888-500-9165 | Statewide Info-line info@biaaz.org

Who We Are

The Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona is a social benefit organization dedicated to creating a better future through brain injury prevention, advocacy and education. We support, connect, and empower survivors and caregivers on their journeys to recovery.

Thirty-five years ago, the Brain Injury Alliance was founded in Tucson by a group of parents who joined forces to network and assist their pediatric and adult children who survived brain injury. They were particularly interested in identifying and working with professionals who truly understood the complex journey that life-after-brain-injury entails.

Today, the Brain Injury Alliance is a statewide organization that supports individuals with brain injuries and the professionals that serve them, through prevention, education and awareness.

OUR STAFF

Carrie Collins, MPA

Carrie Collins, MPA

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Brittany Sweeny-Lawson

Brittany Sweeny-Lawson

RESOURCE FACILITATION MANAGER

Certified Brain Injury Specialist • Bilingual

Will Grove

Will Grove

Resource Facilitation Specialist

Certified Brain Injury Specialist

Kristin O'Shaughnessy

Kristin O'Shaughnessy

OPERATIONS COORDINATOR

About Carrie

An established leader in the field, Carrie brought her passion for well-run nonprofits to the Brain Injury Alliance in 2015. She has an extensive background in nonprofit management, government, and public policy, after a long career with United Way and the Alzheimer’s Association.  Carrie embraces the challenges that come with being at the helm of the only organization in Arizona providing lifelong support, resources, and empowerment activities for survivors of brain injury, their families, and the professionals who care for them.

In her spare time, Carrie is pursuing her PhD in Organizational Leadership and writes for Nonprofit Quarterly. A Michigan native, Carrie adopted the obligatory three Chihuahuas upon moving to Arizona and fell in love with desert gardening.  As a loyal member of the Central Arizona Cactus & Succulent Society, she is determined to keep over 90 species of cacti alive in her backyard, with varying degrees of success.

About Brittany

Brittany leads the Resource Facilitation team that researches and vets brain injury resources and information so those who need them most—survivors of brain injury, their families, and the professionals who serve them— have access to them. As the bilingual resource facilitation manger, she maintains English and Spanish resources and is currently translating Brain Injury Alliance materials into Spanish. She is also the editor of the Alliance’s e-Zine The Noggin, as well as the Chair of The Noggin Committee.

 

While with the Alliance, Brittany became certified as a Brain Injury Specialist. She is proud to be a part of such an amazing organization and provide outreach and education to raise awareness for the invisible injury of brain injury. Her favorite pastimes include the theatre, baking, reading, karaoke, the outdoors, and spending time with her husband and daughter and their lazy cat and dog.

About Will

Will brings an extensive background in behavioral health to the Resource Facilitation Team, including stints at Child and Family Support Services and Touchstone Behavioral Health. He now serves as a primary point of contact for survivors and families, connecting them to the resources and support they need in the community. He also leads several support groups for survivors.

Will is very active in his role as Chair of the Public Policy Committee, promoting public policies that benefit Arizona’s brain injury community. The Erie, PA native studied film and sociology at Syracuse University, and is a big fan of Fellini, Wong Kar Wai, and de Sica (Kurosawa is a close fourth). In his spare time, he settles in for copious amounts of televised soccer and Turner Classic Movies.

About Kristin

Kristin is the glue that keeps the organization running. In addition to working closely with the Executive Director and staff to schedule, plan, and execute virtual and in-person events, this second-generation Phoenician helps organize support groups, develop training materials, and assist with communications.

After receiving a BA from Grand Canyon University (GCU) and MA from Fuller Theological Seminary, she spent 10 years in education with several local institutions (Cortez HS, Sunnyslope HS, Bradshaw Mountain HS, and Arizona Christian University).  Kristin collects pineapples as a symbol of hospitality, a call to “stand tall, wear a crown, and be sweet.”

