speakers (1)
maria butler

Dr. Maria Butler

Pediatric Neuropsychologist
WakeMed Health & Hospitals

Dr. Maria Butler provides neuropsychological assessments to pediatric and young adult patients with a variety of neurological diagnoses in inpatient, rehabilitation, and outpatient settings. She completed her graduate studies in clinical psychology with a concentration in neuropsychology and health psychology at the American School of Professional Psychology in Washington D.C. and completed her post-doctoral fellowship in neuropsychology at Mt. Washington Pediatric Hospital, affiliated with Johns Hopkins Medical System and the University of Maryland Medical System. Dr. Butler uses a comprehensive and individualized approach to patient care. She gathers information on biological, psychological, and social/cultural factors to provide a personalized testing experience and tailored recommendations to each patient.

amanda cole

Amanda Cole MS, CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist
WakeMed Health & Hospitals
Amanda Cole is a speech-language pathologist who works with clients with acquired neurological conditions such as traumatic brain injury, concussion, stroke, Parkinson’s disease, dementia and other progressive health issues. Amanda enjoys collaborative goal setting with her patients to develop individualized treatment plans that promote return to work, school, social, community, and household activities. She enjoys the outdoors, going on walks and hikes with her dogs, drawing, reading, and trying new restaurants with friends and family. Amanda currently works full time at WakeMed Outpatient Rehab in Raleigh, NC. She also works PRN for the Triangle Aphasia Project in Cary, NC.
blair hobble

Blair Hobble PT, DPT, CBIS

Physical Therapist
WakeMed Health & Hospitals
Blair Hobble received her Doctor of Physical Therapy from Duke University. She is a Level 2 Certified Ekso Therapist, BIAA Certified Brain Injury Specialist, and APTA Credentialed Clinical Instructor. Blair has spent her PT career in neurorehabilitation, where she has worked in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Since 2017, Blair has practiced primarily on the brain injury unit at Wake Med Inpatient Rehabilitation. As PT Clinical Specialist, Blair leads programs for vestibular rehabilitation, Left Ventricular Assistive Device (LVAD) and co-leads the Ekso Clinic at Wake Med. She serves as an adjunct faculty member for Campbell and Duke University DPT programs with emphasis on vestibular and brain injury rehabilitation. Blair is passionate about using evidence and technology to maximize patient outcomes.
Untitled design (1)

Ryan Platt MBA, ChFC, ChSNC, CFBS

A Special Needs Plan
Ryan Platt founded A Special Needs Plan in 2005 and has been a pioneer in his field. As CEO of the firm, his background includes completing his Special Care Planner Certification as well as advanced training in estate and tax planning, special needs trusts and government programs. He understands the emotional dynamics of working with people and families who have loved ones with special needs. Ryan leads a team that is passionate about meeting with families, learning their concerns, understanding their values and helping them create plans that help secure the needs of two generations. He is also an award-winning author from Autism Parenting Magazine and a regular contributor to Exceptional Needs Today Magazine.
Daniel started his tenure as the new Executive Director at the Brain Injury Association of North Carolina in 2019. Daniel comes to the organization with a 17 year career in nonprofit management and resource development having most recently worked for Boys & Girls Clubs. His number one goal is to make sure those in the Brain Injury Community have the support and resources they need.

Daniel Pietrzak

Executive Director
The Brain Injury Association of North Carolina
Daniel started his tenure as the new Executive Director at the Brain Injury Association of North Carolina in 2019. Daniel comes to the organization with a 17 year career in nonprofit management and resource development having most recently worked for Boys & Girls Clubs. His number one goal is to make sure those in the Brain Injury Community have the support and resources they need.
carolsenick pic

Carol Senick, MPA

Community Engagement Specialist
Carol Senick, MPA received a Bachelor of Business Administration from UNCW and a Master of Public Administration from UNCG. Carol has worked in the public behavioral health field for 19 years. Her passion for supporting individuals with behavioral health needs grew from lived experience. She was the primary caregiver for her mother who lived with bipolar disorder and for her first husband who lived with a moderate-severe TBI. These experiences have provided Carol with a unique understanding of the issues faced by and needs of individuals who live with mental health disorders and TBI.
nancykent pic

Nancy Kent, LCMHCS

Resource Call Center Supervisor
Nancy Kent, LCMHCS, 20 years as a licensed clinician and supervisor, and owns a private therapy practice moving from Durham to Hendersonville. Spent the past 15 years with Alliance Health (Durham LME) as the call center supervisor focusing on addressing the needs of our IDD/TBI members.
Screenshot 2024-04-01 at 3.31.51 PM

Karee White

Former Board Chair
Army Veteran
an Army veteran, served ten years active duty during the Cold War and Persian Gulf War. After service, White worked as a correspondent for several local news media sources, Around her writing profession, White instructed fitness, and wellness classes for the past 30 years. Nine years ago, White became a military caregiver to her oldest daughter, completely incapacitated, as a combat veteran who suffered a severe TBI on active duty. White serves as a NC Fellow for the Elizabeth Dole Foundation and is a Chair Emerita for the Brain Injury Association of North Carolina, currently serving on the Board of Directors. She just completed her MSM, using her skills to advance her own nonprofit that focuses support to the most critically wounded and ill individuals in NC. White, and her husband, Jim, have nine children, where the oldest seven are currently serving or have served in the military.

