About 70,000 Houstonians will develop epilepsy in their lifetime, and those who do not speak English as their first language can face challenges in getting care, which could contribute to poorer outcomes, according to the Epilepsy Foundation.
To address that language gap, UTHealth Neurosciences has opened the Spanish language Clínica Hispana de Epilepsia in the Texas Medical Center.
“Hispanic patients with epilepsy are less likely to receive specialized epilepsy care, and less likely to undergo surgical treatment, the only way to potentially cure epilepsy,” said Nuria Lacuey Lecumberri, MD, PhD, assistant professor of neurology with McGovern Medical School at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). UTHealth Neurosciences is a clinical practice of McGovern Medical School.
The Epilepsy Foundation reported that even when interpreter services are provided, the language barriers between providers and patients lead to poorer epilepsy disease and psychosocial outcomes. Almost 40% of the population of Houston is Hispanic, according to the Greater Houston Partnership, and about 38% of the population speaks Spanish in the home, according to the City of Houston.
The Clínica Hispana de Epilepsia is the first in Houston to offer epilepsy care entirely in the Spanish language for patients and their families with limited English proficiency. It was founded by Lacuey Lecumberri as part of the Texas Comprehensive Epilepsy Program (TCEP), a collaboration between McGovern Medical School and Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center.
TCEP offers patients medical management and surgical options for the treatment of epilepsy, including the latest technologies in minimally invasive procedures.
“The overarching goal of the Clínica Hispana de Epilepsia is to provide excellent epilepsy care to a large, underserved Spanish-speaking population with limited English proficiency in Houston and beyond,” Lacuey Lecumberri said.
The clinic is located at 6410 Fannin St., Suite 1014, Houston, Texas, 77030.
For more information about the clinic, or to request an appointment, please call 832-325-7080 or fax 713-512-2239.