Carrie Collins, MPA

Carrie Collins, MPA

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

About Carrie

An established leader in the field, Carrie brought her passion for well-run nonprofits to the Brain Injury Alliance in 2015. She has an extensive background in nonprofit management, government, and public policy, after a long career with United Way and the Alzheimer’s Association.  Carrie embraces the challenges that come with being at the helm of the only organization in Arizona providing lifelong support, resources, and empowerment activities for survivors of brain injury, their families, and the professionals who care for them.

In her spare time, Carrie is pursuing her PhD in Organizational Leadership and writes for Nonprofit Quarterly. A Michigan native, Carrie adopted the obligatory three Chihuahuas upon moving to Arizona and fell in love with desert gardening.  As a loyal member of the Central Arizona Cactus & Succulent Society, she is determined to keep over 90 species of cacti alive in her backyard, with varying degrees of success.

Brittany Sweeny-Lawson

Brittany Sweeny-Lawson

RESOURCE FACILITATION MANAGER

Certified Brain Injury Specialist • Bilingual

About Brittany

Brittany leads the Resource Facilitation team that researches and vets brain injury resources and information so those who need them most—survivors of brain injury, their families, and the professionals who serve them— have access to them. As the bilingual resource facilitation manger, she maintains English and Spanish resources and is currently translating Brain Injury Alliance materials into Spanish. She is also the editor of the Alliance’s e-Zine The Noggin, as well as the Chair of The Noggin Committee.

 

While with the Alliance, Brittany became certified as a Brain Injury Specialist. She is proud to be a part of such an amazing organization and provide outreach and education to raise awareness for the invisible injury of brain injury. Her favorite pastimes include the theatre, baking, reading, karaoke, the outdoors, and spending time with her husband and daughter and their lazy cat and dog.

Will Grove

Will Grove

Resource Facilitation Specialist

Certified Brain Injury Specialist

About Will

Will brings an extensive background in behavioral health to the Resource Facilitation Team, including stints at Child and Family Support Services and Touchstone Behavioral Health. He now serves as a primary point of contact for survivors and families, connecting them to the resources and support they need in the community. He also leads several support groups for survivors.

Will is very active in his role as Chair of the Public Policy Committee, promoting public policies that benefit Arizona’s brain injury community. The Erie, PA native studied film and sociology at Syracuse University, and is a big fan of Fellini, Wong Kar Wai, and de Sica (Kurosawa is a close fourth). In his spare time, he settles in for copious amounts of televised soccer and Turner Classic Movies.

Kristin O'Shaughnessy

Kristin O'Shaughnessy

OPERATIONS COORDINATOR

About Kristin

Kristin is the glue that keeps the organization running. In addition to working closely with the Executive Director and staff to schedule, plan, and execute virtual and in-person events, this second-generation Phoenician helps organize support groups, develop training materials, and assist with communications.

After receiving a BA from Grand Canyon University (GCU) and MA from Fuller Theological Seminary, she spent 10 years in education with several local institutions (Cortez HS, Sunnyslope HS, Bradshaw Mountain HS, and Arizona Christian University).  Kristin collects pineapples as a symbol of hospitality, a call to “stand tall, wear a crown, and be sweet.”

Laura Johnson

Laura Johnson

Survivor Engagement Coordinator

Janice Podzimek

Janice Podzimek

Interpersonal Violence Liaison

Certified Brain Injury Specialist

Luke Fadell

Luke Fadell

Military Family Services Coordinator

Veteran and Family Navigator

Liz Bradley

Liz Bradley

Southern Arizona Outreach Coordinator

Certified Recovery Support Specialist

Ed Roth

Ed Roth

COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR

About Laura

Laura earned her Business Administration degree and minor in art history from Northeastern University, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design and Architecture from The Art Institute of Phoenix. She deeply appreciates the power of visual creativity and interpretation, especially the role it plays in recovery.

