Overview


Project ECHO® Ontario: Epilepsy Across the Lifespan is a technology-enabled, collaborative learning program that aims to build the capacity of health care providers (e.g., family doctors, paediatricians and nurse practitioners) to care for children, adolescents and adults with epilepsy. The first Epilepsy ECHO clinics are expected to launch with a paediatric curriculum in early spring of 2018, and an adult curriculum in the summer of 2018.

Epilepsy is second only to headache amongst common neurological conditions in Ontario, but the burden of illness of epilepsy is far greater. Epilepsy impacts approximately 90,000 Ontarians and 6,500 new cases of epilepsy diagnosed each year. Many individuals with epilepsy, when diagnosed appropriately, can be treated effectively with antiepileptic drugs. An estimated 30% have drug-resistant epilepsy, experiencing seizures that do not respond to treatment with two or more appropriate trials of antiepileptic drug therapy.

Individuals with drug-resistant epilepsy are at risk of: increased visits to the emergency department, life-threatening intensive care admissions, frequent visits to the family doctor and/or neurologist, frequent hospital admissions related both to seizures and co-morbidities, and ineffective trials of multiple antiepileptic drugs. When seizures aren’t adequately controlled, the social and economic impact on patients are detrimental to their overall health and quality of life.

Recognizing the burden on community providers to access neurology and other specialties for this often complex population, Project ECHO: Epilepsy Across the Lifespan will connect providers in rural, remote and underserved areas with an interdisciplinary epilepsy team, including epileptologists, psychiatrists, pharmacists, social workers and community agency resources at regional

Comprehensive Epilepsy Programs (CEPs). Ontario’s CEPs are located in:
  •       Toronto: Hospital for Sick Children and Toronto Western Hospital (University Health Network)
  •       Hamilton: Hamilton Health Sciences Centre and McMaster Children’s Hospital
  •       Ottawa: The Ottawa Hospital and the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario
  •       London: London Health Sciences Centre [adult and pediatric]
  •       Thunder Bay: Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre and
  •       Kingston: Kingston General Hospital

As Learning Partners, providers will gain the evidence-informed skills and knowledge to help Ontarian’s with epilepsy, including complex patients, get appropriately diagnosed and managed within their own communities. 

During the 90-minute TeleECHO™ sessions, participants will hear 15 – 20 minute didactic lessons facilitated by the Hub Team, followed by Case Presentations (de-identified) from our Learning Partners. All didactic presentations will be recorded, archived and posted online for Learning Partners and their colleagues to refer to in the future. TeleECHO® sessions are designed around case-based learning allowing for interaction and sharing of ideas, building upon knowledge from one another.

Summary of case suggestions will be shared after each session so that the case presenter can use the knowledge to actively diagnose and manage their patient, and refer to appropriate specialized diagnostic, treatment or supportive programs and services within the Region.  Learning partners will also have access to expert support both during the TeleECHO™ clinic sessions and through telePsychiatry and teleNeurology services in areas where access to neurology and psychiatry are scarce.

Providers are invited to participate in these free TeleECHO™ clinic sessions. As an added bonus, Continued Professional Development (CPD) credits are given to participants who attend.  

Enrollment is on a first come, first serve basis however, if we don’t have room in one cohort, we will put you on the list for the next one.  We only can accommodate up to 10-12 participants per cohort at each CEP hub.

Ontario Project ECHO: Epilepsy Across the Lifespan, covering both paediatric and adult populations is administered through SickKids.

For more information, or to inquire about participating in

please contact us:  epilepsy.echo@sickkids.ca or call Anastasia Vogt, Program Manager, at 416-813-7654 ext. 309016

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