About Us

What We Do

The Mission:

Increase awareness and understanding of traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury, strengthen services and supports for those who have sustained injuries and their families and promote prevention to enhance quality of life.

The Council has four primary objectives:

  • Develops plans for projects and programs focusing on client services, prevention, and education,
  • Advises state agencies on the needs of people with spinal cord and brain injuries,
  • Supports, sponsors, or collaborates to provide programs that assist people with spinal cord and brain injuries, their families, and the professionals who serve them.
  • Serves as a resource for information about spinal cord and brain injuries.

The Arizona State Legislature created the Council in 1992.
Read our authorizing statute.
View our strategic plan.

The Arizona Governor’s Council on Spinal and Head Injuries works to enhance the health, safety, and quality of life for children and adults with spinal cord injuries (SCI) and traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and their families.

Who Participates on the Council?

The Governor of Arizona appoints Council members. By law, they include:

  • Individuals with spinal cord and head injuries and family members,
  • Physicians and other healthcare professionals who work with people with spinal cord and brain injuries,
  • Representatives of the general public,
  • Representatives of the Arizona Department of Economic Security and the Arizona Department of Health Services.

The Council is an advisory body, comprised of volunteers. Staff support is provided through the Arizona Department of Economic Security

Council Members

Tammy Abbott-Thiel

Allied Health


Kristen Bishop


James Oliver-Bryan

Family Member/Survivor

Mary Lu Bushnell

Allied Health

Georg Hishaw


James Ledgewood

Family Member/Survivor

Jonathan Lifshitz

Allied Health

Tara Pepiton

Family Member

(Council Chair)

James Sieffert


(Council Vice Chair)

Keith Watt

Public Member

Evan Werk


Kay Wing

Family Member

Remaining vacancies: (1) Family Member, (2) Public Members & (1) Allied Health Member as of April 4th, 2022


Ann Tarpy

Executive Director


Interested in Joining the Council?

Learn More