CRYSTAL LAKE – The McHenry County Epilepsy Foundation announced Tuesday it will begin offering brain injury health management services to McHenry County residents on March 7, filling a service gap left when the McHenry County Mental Health Board decided in January to stop funding those services at the Pioneer Center.
The foundation received a grant of $339,651 from the Mental Health Board that will cover startup costs and last until the end of the board’s fiscal year on Nov. 30, the foundation’s Director of Telehealth Nancy Monica said.
Dr. Marvin Rossi, who will serve as the program’s medical director through a partnership with Rush University Medical Center, said the program was a natural fit because studies show that up to 90 percent of patients with a traumatic brain injury also have epilepsy.
He said the foundation plans to expand the program from what it was at Pioneer. Monica said the program would inherit the 65 people who were already in the program and hopes to expand to at least 200 patients by the end of the year.
“When we look at the numbers, there are hundreds of people in the county who have significant disabilities from traumatic brain injuries,” Rossi said. “It was reasonable with these large numbers to say we will more than triple the throughput with our patients and those people in the community who are not being offered services.”
The program will be at the foundation’s office at 333 Commerce Drive, Suite 500, in Crystal Lake, and Monica said the practice would be expanding into a suite next door.
Monica said the foundation also will hire the three full-time employees and one part-time employee that were working for the program at Pioneer.
The announcement comes four days after Woodstock's Thresholds introduced a new program that would help fill the psychiatric services gap.