ET AGM (Annual General Meeting)

Annual Meeting Invitation, Epilepsy Toronto community.

There was a time, long past, when people with epilepsy were shunned and burnt at the stake; so feared and misunderstood was this disorder.  Thankfully, those days are long gone.  Epilepsy is no longer enshrouded in stigma, and no one has to worry anymore about being discriminated against because they have this disorder.  Or do they?  Does epilepsy stigma still exist?  How far have we come, really???

Prepare to be uplifted, empowered, and actively involved in this interactive session where together we will try to answer the question “Is Epilepsy Stigma a Thing of the Past?”.

Mary Secco is a community educator and advocate who began her epilepsy career in 2001 as the Executive Director of Epilepsy Southwestern Ontario. In 2014 she changed her role to focus on research to develop and evaluate programs to address the systemic gaps and barriers faced by people with epilepsy in accessing health information and supportive care.

Mary served as a patient advocate on the Ontario Ministry of Health’s Epilepsy Implementation Task Force which produced guidelines for the management of care for children and adults with epilepsy. Globally she has provided project coordination for a series of epilepsy toolkits related to health diplomacy, advocacy, and stigma. She was elected IBE Secretary General (2017-2021) and has been actively involved in supporting the development and implementation of two WHO resolutions to improve epilepsy care (WHA68.20 and WHA73.10). Mary is a past co-chair of the ILAE Global Outreach Task Force and continues to serve as the Chair of Global Advocacy for the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE). She was a recipient of the International Ambassador for Epilepsy Award in 2023.

Mary is currently a PhD student at Western University. Her research interests include the impact of stigma and understanding the health information and care preferences for people with epilepsy.