Dr. Kay Reyna

Research Associate
Center on Brain Injury Research and Training
Patricia Kay Reyna, EdD received her doctorate in Education, Organizational Leadership from Grand Canyon University, her MA in Entrepreneurship from Western Carolina University, and her MA in Christian Studies with an Emphasis in Christian Leadership from Grand Canyon University. Her research interests include catastrophically injured law enforcement officers in the US including those with traumatic brain injury, prevalence of traumatic brain injury among law enforcement officers, fire fighters, and other first responders in the US, first responder suicide, and suicide prevention mediators including hope. Kay’s research interests also focus on interventions for caregivers providing care for persons with traumatic brain injury. She has a special interest in caregivers providing care for injured law enforcement officers, an unserved population of caregivers in the United States, and on caregiver hope. Kay has professional experience through non-profits focusing on injured law enforcement officers, fire fighters, and veterans and their caregivers. She is an ordained minister, certified Health Care Life Coach, and a Certified Spiritual Christian Counselor. Additionally, Kay serves as a dissertation chair and content expert for doctoral learners and is an Adjunct Professor. Her background includes a wide variety of education, non-profit, health care, caregiving, and ministry experience.

Cindy Daniel

Executive Director
National Concussion Management Center
Cindy Daniel is a motivational speaker and one of the nation’s leading experts in disability advocacy and awareness. With over 25 years of involvement with disability law compliance and in developing and implementing policies and procedures for individuals with disabilities while she was on the President’s Committee on Employment of Disabilities, she has become passionate about the prevention and treatment of brain injury. As the National Disability Coordinator for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, she found there was a lack of expertise in the area of disaster-related brain injury. This fueled her desire to ensure that people have the expertise needed to treat this injury in other arenas. Her experience makes her uniquely qualified to organize and disseminate best practices in the field of sports concussions. In 2009, Ms. Daniel embarked on a mission to develop appropriate educational videos for the understanding and treatment of traumatic brain injury. Numerous survivors and practitioners were interviewed to produce Brain Injury: Voices of a Silent Epidemic to explore in depth the concerns regarding treatment and recovery. Having developed national protocols for people with disabilities enduring a disaster and then focusing on brain injury educational materials, Ms. Daniel now proposes to follow a similar process in the development of a Concussion/TBI Bill with a National Clearinghouse to provide vetted resources and information on brain injuries from national experts in the field of brain injuries.

Mary Howell

Network Dissemination Coordinator
TBI Center of Excellence at Fort Liberty
Mary Howell is the Network Dissemination Coordinator (formerly Regional Education Coordinator) with the Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence at Fort Liberty, North Carolina. She is also a Certified Brain Injury Specialist from the Brain Injury Association of American, and also holds her Human Services Board Certified Practitioner. Mary has over 12 years’ experience working with the military population and providing training, public speaking, and providing information and referral, crisis intervention and response, and advocacy services to service members and families.
CCollins - Picture for Presentation

Carol Collins

Director of Vocational Services
Community Partnerships, Inc.
Carol Collins is the Director of Vocational Services at Community Partnerships, Inc. (CPI). She provides oversight to the Brain Injury Department which includes Brain Injury Support Services (BISS), TBI-Case Management; and services contracted under the NC TBI-Waiver. She received her Bachelor’s in Social Work from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio and her Master’s in Public Administration from NC State University. She is a CBIST (Certified Brain Injury Specialist Trainer) and she began working in the field of Brain Injury in 1996.

Claire Spech, PT, DPT

Physical Therapist II
Carolinas Rehabilitation
Claire Spech is a Physical Therapist at Carolina's Rehabilitation on the brain injury team and a Coordinator of Atrium Health's Neurologic Physical Therapy Residency Program. She completed her doctorate in Physical Therapy at The Ohio State University, and her neurologic residency program through Atrium Health. Her clinical interests include brain injury rehabilitation, vestibular therapy, and increasing community access for individuals with neurologic diagnoses following discharge from inpatient rehabilitation hospitals.

Kara Noronha, PT, DPT, MBA, CBIS

Clinical Coordinator and Program Coordinator of the Brain Injury Program
Carolinas Rehabilitation Charlotte
Kara Noronha is a Clinical Coordinator and Program Coordinator of the Brain Injury Program at Carolinas Rehabilitation Charlotte. She completed her undergraduate degree at Wake Forest University and her Doctor of Physical Therapy at Duke University. Kara has been practicing in Brain Injury Rehab for the past 12 years. She recently obtained her MBA with specialization in healthcare administration from UNC Wilmington. Her passions are program development for Brain Injury, Community re-integration for patients and community education! She also serves as a Clinical Connector for Love Your Brain.
kristyn yates

Kristyn Yates LRT/CTRS

Therapeutic Recreational Specialist
WakeMed Health & Hospitals
My name is Kristyn Yates. I was born in North Carolina and graduated from East Carolina University with a Bachelor's of Science degree in Recreational therapy. I have worked at WakeMed for 6 years in Inpatient Rehab. I currently live in Apex, NC with my husband and 1 year old daughter. I enjoy spending time with my family, attending football games and going for walks with my dog. I love working with my patients on how to return to hobbies most important to them.