This is evident in two art-based projects she oversees at the Brain Injury Alliance – the critically acclaimed Unmasking Project and wildly popular Creative Brain virtual art exhibit. With an eye for supporting survivors, she also founded and co-facilitates the organization’s She Shed support group for women.

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivor herself, Laura has worked in the non-profit sector as a health navigator, assisting individuals and their families within the disability community, connecting them to resources, organizations, and most importantly, new friendships.  Originally from upstate New York, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends (especially her dog Sophie), as well as seeing bands, sailing, hiking, traveling, and appreciating anything related to art and design.

About Janice

Janice comes to the Brain Injury Alliance with more than 15 years of experience in the field of brain injury programs and services. Her training in trauma awareness and resiliency has also allowed her to work extensively with underserved communities such as Native Americans and persons of color through both a brain injury and trauma-informed lens.

Janice’s desire for a warmer climate brought her to the Alliance in 2014 for a two-year stint. In January 2020, she returned as an integral member of the Brain injury Alliance’s State Opioid Response Team. This former singer is married with four children and loves to go to concerts when there isn’t a pandemic.

About Luke

Luke has a special interest in supporting veterans of all eras who seek to live well after service connected or post-deployment brain injury.

Supported by a vetted database of neuro-providers, Luke works in tandem with Medication Assisted Treatment Centers, the VA, healthcare providers, and human service organizations to help clients overcome barriers to stay housed and healthy.  He currently serves on the VA Mental Health Advisory Board, West Valley Human Services Alliance, and Veterans Action Team. He is also the organization’s Certified Peer Support Specialist and is working toward a Military and Veterans Health, Policy, and Advocacy credential from William & Mary Law School.

Since his father was a Pacific Marine in World War II and his father-in-law served in Vietnam, he is honored to be part of a military family. A Desert Storm veteran himself, Luke connects Arizona military families with resources and services, as well as providing support for enlisted members caring for a parent or child with a brain injury.

When he is not in the community raising awareness or helping clients, Luke enjoys golfing, relaxing with a good cigar, and time with his three grandchildren, Lily, Liam, and Patton.

About Liz

Liz is a member of the Brain Injury Alliance’s State Opioid Response (SOR) team, with a special interest in substance misuse prevention, harm reduction, and recovery. She is a Certified Recovery Support Specialist, helping brain injury survivors and others who struggle with substance misuse, their families, and the professionals who serve them. Liz is a content expert on addiction and brain injury and hosts a limited-edition podcast, Your Brain on Drugs.

What’s more, she is dedicated to helping family members coping with a loved one’s addiction find peace and support through free counseling programs and the Families of Brain Injury Support group she co-facilitates. Always encouraging volunteer engagement, she runs the Vulnerable Populations and Education Committees.

Along with Carrie and Will, Liz is a leader in the Leading Practice Academy on Criminal and Juvenile Justice that will bring best practices to Arizona to address brain injury in the criminal justice system in a sustainable and community-oriented way. Working with the Brain Injury Alliance has been a dream come true, and she is thrilled to be part of such an incredible team.

About Ed

Ed comes to the Brain Injury Alliance with a deep background in marketing, writing, and producing within the television industry. As a marketing executive with The Walt Disney Co., he oversaw campaigns for many first-run and syndicated shows. He has directed creative and content for numerous shows, and has also worked for Fox Broadcasting, the San Diego Padres, E. W. Scripps, and Oprah.

His ability to translate complicated concepts into easy-to-understand messages that are targeted to specific audiences have been the cornerstone of his success. He develops content for the organization’s social media, personality profiles, articles of interest, the Noggin e-zine, the Brain Waves blog, and video productions. Ed is married, has four kids, one grandchild, and plays tennis as often as possible.

Laura Johnson

Laura Johnson

Survivor Engagement Coordinator

About Laura

Laura earned her Business Administration degree and minor in art history from Northeastern University, and a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Interior Design and Architecture from The Art Institute of Phoenix. She deeply appreciates the power of visual creativity and interpretation, especially the role it plays in recovery.

