After Bettyjo Bouchey, Ed.D., got over the shock of having her 10-year-old son Gavin diagnosed with epilepsy in 2015, she started leading a charge to increase awareness and find new treatments.
Bouchey, associate professor and associate dean of college operations and faculty development for National Louis University’s College of Professional Studies and Advancement, grew into a leadership role as a volunteer doing legislative advocacy with the Epilepsy Foundation.
An Indiana resident, Bouchey has spoken before the Indiana legislature several times. Foundation officials credit her with raising awareness of the benefits of CBD (cannabidiol), derived from the cannabis plant, in the treatment of intractable epilepsy. Her devoted advocacy contributed to the passage of legislation in 2017 and earlier this year to improve access to CBD oil. Most recently, Indiana signed into law Senate Bill 52, which permits medical use of regulated CBD oil, on March 21, 2018.
On April 16, the Epilepsy Foundation bestowed upon Bouchey its 2018 Sara Stubblefield Advocacy Award, a national honor, in Washington, D.C.
“Bettyjo has demonstrated commitment to the epilepsy community. She quickly learned the issue, the stakeholders and political landscape, and leveraged resources to move the legislation forward,” said Epilepsy Foundation President and CEO Phil Gattone. “Her professionalism, passion and dedication were a strong driver for the successful passage of this legislation.”
Coincidentally, Gattone received his M.Ed. degree from National Louis University.
On April 17, Bouchey will join epilepsy advocates from across the country in Washington, D.C. to meet with members of Congress in support of public policies that benefit people living with epilepsy. Advocates will share their stories in support of the Epilepsy Program at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health, in addition to proposals to improve access to physician-directed care and foster biomedical innovation, and safeguarding civil rights guaranteed by the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Bouchey teaches courses in business, management and entrepreneurship at National Louis.