The Brain Injury Association of Tennessee is committed to improving the quality of life of individuals, families, caregivers, and healthcare professionals impacted by brain injury by providing critical information, education, support, prevention, and advocacy through community-based, state, and national resources.
The Brain Injury Association of Tennessee is an affiliate of the Brain Injury Association of America.


We are resolute in our vision that all persons with brain injury thrive within their communities.



We connect brain injured individuals and their caregivers to available support resources in their community


Brain injury is often preventable. We provide education and opportunities to advocate for change


Brain injury requires specialized care and individual services. We provide crucial information for informed decisions


We are committed to supporting the Tennessee brain injury population by accessing grants and donor development
Aside from the obvious health impacts of a brain injury, many families face financial devastation. Brain injury doesn’t care about what kind of insurance you do or don’t have, and many of the people served by Tennessee’s service coordinators are under-resourced. Finding creative ways to serve these patients and their families, ensuring they have access to the care they need, is at the heart of what we do.
Mayur Patel, MD, MPG, FACS
Brain Injury Association of Tennessee Board Member

Board Members

Penny Burns


Penny Burns currently works for Sarah Cannon, the cancer hospital of HCA, where she develops and implements corporate strategies across the national Sarah Cannon enterprise. Her interest in brain injury was sparked during her tenure with Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s trauma team, where she witnessed firsthand how brain injury affected not only the patients, but the families as well. Penny earned her B.S. from the University of Tennessee, Knoxville, and her MBA from Lipscomb University, and she has a unique perspective on BIAT and its road to future growth, as she is a past Executive Director for the organization.

Mayur Patel, MD, MPG, FACS

Past President
Co-Chair Executive Leadership Group

Mayur B. Patel, MD,MPH, FACS is a general surgeon with subspecialty training in surgical critical care and trauma and currently positioned as an Assistant Professor at Vanderbilt and Staff Surgeon at the Nashville Veterans Affairs Medical Center. He is the Co-director of the Vanderbilt TBI Clinic and the Principal Investigator for a randomized clinical trial in severe TBI. He hopes to improve outcomes for TBI survivors and family members through research, awareness, education, outreach, and advocacy and believes that BIAT is the organization to lead the way in the state of TN.

Frank Meeuwis


Frank is a survivor of a TBI when he was 18. Overcoming the challenges of disability, he graduated the University of Tennessee Summa Cum Laude, studied nearly a year in Europe & Asia, and then completed his Master's in Social Work. Since 2008, Frank has served on the BIAT board.

Christi Baeuerle

Christi is managing partner at nomADic genius, LLC and YOUR Healthy Vending. nomADic genius, LLC is a marketing/ advertising company. Her brother is a survivor of a Traumatic Brain Injury. Since his accident, she has been actively trying to raise awareness of the need to support TBI survivors and their families, as well as improve resources and programs for the TBI community. She plans to turn BIAT into a powerful force in the community that gives a voice to TBI survivors and their families at the local, state and national level. Christi has been active with the L.A.P.S WALK with Ernie Irvan, the Brain Injury Association of America, the Brain Injury Association of Michigan and Maryland for the past 10 years.

Cynthia Wiel


Cynthia Wiel is the Director of Consumer Affairs for the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance. She was a speech-pathologist and worked in brain injury prior to becoming an attorney.