This is evident in two art-based projects she oversees at the Brain Injury Alliance – the critically acclaimed Unmasking Project and wildly popular Creative Brain virtual art exhibit. With an eye for supporting survivors, she also founded and co-facilitates the organization’s She Shed support group for women.

A traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivor herself, Laura has worked in the non-profit sector as a health navigator, assisting individuals and their families within the disability community, connecting them to resources, organizations, and most importantly, new friendships.  Originally from upstate New York, she enjoys spending time with her family and friends (especially her dog Sophie), as well as seeing bands, sailing, hiking, traveling, and appreciating anything related to art and design.

Janice Podzimek

Janice Podzimek

Interpersonal Violence Liaison

Certified Brain Injury Specialist

About Janice

Janice comes to the Brain Injury Alliance with more than 15 years of experience in the field of brain injury programs and services. Her training in trauma awareness and resiliency has also allowed her to work extensively with underserved communities such as Native Americans and persons of color through both a brain injury and trauma-informed lens.

Janice’s desire for a warmer climate brought her to the Alliance in 2014 for a two-year stint. In January 2020, she returned as an integral member of the Brain injury Alliance’s State Opioid Response Team. This former singer is married with four children and loves to go to concerts when there isn’t a pandemic.

Luke Fadell

Luke Fadell

Military Family Services Coordinator

Veteran and Family Navigator

About Luke

Luke has a special interest in supporting veterans of all eras who seek to live well after service connected or post-deployment brain injury.

Supported by a vetted database of neuro-providers, Luke works in tandem with Medication Assisted Treatment Centers, the VA, healthcare providers, and human service organizations to help clients overcome barriers to stay housed and healthy.  He currently serves on the VA Mental Health Advisory Board, West Valley Human Services Alliance, and Veterans Action Team. He is also the organization’s Certified Peer Support Specialist and is working toward a Military and Veterans Health, Policy, and Advocacy credential from William & Mary Law School.

Since his father was a Pacific Marine in World War II and his father-in-law served in Vietnam, he is honored to be part of a military family. A Desert Storm veteran himself, Luke connects Arizona military families with resources and services, as well as providing support for enlisted members caring for a parent or child with a brain injury.

When he is not in the community raising awareness or helping clients, Luke enjoys golfing, relaxing with a good cigar, and time with his three grandchildren, Lily, Liam, and Patton.

Liz Bradley

Liz Bradley

Southern Arizona Outreach Coordinator

Certified Recovery Support Specialist

About Liz

Liz is a member of the Brain Injury Alliance’s State Opioid Response (SOR) team, with a special interest in substance misuse prevention, harm reduction, and recovery. She is a Certified Recovery Support Specialist, helping brain injury survivors and others who struggle with substance misuse, their families, and the professionals who serve them. Liz is a content expert on addiction and brain injury and hosts a limited-edition podcast, Your Brain on Drugs.

What’s more, she is dedicated to helping family members coping with a loved one’s addiction find peace and support through free counseling programs and the Families of Brain Injury Support group she co-facilitates. Always encouraging volunteer engagement, she runs the Vulnerable Populations and Education Committees.

Along with Carrie and Will, Liz is a leader in the Leading Practice Academy on Criminal and Juvenile Justice that will bring best practices to Arizona to address brain injury in the criminal justice system in a sustainable and community-oriented way. Working with the Brain Injury Alliance has been a dream come true, and she is thrilled to be part of such an incredible team.

Ed Roth

Ed Roth

COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR

About Ed

Ed comes to the Brain Injury Alliance with a deep background in marketing, writing, and producing within the television industry. As a marketing executive with The Walt Disney Co., he oversaw campaigns for many first-run and syndicated shows. He has directed creative and content for numerous shows, and has also worked for Fox Broadcasting, the San Diego Padres, E. W. Scripps, and Oprah.

