20 May 2021

Vale Dr Rosey Panelli, advocate for people with epilepsy

Vale Dr Rosey Panelli, who was a valued and beloved Department of Neuroscience member, colleague, researcher, friend and advocate for people with epilepsy. Rosey Panelli passed away after a short illness at the Alfred on 27 April. 

If you would like to join remotely to celebrate her life and achievements at 1.30 pm on Sunday 27 June 2021, (updated from the original 30 May date because of COVID) here is the live stream link: https://vividstream.com.au/panelli/

Rosey worked in the field of epilepsy since 1995, developing programs, resources and policies for patient support and community education. Her interest in epilepsy-related health policies and services led her to pursue a Master of Public Health and a PhD.

Sudden Unexpected Death in Epilepsy (SUDEP) has been an issue of concern in Australia for more than 20 years and Rosey was involved in SUDEP action from the beginning, actively fostering international collaboration where possible. She served on the International Bureau for Epilepsy (IBE) Commission for Risks and Insurability and the IBE Research Committee. In 2011 she received the IBE Ambassador for Epilepsy Award.

Rosey was invited to participate in an international SUDEP workshop held in Washington in 2008 and continued to participate in US SUDEP activities. She was an adjunct research associate of Monash University and had recently completed a study of epilepsy deaths recorded in the Australian National Coronial Information System (NCIS). She was also the International Research Consultant for SUDEP Action UK, acting as the Australia contact person for the International Epilepsy Deaths Register. She was the co-editor of the SUDEP Global conversation website www.sudepglobalconversation.com

As an epilepsy researcher who had also worked as the manager of a busy general practice in country Victoria, Rosey believed there is much that can be done at the primary care level to improve health outcomes for people with epilepsy. She believed that GPs are currently the 'missing link' in epilepsy care. "Australia has good epilepsy specialist care in place but GPs need to actively participate in the day to day monitoring and education of people with epilepsy. GPs can make a unique and powerful contribution to the reduction of epilepsy-related risk and comorbidity, and the promotion of well-being in people living with epilepsy", she said.

She developed a web page for GPs www.epilepsyingeneralpractice.com

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