NATIONAL SPEAKER, CONSULTANT AND
FOUNDER OF LIVING WELL WITH EPILEPSY
Bridging the gap between the scientific and patient communities
Founder/Owner of Living Well With Epilepsy
In 2009, after decades of living with epilepsy, I discovered I had learned how to navigate the US health system, found my voice as an advocate and discovered a way to successfully live with a chronic illness. So with limited resources, I created a very simple blog to share what I learned.
At the time, I was working at The Wharton School at The University of Pennsylvania in fundraising, my daughter was too young to be in school, and my husband traveled for work. So, there was no time to write a book. But I did have time to write a blog post here and there. I even found time to teach myself to code.
I was diagnosed as a teen after having several grand mal seizures. As I’m sure many of you can relate, it took years to find a combo of medications that controlled my seizures with minimal side effects. Thanks to an outstanding team at Massachusetts General Hospital, and later at Cornell Weil Medicine, I was able to go to college at Fordham University, live on campus, and even complete my degree on time. Following graduation I went on to live and work in NYC for many years.
As a member of the epilepsy community, I work hard to make Living Well With Epilepsy a trusted resource to and reflective of the millions living with epilepsy. The site is also meant to be a useful tool for loved ones and caregivers. I have been honored to learn from chairs of Neurology from leading academic institutions around the country, participated in an NIH Institute Without Walls, and continue to keep the phone lines, emails and social media channels as open as possible. This is an important piece of the work I do because frankly, I learn the most and get the best inspiration when I connect with families and patients who are living with the day to day reality of epilepsy.
As Founder of Living Well With Epilepsy, I am responsible for design, strategy, content, business development and enhanced functionality on the site. I work directly with our writers, makes all final editorial decisions. I also work directly with our valued partners to ensure the site continues to be a resource for industry, advocacy, and most importantly the patient community. And of course, I am always on the lookout for trends in health, online marketing, and epilepsy.
Bridging Gap Between the Scientific and Patient Communities
In addition to Living Well With Epilepsy, Jessica Keenan Smith is also the Executive Director of the American Society for Experimental Neurotherapeutics (ASENT). ASENT is an independent non-profit organization established in 1997 by leaders in academia, government, advocacy and industry to facilitate the process by which new therapies are made available to patients with neurological disorders. Its primary goal is to encourage and advance the development of improved therapies for diseases and disorders of the nervous system.
ASENT engages in scientific exchanges to encourage contacts between those involved in the discovery and development of neurotherapeutics and to provide opportunities for dialogue between the interested groups. The society organizes education and training and publishes a journal for healthcare practitioners, scientists and officials participating in the neurotherapeutics field, which serves as a forum for its members and interested groups addressing diverse issues.
That trust quotient and authentic voice are why healthcare marketing, hospital systems, and even startups rely on us to get the word out through the Living Well With Epilepsy brand platform. Jessica brings more than 20 years experience in marketing and digital media to Living Well With Epilepsy. Download our media kit to view the many ways we are reaching out to the epilepsy community.Download a Media Kit
Date: February 25, 2023
Event: ASENT 2023 Annual Meeting
Date: March 13-15, 2023
Event: AAN ASENT Reception
Date: April 25, 2023
In this role, Jessica also speaks regularly to the media and health organizations such as Forbes, WHYY, Healtheo360, AbilityExpo, Epilepsy Foundation, Wharton School and industry partners such as Neurelis, SK Life Science, Eisai, Sunovion, and Lundbeck. Below are a few of the more commonly requested topics:
Patient engagement has long been a hot topic in healthcare but many companies still struggle with how to fully overcome barriers in this space. Because healthcare is often designed around silos it is difficult to think in terms of “cross-pollinating” ideas and solutions between those silos. In this talk Jessica will share examples of where barriers can rise up and suggestions that may help to eliminate those barriers.
Storytelling has the power to persuade, engage and activate. This technique if used properly can appeal to our core emotions and inspire fierce support. In this talk Jessica will share how she has connected with the epilepsy community to gather hundreds of personal stories from around the world and how those stories are having an impact.
Brands, nonprofits, even engaged patients are looking for guidance on how to effectively navigate their space more in a more authentic fashion that is still true to their “brand”. Often this feels like an impossible ask, but the truth is the closer we are to our authentic voice the easier it is to stay on message.
2022 Led ASENT Annual Meeting as Executive Director
2022 Participated in Epilepsy Awareness Day at DisneyLand in Anaheim, CA
2022 Attended AES Annual Meeting in Nashville, TN
2018 Attended AES Annual Meeting in New Orleans, LA
2018 Received Web Health Award
2018 Nominated for Her Abilities Award
2018 Recognized in Forbes as a leader in personal blogging
2018 Attended ASENT Annual Meeting in Rockville, MD
2018 Attended BlogHer in NYC, NY
2017 Named Executive Director of American Society for Experimental Neurotherapeutics
2017 Presented at University of Pennsylvania Epilepsy Support Group
2017 Presented at Sunovion All Company Meeting in Boston, MA
2017 Judged Web Health Awards
2017 Presented at National Epilepsy Walk in Washington, DC
2017 Attended ASENT Annual Meeting in Rockville, MD
2017 Joined the CDC AES Public Health Interest Workgroup
2016 Led Epilepsy Blog Event with Greg Grunberg at American Epilepsy Society
2016 Presented to Variety Charities National Meeting in Las Vegas, NV
2016 Ran three successful Epilepsy Blog Relays
2015 Guest on H360LIVE
2015 Guest on WHYY’s Voices in the Family
2015 Brought on three new writers
2015 Launched the first Epilepsy Blog Relay
2015 Judged the International Web Health Awards
2015 Presented at BIO International Convention
2015 Judged the eHealthcare Leadership Awards
2015 Attended the Academy of Neurology Annual Meeting
2014 Presented at Mid-Atlantic Society for Association Executives
2014 Presented at NYMetro AbilitiesExpo
2014 Brought on first writer for Living Well With Epilepsy
2014 Named About.com Epilepsy Expert
2013 Presented at Boston AbilitiesExpo
2013 Became American Neurological Association’s Director of Education and Member Services
2013 Presented at Living Well With a Disability in Lancaster, PA
2013 International Web Health Awards Judge
2013 Web Marketing Association Judge
2012 Re-Launch Party featuring Grammy-nominated artist Jann Klose
2012 Named a Wharton Management 100 Client Partner
2011 Shorty Award Nominee
2011 International Web Health Awards Judge
2010 Named Interim Director, Stewardship Wharton School
2010 Participated in University of Pennsylvania Stewardship Guidelines Committee
2009 Participated in University of Pennsylvania Campaign Recognition Committee
2009 Established Living Well With Epilepsy