His ability to translate complicated concepts into easy-to-understand messages that are targeted to specific audiences have been the cornerstone of his success. He develops content for the organization’s social media, personality profiles, articles of interest, the Noggin e-zine, the Brain Waves blog, and video productions. Ed is married, has four kids, one grandchild, and plays tennis as often as possible.

OUR BOARD

EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

Julie Rake,
MSPAS-PAC

President

Arizona Integrative Medicine & Spa

Sean Badding

Treasurer

Owner
Everlasting Services

MEMBERS
AT-LARGE

Jessica Brown, PhD

Assistant Professor, Department of Speech Language & Hearing Sciences
University of Arizona

Ian Crain, MD

Director
Brain Injury Center at Banner
University Medical Center Phoenix

Kevin Keenan Esq.

Partner
Osborne & Keenan Law Firm

Scott Palumbo, Esq.

Partner
Palumbo Wolfe & Palumbo

Katie Pierce, PT, DPT

Physical Therapist
CoreBalance  Therapy, LLC

Ileana Ratiu,
PhD, CCC-SLP

Assistant Professor
Assistant Program Director

Midwestern University

ADVISORY COUNCIL

Dina Shacknai, PsyD

Chair, 2021

Founder
Maxie’s Hosue

Christina Kwasnica, MD

Chair Elect, 2022

Medical Director Neurorehabilitation
Barrow Neurological Institute
Dignity Health | St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center

P. David Adelson, MD

Immediate Past Chair

Director
Barrow Neurological Institute at Phoenix Children’s Hospital

Scott Palumbo, Esq.

Past Chair, 2019

Partner
Palumbo, Wolfe, & Palumbo

Carrie Collins, MPA

Executive Director
Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona

Dena M. Baldwin, EMSL

Facilitator

Go Big! Enterprise

Clint Borman, DPT

Partner & Director of Physical Therapy
Foothills Sports Medicine and Rehabilitation

Patrick Bosarge, MD

Trauma Program Medical Director
Banner University Medical Center Phoenix

David Dodick, MD

Professor of Neurology,
Director of the Headache and Concussion Programs,
Mayo Clinic Arizona

Marisue Garganta

President
Marisue Garganta & Associates

The Honorable
Barry Goldwater, Jr.

Former Member of Congress

John Heick, PhD

Associate Professor
Northern Arizona State University

Rob Hunter

On-Air Host | Assistant Program Director
550 KFYI and iHeartMedia

Jennifer Jermaine

State Representative

Maggie Keane MD

Pediatrician
Acts of Kidness Pediatrics

Chandan Krishna, MD

Neurosurgeon
Mayo Clinic

Erica Krobot

Executive Director Risk & Litigation Counsel
Banner Health

Carrie Martz

Owner
Clean Light Laboratories

David Moffitt

City of Phoenix
Captain • Paramedic

Natasha Moyes

Networking Specialist | PR
Fancy Life Pro

L. Elizabeth Mullikin, DHA, FACHE

Arizona Group Director Neuroscience Service Line Abrazo Neuroscience Institute (Phoenix) and Carondelet Neurological Institute (Tucson)

Sharon Noe

Chief Operating Officer
Neuro RehabCare

Cindy Owens

Senior Regional Manager
& Vice President
CPMc

Austin Peterson,
CFP, CLU, MBA

Financial Planner
Backbone Financial

Aimee Piller,
PhD, OTR/L, BCP

Owner
Piller Child Development

Patricio Reyes, MD

Chief of Neurology | TBI | Alzheimer’s Disease | Cognitive Disorders
VA Medical Center

Mike Robertson

Senior Manager
American Express

Ed Sandidge

AZ Mass Mutual

Kelly Sample

Owner
Cucina Tagliani Restaurants

Bridget Seeley, PhD

Senior Lecturer in the T. Denny Sanford School of Social and Family Dynamics at Arizona State University

