in the brain.

Nina Garga, M.D., Staff Physician, Neurology:

So, we educate physicians at a number of different levels.  We work with primary care doctors as well as Neurologists at other facilities to educate them on the care of patients with epilepsy.  We also, in our own program here, train fellows and residents on the aspects of epilepsy care so that they can go on to develop careers and take care of patients in other locations as well.

Quality of life is really the most critical thing for a patient with any medical condition and if you only treat the problem without treating the person, you really don’t address their needs.  So, we like to make an effort to take a holistic approach and address all the aspects of their life that are affected by their disease. 

Karen Parko, M.D. FAAN, Director, SF Epilepsy Center of Excellence:

We are an energetic fabulous group.  The best part about working here is the people who are here, who are all dedicated to their job.  So please allow us to help you with your patients who have seizures or epilepsy.  Or if you’re a patient who has seizure or epilepsy and you’re interested in the services that we offer here, do not hesitate to contact us and to come see us.

For more information, please visit our website at 

Epilepsy Center of Excellence
San Francisco VA Medical Center