Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago Case Study

“I’m able to get a bird’s eye view of a client quickly, and see what phone calls have happened, what complex problems may be present, and what group programs they’ve participated in during their time with us”

For those who live with epilepsy or have loved ones who do, you’re probably aware of the great work that the Epilepsy Foundation does across the United States.

For those who don’t know, The Epilepsy Foundation is a nationwide network that offers counseling, advocacy, and educational services to people with epilepsy, their families, and the communities in which they live.

The foundation’s chapter in Greater Chicago has been using Penelope since 2011 to help serve 43 counties across Illinois.

How the Epilepsy Foundation uses Penelope

Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago uses Penelope to manage a variety of their programs and processes, including case management services, linking clients to insurance, housing assistance, and educational advocacy.

The group program tool in Penelope is used heavily to capture information about day camps, respite programs, music and dance therapy programs, and many others.

Attendance must be tracked to help measure each program’s effectiveness, and Penelope makes this easy, helping Epilepsy Chicago serve over 500 people via groups each year.

For the case management component, Epilepsy Chicago uses Penelope to record notes for individual events, whether it’s a phone call, face-to-face meeting, or outside visit. This helps staff member Mary Jo Perlongo, who oversees many of these programs.

“I’m able to get a bird’s eye view of a client quickly, and see what phone calls have happened, what complex problems may be present, and what group programs they’ve participated in during their time with us,” Mary Jo said.


Before Penelope, Epilepsy Foundation staff were using carbon paper to record client intake information. This was eventually assisted by an Access database, and then replaced by Penelope for all intake and client information needs.

Meeting New Challenges

While the client base at Epilepsy Chicago has changed over the past 10 years, the needs of the individuals they serve have remained consistent.

Technology helps them to reach more clients and Mary Jo sees this as an opportunity to continue growing in the future.

Potential areas to expand the use of Penelope include the newly-introduced Engage feature, which allows for clients to connect directly with their service provider via the system.

Many clients can’t drive, so having a system that’s mobile is also a big help.

One of the big challenges that Epilepsy Chicago has faced so far is on-boarding new staff.

As each new staff member is introduced to Penelope, they need training on how to perform their specific role.

This is one of the main reasons Penelope is designed to be user-friendly and very simple for different users.

We understand that staff is going to change at your organization, and it shouldn’t be difficult to learn Penelope.

Epilepsy Foundation of Greater Chicago Case Study Summary

Learn More

Download a two-page summary of the Epilepsy Foundation case study to share with your colleagues!

If you’d like to learn more about Penelope for your organization, please contact us!

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