Ken Smith

Area Manager
Intel

Clint Sundt

Vice President
Sundt Construction

Scot Taggart

Field Sales Manager
SIMS Business Systems

Steven Threet

Former Arizona State University Quarterback

Phil Wurr

Executive Director at Paramedics Unlimited,
Captain with Phoenix Fire,
PVCC Adjunct Faculty

YOUNG PROFESSIONALS — Brain Health Advisory Council

Scot Taggart

Chair

Field Sales Manager SIMS Business Systems

Andrew Abramo
Dalton Basha
Andrea Bond
Tramese Byrd

Maddy Dorn
Shelby Lamm
Jonny Monteiro
Jacob Payne

Andy Sessions
Macy Sessions
Ky Westbrook
Lexi Wolfe

COMMITTEES

Advisory Council

CHAIR: Dina Shacknai, PsyD


The Advisory Council works in tandem with and under the auspices of the Board of Directors to open doors, expand the BIAAZ’s outreach, and de-stigmatize brain injury.

Meeting details shared with members


Email: info@biaaz.org

Butters Pet Care Fund Committee

CHAIR: Allison Marshall


The Butters Fund is a one-of-a kind programs that supports survivors of all types of brain injury in maintaining their pets and service animals through financial challenges. The committee helps raise and direct funds to support the owner and their animal’s health and well-being.

Meets via Zoom the last Monday of the month from 9:00-10:00 a.m.


CLICK HERE to volunteer
Email: info@biaaz.org

Camp Can Do Committee

Camp Can Do is a four-day camp for survivors of brain injury. The camp relies on physical therapy and occupational therapy students and professionals to staff the camp. Other professionals, caregivers, and survivors are welcome to assist with scholarship fundraising for campers and volunteers.

Meets March – July


CLICK HERE to volunteer
Email: info@biaaz.org

Education Committee

Join us as we plan the Brain Injury Survivor & Caregiver Expo, Brain Injury University, and Living Life Fully after Brain Injury series.

Meets via Zoom the last Friday of the month from 5:30-6:30 p.m.


CLICK HERE to volunteer
Email: info@biaaz.org

Public Policy Committee

The end goal of this committee is to work with state, local, and federal officials to educate them about the guts, grit, and support it takes to live well after brain injury.

Meets via Zoom the last Friday of the month from 4:00-5:00 p.m.


CLICK HERE to volunteer
Email: info@biaaz.org

Services for Vulnerable Populations Committee

CO-CHAIRS

Jay Mankey
Childers & Coventry

Shanna Mays
Arizona Complete Health


This committee is set to strengthen and expand services for justice-involved youth, children in foster care, those experiencing homelessness, survivors of family violence, and survivors of human trafficking.

Meets via Zoom the 2nd Wednesay of the month from 6:00-7:00 p.m.


CLICK HERE to volunteer
Email: info@biaaz.org

The Noggin | e-Zine Committee

CHAIR
Brittany Sweeney-Lawson


This committee looks at article submissions and advertising opportunities for the beloved quarterly e-Zine, The Noggin.

Meets the last Monday of the month from 3:30-4:30 p.m.


CLICK HERE to volunteer
Email: info@biaaz.org

Utility Assistance Fund

Those impacted by brain injury may find themselves facing hardship when their hours at work are reduced or they lose their jobs. This committee helps survivors of brain injury living independently to keep the lights on and the water running during times of financial crisis.

Meets via Zoom the last Monday of the month from 8:00-9:00 a.m.


CLICK HERE to volunteer
Email: info@biaaz.org

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Brain Injury Alliance of Arizona

5025 E. Washington St, Ste 106
Phoenix, Arizona 85034

CALL

(602) 508-8024

Statewide Info-line
1 (888) 500-9165

Fax (602) 508-8285

BIAAZ is a chartered affiliate of the
United States Brain Injury Alliance.

usbia.org

FOLLOW US
BUTTERS FUND