Who We Are

The Facial Pain Association (FPA), formerly known as the Trigeminal Neuralgia Association (TNA), is a registered non-profit, 501(c)(3) volunteer organization, founded in 1990 by a team of people who were profoundly grateful for recovery from years of disabling facial pain.

The FPA is volunteer led and community focused.

The FPA is the largest patient organization supporting all people affected by neuropathic facial pain, leading the world in resources for information and healthcare guidance. Through programs of education, personal support, and advocacy efforts, FPA supports patients, their loved ones and caregivers, and healthcare professionals who diagnose and treat people affected by facial pain.

Guiding the FPA is a volunteer Board of Directors and a Medical Advisory Board which is composed of experts in neurosurgery, neuroscience, pain management, and dentistry.

Our Mission

To serve those with neuropathic facial pain, including trigeminal neuralgia, through support, education, and advocacy.

Our Vision

To be the most reliable and comprehensive resource on facial pain conditions for patients, their families, and healthcare professionals.

Our Team

Melissa Baumbick Chief Executive Officer

Melissa brings more than 25 years of experience in marketing and communications, having worked in both corporate and small business environments. She has spent the last 11 years with a nonprofit organization dedicated to the support of people with a rare disease. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from Ohio University and is determined to use her varied background to lead the FPA and provide essential resources to people living with facial pain.

Regina Gore Database and Volunteer Coordinator

Regina has more than 15 years experience working with volunteers, donors, and databases in the nonprofit sector. She holds a Master in Public Administration from Drake University. Regina brings her compassion and organization skills to the volunteer effort for FPA. She also keeps track of our constituents and generous donors.

Christina McCurdy Bookkeeper

Christina oversees our financial data and compliance. She has more than 15 years of experience working in the accounting field and holds a Master's Degree in Business Administration from Webster University. Prior to joining our team, Christina worked with financial advisors, small businesses, and nonprofits.

Natalie MerrithewDigital Marketing and Communications Coordinator

Natalie is a communications professional with a background in non-profit digital and print media. She holds a Bachelor's Degree in English with an emphasis in Writing and Publication Studies and a minor in Writing for News Media from Clemson University. As our digital marketing and communications coordinator, she strives to make our content accessible and engaging for all who desire support in living with facial pain.

Brandi Underwood Manager of Development, Research, and Advocacy

As a member of the facial pain community, Brandi strives to support, educate, and advocate for all people living with neuropathic facial pain. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science with a Minor in Communication Studies from West Virginia University, where she graduated summa cum laude. Brandi is a seasoned professional with over twelve years of diverse experience in corporate, small business, and non-profit marketing. Joining the FPA’s staff in 2020, she previously served as the Marketing and Communications Manager. As a first-generation college graduate from a rural community in Central Appalachia, her experiences have empowered her to be an incredible force for good. Today, she uses her privilege to share powerful stories by lifting the voices of all from minority and disadvantaged communities.

Sarah Winner Manager of Marketing, Communications, and Events

Sarah is a marketing communications professional with over 18 years of experience having worked in technology, higher education and nonprofit industries. She holds a Dual Master’s Degree of Business Administration in Marketing and Management from American InterContinental University and a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology from John Carroll University. Sarah loves to help people share their story to educate, build awareness and support to those in need.

Board of Directors

David Meyers

David is the retired CEO of Microban International. After managing his trigeminal neuralgia (TN) pain with medications for 5 years, he had a successful microvascular decompression procedure (MVD) in 2013. He brings 30+ years of business leadership experience and 20+ years of nonprofit board experience to his role. He and his wife, Jody, have four adult children and they live in Sedona, AZ. David is also a Park Ranger Naturalist Guide (volunteer) at Red Rock State Park in Sedona, AZ.

Anne B. Ciemnecki

Anne is a retired senior fellow from Mathematica where she specialized in health and economic policy. Her mother and grandmother had trigeminal neuralgia. Anne has seen treatment evolve from the ineffective alcohol injections her grandmother used to the high-tech MRIs, MVDs, and Gamma knife that alleviated her pain. She serves on the NJ Commission on National and Community Service and the Womanspace Advisory Counsel. She is a domestic violence victim advocate and therapy dog handler. Anne lives in East Windsor, NJ with her husband John. They have two sons and three delightful grandchildren.

Melissa Anchan

Melissa is head of Media Relations for Bank of America Global Research. She was diagnosed with trigeminal neuralgia at age 35 and, after trying to manage her pain with medication for fourteen months, had what she considers to be a successful MVD in May of 2014. She served on our Young Patients Committee for several years before joining the Board of Directors in 2018. She holds master’s degrees in performing arts administration and human resources / organizational change management. Melissa lives in Southern California with her furry four-legged children.

Ramesh P. Babu, MD

Dr. Babu is a neurosurgeon affiliated with Lenox Hill and a number of other leading hospitals in New York, NY. He was initially educated and trained in India and then starting in 1985 he received further training at the NYU Medical Center and then later with Dr. Peter Janetta, the pioneer of microvascular decompression surgery. He also completed a fellowship in Hannover, Germany under Professor Samii, the father of skull base surgery. His interest is atypical facial pain. Dr. Babu and his wife have twin daughters and a son, and they reside in Westchester, NY.

Jeffrey Fogel, MD

Dr. Fogel is a retired Pediatrician. After being in practice for more than 25 years, his TN-related pain and medication-related side effects forced him to retire. However, he moved into the mode of helping others with his condition by becoming FPA’s Support Group Leader and Outreach Coordinator for the Philadelphia area. He helped craft Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana legislation and has made multiple presentations on the topic. For more than 30 years he has been an active firefighter in his community’s volunteer fire department, and is the former president. Dr. Fogel and his wife have two adult sons and one granddaughter.

