Women’s Board of Barrow Neurological Foundation

Founded in 1961, Barrow Neurological Institute was conceived and nurtured by three visionaries: Charles A. Barrow, Sister Mary Placida, and John R. Green, MD. Under the leadership of Dr. Green, Robert F. Spetzler, MD, and Michael T. Lawton, MD, Barrow has grown from blueprints to one of the foremost neurological institutes in the world.

Three years after the conception of Barrow Neurological Institute, the Neurological Sciences Foundation established the Women’s Board of Barrow Neurological Foundation, with Lou Davenport Case appointed Chairman. Dr. Green and Loyal Davis, MD, selected the original 27 dedicated women to be on the Board with a passion for funding research in neurology and fostering interest in the community, as well as the importance and the need for such financial support.

Over the last 60 years, the Women’s Board of Barrow Neurological Foundation has flourished into a group of 79 steadfast philanthropists, raising more than $110 million for Barrow Neurological Institute’s far-reaching medical research and innovative treatments.

FY24 Stewardship Report.

See how the Women’s Board made a difference through the 2024 Barrow Grand Ball by downloading the FY24 Women’s Board of Barrow Neurological Foundation Stewardship Report below.


FY24 Women’s Board Stewardship Report

In a storied tradition dating back to 1965, the Women’s Board of Barrow Neurological Foundation holds the Barrow Grand Ball each year to celebrate Barrow Neurological Institute’s far-reaching medical research and innovative treatments and thank all the generous donors who support its mission.

From the first Ball held on New Year’s Eve in 1965 at Paradise Valley’s former Casa Blanca Inn, which netted $26,000, exceptional women in the Phoenix community have stepped forward to carry on this legacy. Since then, the Women’s Board has raised over $110 million through its annual Barrow Grand Ball, thanks to the generosity of its members and the community.

The 2024 Barrow Grand Ball raised an incredible $10.1 million to fund innovative research at Barrow.

This year, we celebrate the Barrow Grand Ball’s 60th Anniversary. The iconic Phoenix event will be held at the Arizona Biltmore on January 18, 2025.

Please contact, Megan Slattery, Women’s Board Liaison at 602.406.6333 or email contact@womensboardbnf.org for any questions.

Click below to view the 2025 Barrow Grand Ball Website:

2025 Women’s Board Project

Alzheimer’s & Memory Disorders Program
In 2006, the Women’s Board began a tradition of funding a specific research project on behalf of its members. These projects have been chosen to highlight key areas of research at Barrow that are not only innovative, but also make a measurable impact on patients’ lives. The Women’s Board is proud to select the Alzheimer’s and Memory Disorders Program at Barrow, led by Anna D. Burke, MD, as its project for the 2025 Barrow Grand Ball.

60 Years of the Barrow Women's Board

1965 The Women’s Board of Barrow Neurological Foundation is established. Its inaugural Barrow Grand Ball, held at the Casa Blanca Inn on New Year’s Eve 1965, nets $26,000 for neurological research.
1983 With funding from the J. N. Harber Foundation, the Women’s Board endows the Chair of Neurological Surgery, which is used to recruit the Institute's next leader, Robert F. Spetzler, MD.
1983 Dr. Spetzer and Dr. Joseph Zabramski refine the cardiac standstill procedure, which allows neurosurgeons to treat previously inoperable areas of the brain.
1985 The Women’s Board Memorial Waiting Room Fund is established to furnish and maintain the Memorial Waiting Room for families of surgical patients.
1989 The William E. Barrow and Charles A. Barrow families establish the Barrow Memorial Endowment to support medical education for neuroscience nurses and residents.
1989 Dr. Volker Sonntag makes international headlines with the successful reattachment of a young boy’s skull to his spinal cord after it was severed in an accident.
1998 The Women’s Board holds its inaugural Education Enrichment Evening to increase public awareness about Barrow, its services, and its contributions to medicine.
2005 Karl and Stevie Eller support the creation of the Eller Telepresence Room, one of the first MedPresence video-conferencing rooms in the country.
2007 The Women’s Board establishes the Neuroscience Nursing Fund to support continuing education for Barrow nurses.
2014 The Women’s Board announces the Spetzler Legacy Project as its Special Project for the 2015 Ball. The Spetzler Legacy Project raised funds for a new building for the Barrow Neurological Institute, later to become the Barrow Neuroplex
2015 The Thurston Innovation Center, a program conceived by Barrow residents, is established to advance neurosurgical innovation.
2019 Francis and Dionne Najafi establish the Francis and Dionne Najafi Chair for Neurosurgical Oncology to provide funding for research at the Ivy Brain Tumor Center. Nader Sanai, MD, currently holds the chair.
2020 Jacquie and Bennett Dorrance establish the Dorrance Chair for Vascular Neurology to support stroke research, treatment, and education
2021 Patricia and Earl Petznick Sr. create the Petznick Stroke Center, one of the most comprehensive stroke programs in the country
2022 Jan and Tom Lewis establish the Lewis Headache Center to advance research, treatment, and care for migraine and headache disorders
2022 The Steele Foundation establishes the Dan Cracchiolo and Pam Grant Behavioral Neurology and Neuropsychiatry Fellowship in the Alzheimer’s and Memory Disorders Program.
2023 Nancy Hanley Eriksson establishes the Nancy Hanley Eriksson Chair for Neuromodulation to support the research of Barrow surgeon-scientist Zaman Mirzadeh, MD, PhD
2025 The Women’s Board of Barrow Neurological Foundation celebrates 60 years of supporting Barrow Neurological Institute. To date, the group has raised a record total of $110M for research, patient care, and outreach for Barrow

In the News

March 18, 2024

Leading Alzheimer’s Researcher Dr. Marwan Sabbagh Receives Moreno Family Chair for Alzheimer’s Research

Barrow Neurological Foundation is proud to announce that Carole and Arte Moreno have established the Moreno Family Chair for Alzheimer’s Research in the Alzheimer’s and Memory Disorders Program at Barrow Neurological Institute. Mrs. Moreno is a longtime member of the Women’s Board of Barrow Neurological Foundation, and the generous gift was made through the Barrow Grand Ball, the annual gala of the Women’s Board.

Marwan Sabbagh, MD, FAAN, is a top neurologist in the Barrow Alzheimer’s and Memory Disorders program, director of the Applied Alzheimer’s Research Laboratory, Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Neurology, and the newly appointed Moreno Family Chair for Alzheimer’s Research. Dr. Sabbagh is the author of six books and more than 400 research publications. He also is a principal investigator on more than 100 clinical trials. Dr. Sabbagh was presented with the chair on March 8, 2024, during a ceremony held at Barrow Neurological Institute with the Morenos, members of the Barrow Women’s Board, members of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees, and his colleagues in attendance. Read More >>>

January 24, 2024

Barrow Women’s Board Raises $9.9 Million Through 2024 Barrow Grand Ball

Barrow Women’s Board 59th Barrow Grand Ball Raises Record Funding for Innovations in Hearing Health.

The Women’s Board of Barrow Neurological Foundation announced today that it raised $9.9 million for Barrow Neurological Institute through the 59th Barrow Grand Ball on January 20, 2024.

This year’s Ball Co-Chairs, Carrie Hulburd and Kathy Munson, along with the committed members of the Women’s Board and its donors, raised funds to help Barrow physicians, researchers, and clinicians offer hope through research and treatments that save lives and improve the quality of life. Read More >>>

2023-2024 Women’s Board Officers