Board of Directors

Board of Directors

219 East Main St.
Suite 100B
Milford, MA 01757
Phone 888-479-1900
Fax 508-482-5301

Amy Bois, Chair:

Amy Bois is a parent of a teen-aged boy with Spina Bifida, Amy joined the board in 2017 and is the incoming Chair. Professionally Amy is a Brand Marketing Manager, AFAA Certified Personal Trainer & Adaptive Fitness professional. She is an influencer within the Adaptive Fitness community working with her son, providing Fitness For All on her platform @fitwithamyb on Instagram.





Paynich_200x200Jason Paynich, Vice Chair:

Professor Jason Paynich is currently the senior faculty member in the Criminal Justice Department at Quincy College in Quincy, MA. After working as a municipal police officer in Montana, Jason earned a Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration from Minot State University where he focused on police research and Methamphetamine prevention. Jason moved to Massachusetts in 2004 with his wife and 3 kids, the youngest having spina bifida. He is an active member of the SBAGNE Board of Directors, as well as the International Association of Crime Analysts, the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences, and several other professional associations. His hobbies include flying drones, outdoor activities, motorcycles and woodworking.




Brendan Sullivan, Treasurer:

Brendan Sullivan is the Senior Associate Director of Athletics at Boston University, an NCAA Division I institution that sponsors 24 sports. In his role, Brendan oversees all financial affairs, facilities and operations as well as marketing and communications. Brendan is an adult living with Spina Bifida, who previously served an eight year term on the Board of Directors from 2001-2009; including two years as Chair. He is a graduate of the University of Notre Dame and also possesses an MBA from Boston College. Brendan lives in Charlestown with his wife Sara and their daughter Emma.





John Wendell, Clerk:

John was born and raised in Detroit and attended Michigan State University. Upon graduating John moved to Chicago where he worked a variety of service jobs while getting his M.B.A. in Marketing from the University of Illinois at Chicago Circle. John and his wife Amy moved to Franklin, Massachusetts in 1988. John spent the next 17 years in sales and business development, first in consumer products for the Hoover Company and R.G. Shakour, then moving to the high tech industry in the mid-90’s to work for Cabletron, Silknet and finally Kana. John retired in 2005 to become a full time stay-at-home dad to his two children Madison and Evan. John has always, and will continue to, serve as a volunteer for a variety of activities in the community.



Briggs_200x200Ginny Briggs, Immediate Past
Virginia (“Ginny”) Briggs, Ph.D. is an epidemiologist and professor at MCPHS University in Boston. She is the mother of a 17 year-old girl with spina bifida, and served on the SBAGNE Board from 2002-2008, joining again in 2014. She has contributed to several research projects associated with spina bifida, and has presented her work at national conferences including the Third World Congress on Spina Bifida Research in 2017






Bauer_200x200Dr. Stuart Bauer, M.D., Emeritus Board Member

Dr. Stuart Bauer is a senior associate in Urology at Boston Children’s Hospital and has devoted his entire career to understanding lower urinary tract function in children with spina bifida. A number of years ago he instituted the use of clean intermittent catheterization in these children early in life in those who it was determined would benefit from this regular emptying of the bladder. This revolutionized how many of the children with myelodysplasia have been managed nationally and internationally since that time. He has served on the SBAGNE Board for the past 8 years and continues to care for children with bladder dysfunction secondary to this neurological condition.




Linda Long-Bellil:

Linda Long-Bellil, Ph.D., J.D., is an Assistant Professor at Commonwealth Medicine/University of Massachusetts Medical School. She conducts research and policy analysis on issues related to health care, including reproductive health care, and long-term services and supports issues affecting people with disabilities. She also teaches in the Shriver Center’s Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities (LEND) program and educates current and future health professionals about providing quality care to people with disabilities.


Ashley Birch:

Ashley Birch earned both her BSN and MSN at Regis College and has been a nurse practitioner at Boston Children’s Hospital (BCH) since 2015, where she has worked in both inpatient and outpatient neurosurgery. As a nurse practitioner at BCH Ashley has focused her practice on caring for patients with Hydrocephalus and Spina Bifida and has been privileged to work in the multidisciplinary Spina Bifida clinic. She was awarded a global nursing fellowship in 2019 and is using this fellowship to focus on those impacted by Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus in Africa and Asia. As a member of the SBAGNE board she hopes to take the tools and knowledge she has learned in these roles and use them to promote awareness and to advocate for those affected by Spina Bifida closer to her home in Greater New England.




Dr. Robert Burke:

Dr. Robert Burke, MD, MPH is a primary care pediatrician whose practice for 40 years has been on the care of children with physical and developmental disabilities. He headed the Primary Care Program for Children with Special Needs and the Spina Bifida Program at Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. He has been associated with SBAGNE and the national Spina Bifida Association for over 10 years. He recently completed an 8-year membership on the executive council of American Academy of Pediatrics’ Council on Children with Disabilities, He co-authored the Academy’s guidelines on Providing a Primary Care Medical Home for Children and Youth with Spina Bifida with Dr. Greg Liptak. DR Burke continues his practice at Women & Infants Hospital and the Tavares Pediatric Center in Providence, Rhode Island.


Sarah Haywood:

Sarah is the Social Media Manager and a beer educator for Goodfire Brewing in Portland, Maine and holds a Bachelors of Science degree in Community Recreation. She was born with Spina Bifida myelomeningocele and has served on several boards for the National Spina Bifida Association as well as having volunteered for many SBAGNE events over the years. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling the world with her partner, Keegan, and has a small business painting custom pet portraits. Sarah is honored to join the board and hopes to create more support for individuals and families affected by Spina Bifida in her home state of Maine. 




Dan Holleran:

Dan is a father of two, and his eldest son was born with Spina Bifida. Dan saw first hand very early on after his son’s diagnosis the positive impact that SBAGNE can have on families and children living with SB. 

In a professional capacity Dan currently serves as Vice President of Sales for a Boston area based IT Consulting firm. Leveraging his experience, professional network & industry knowledge he has partnered and worked with a wide ranging set of clients in all industries and sizes; from early stage start-ups to Fortune 1000 Firms.

Dan is active in numerous local non-profits and is a current Board Member of the Spina Bifida Association of Greater New England. In his free time Dan enjoys traveling, cooking and outdoor activities with his wife and family.


Kristin Marquis:

Kristin is the creator of; a web-based platform that encourages people living with Spina Bifida to share their stories in an inspiring way. She has a background in Marketing, Business, and Early Childhood Intervention. Kristin is honored to be serving on the adult advisory committee, along with the state and federal advocacy efforts of the National Spina Bifida Association. Kristin herself was born with Spina Bifida Myelomeningocele, which allows her to have a great understanding and appreciation of just how important the work that SBAGNE facilitates. Her greatest achievement thus far, is being a mom to her daughter, Louise. While serving as a board member, Kristin’s biggest goal is to create an emotional connection with others by helping support and uplift the local Spina Bifida community.



Amie Richards:

Amie is a full-time tutor with Commonwealth Learning Center in Danvers where she works with students with learning disabilities, ranging from elementary school to high school. She has a background in Elementary Special Education and Psychology, and received a Master’s Degree in Reading Specialty. Amie was born with Spina Bifida myelomeningocele and has had several SB-related surgeries. She enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her husband and their two cats. Her goal while serving as a Board member is to increase awareness, advocate, and facilitate meaningful connections between members of the Spina Bifida community of all ages.