Ally Kubik

Ally is a Special Education Teacher and Board Certified Behavior Analyst. She holds a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education. Ally has had bilateral facial pain since she was 13 years old. Since her diagnosis, she has been involved with the FPA. Ally was one of the founding members of the Young Patients Committee and served as chairperson of the YPC for several years. She has had multiple surgeries that now allow her to manage her pain with anticonvulsant medications. Ally resides in Washington, New Jersey with her husband, Dan and their dog, Tucker.

John Temple

John is the recently retired President of Cambridge International Partners, a boutique investment bank that provides mergers and acquisition advisory services to the investment management industry. John was born and educated in the UK, graduating from Cambridge University as a natural scientist before emigrating to New York in 1978 to work in the oil and gas industry. In the last ten years, he has suffered numerous episodes of TN which he manages with anticonvulsant medication. John and his wife, Lilia, have four children, four grandchildren, a Norfolk terrier and live in Stamford, Connecticut.

Anne-Marie Clarke

Anne-Marie Clarke is a retired Family Court Judge. She and her husband, Richard Gaines, live in St. Louis, MO. She loves to travel and is grateful for the help she has found for dealing with trigeminal neuralgia (TN) through Facebook and support groups. She is most thankful for her dentist, who didn’t treat the pain as a dental problem, for the endodontist who realized the pain didn’t require a root canal, for her primary care physician, who was familiar with TN and made the referral to the neurologist, and to the neurologist who has listened patiently throughout this journey and made the referral to the clinical trial which found a medication that has been most helpful in managing her TN.

Jeffrey Bodington

Jeff is the Founder and President of Bodington & Company, investment bankers to the electric power industry, he is also a Director of several electric industry corporations. The searing pain of trigeminal neuralgia led Jeff to contact the FPA for help, he managed his pain with medications for six years and later had a successful MVD. Jeff joined the Board of the FPA and served as Chairman for seven years. Jeff and his wife, Cecile, live in San Francisco and have two adult sons.

Steve Fleming

Steve is President and CEO of The Well Spring Group, a non-profit aging services provider based in Greensboro, NC. Steve is immediate past Chair of the Board of Leading Age, the nation’s largest aging services provider association and has held positions on numerous governmental, professional, civic and faith-based boards. Steve developed TN in 2009 and had MVD surgery in 2015. Steve currently manages his recurrent TN with medication. Steve had a 15-year stint as a college football official, and today enjoys golf, hiking and time in the garden. Steve and his wife, Anne – a public school teacher, have two adult daughters.

Megan Hamilton

Megan is a retired corporate human resource professional and is now an online Trigeminal Neuralgia group leader, and homeschooling mom. Megan’s older daughter, KatieRose, developed Trigeminal and Geniculate neuralgia in 2012, at 11 years old. KatieRose’s near daily TN & GN attacks were barely managed with anticonvulsants, leading to MVDs in 2012 and 2014. Since 2014, KatieRose has been pain free, and Megan has been the lead administrator of an online group for parents of over 100 kids with Trigeminal Neuralgia and similar facial pain conditions. Megan, her husband, Scott, and two daughters, KatieRose and Lydia, reside in Northern Virginia.

Eric Wertheim

Eric is an attorney and litigator. Since 1988, he has represented numerous clients in the state and federal courts of New York and New Jersey in a broad spectrum of matters. He and his wife, Ellen, have two adult children and a large mutt. Eric is also a certified EMT and has been a member of his New Jersey community’s volunteer first aid squad since 2006. Eric suffered his first episode of TN in the mid-1990s and has received surgical and medical treatment for the condition. For over 15 years, his TN has largely been controlled by medication.

Medical Advisory Board




National Chairman, MAB

Director, Trigeminal Neuralgia and Facial Pain Program; Professor of Neurolgical Surgery
The Neurological Institute at Columbia University

Midwest Director, MAB

Clinical Director
University of Cincinnati Neuroscience Institute

Western Director, MAB

Professor of Neurological Surgery

Director of Neurosurgery Cranial Nerve Clinic
University of California, Irvine

Professor and Associate Chair for Education, Department of Neurosurgery at Dell Medical School Ascension at the University of Texas, Austin

Neurosurgery Director, Cyberknife Program
NYU Langone Long Island

Chief of Neurosurgery
Oakwood Southshore Hospital

Professor and Vice Chairman of Strategic Development and
Innovation, Dept. of Neurosurgery                  Stanford University School of Medicine

Professor of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine; Director of Stanford Pain Relief Innovations Lab
Stanford University School of Medicine

Associate Professor, Diagnostic Sciences
LSUHSC School of Dentistry

Chair of Neurology, Global Development Scientific Council
Regeneron Pharmaceuticals

Professor and Chairman of Neurosurgery
Stanford University School of Medicine

Director TMD and Orofacial Pain
University of Minnesota

Chair for the Department of Neurosurgery and Physician Executive for Functional Neurosurgery
Banner Neurosciences, University of Arizona College of Medicine — Tucson

Professor, Stereotactic and Functional Neurosurgery
University of Illinois College of Medicine

Emerson Hospital

Director, Craniofacial Surgery, Chief Oral Maxillofacial Surgery and Dentistry                        Yale University

David W. Cahill Professor and Chair, Department of Neurosurgery and Brain Repair
University of South Florida Health

Professor of Neurosurgery
Mayo Clinic

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