Epilepsy Foundation Announces Brien Smith as New Board Chair
May 23, 2011
Epilepsy Foundation Announces Brien J. Smith, M.D. as Chair of the Board
First Medical Doctor with History of Seizures Appointed Foundation Chair
The Epilepsy Foundation has elected Brien J. Smith, M.D. as chair of its board of directors.
Since its founding in 1968, Dr. Smith is the first medical doctor with a history of seizures to serve as the Epilepsy Foundation's Board Chair.
Dr. Smith is Chief of Neurology for the Spectrum Health Medical Group, the Michigan healthcare system recently named one of the Top 10 healthcare systems in America by Thomson Reuters. His primary areas of interest include providing and promoting new therapies and options such as brain surgery and advanced technologies for optimal seizure control. Dr. Smith, who has a history of epilepsy related to a brain tumor, is an authority on epilepsy and co-author of the book Epilepsy Surgery: Case Studies and Commentaries.
"Brien is well-respected in the medical community as a top neurologist and his personal experience with epilepsy has fueled his passion to serve others," said Rich Denness, president and CEO of the Epilepsy Foundation. "Under his leadership, the Foundation will become a stronger voice for people living with epilepsy, many of whom face great obstacles. Dr. Smith has had a strong advocacypresence on Capitol Hilland before the Administration. He has advocated for more funding to promote a wide range of epilepsy research toward better treatment options, a greater understanding of seizures and a cure for epilepsy.
Additionally, Smith has advocated on the need for greater access to all availabletreatment, focusing most recently on those who develop epilepsy as a result of traumatic brain injury while in military service. His testimony before Congress helped create the Veterans Administration Epilepsy Centers of Excellence to ensure early recognition and quality treatment and support for veterans with epilepsy. "I am honored that my colleagues have asked me to serve as chair of the Board," said Smith. "I am excited about this opportunity to continue making the Epilepsy Foundation a prominent presence in communities around the country, where we will provide necessary programs and services to support people affected by epilepsy, increase public understanding of the condition and continue to raise funds towards research for a cure." Dr. Smith earned his bachelor's degree at Ferris State University in Big Rapids, Michigan, and his medical degree at Wayne State University in Detroit. He conducted his residency in neurology at Henry Ford Hospital where he also served as the neurology chief resident. He currently lives in Michigan with his wife and six children.