Candidates for the HPNA Board of Directors

The HPNA Board of Directors is proud to present the three candidates nominated by the HPNA Governance Committee to be elected by members. Two candidates will be elected to serve three-year terms beginning in January 2019. The information below is provided by the candidates to learn more about their experience and why they are running.  All voting members will receive a secure email from the ballot company on August 6, and ballots will remain open until September 4, 2018. Results will be reported in the HPNA newsletter. Guide the future of HPNA by voting in this year's election! 


Dr. Kristi Acker engages in a 25 + year career committed to advancing palliative care (PC) through active participation in clinical, research, and educational advocacy.  She believes in the value of providing holistic expert PC for all patients facing serious illness.  Dr. Acker trusts that a successful model for interdisciplinary care should reach beyond the confines of end of life and should be readily accessible to patients regardless of treatment intent.  Further, she recognizes that the culture of health care must be transformed to meet the growing needs of an aging population and regularly presents on PC topics at local, regional and national levels.

Dr. Acker embraces the professional value for mentoring clinical competence through specialty certification and strongly believes in community engagement to advance PC.  Currently, she serves on the Alabama Statewide Advisory Council for Palliative Care and Quality of Life and recently joined other American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) volunteers who participated in Lobby Day on Capitol Hill to help advocate for successful PC legislation.  She maintains a clinical practice in oncology and is the specialty track coordinator for the Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) program at the University of Alabama Capstone College of Nursing.  She holds professional certifications as a FNP, Advanced Oncology Certified Nurse Practitioner (AOCNP®) and Advanced Certified Hospice and Palliative Nurse (ACHPN®).

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Christy Torkildson, PhD, RN, PHN, FPCN

Dr. Christy Torkildson is the current acting administrator for the PACT Team at UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Oakland; which is the Complex Pain and Palliative Care Program. Dr. Torkildson has served on several boards and committees including the Clinical Practice Committee for the Society of Pediatric Nurses; Board of Directors for the California Hospice and Palliative Care Association and previously served on the Board of Directors for the National Hospice and Palliative Care Association prior to starting her doctoral studies.  Christy was an advisor for the End-of-Life Nursing Education Consortium – Pediatric Palliative Care (ELNEC-PPC) and continues as a “train the trainer” for both ELNEC – PPC and ELNEC – Core. 

Dr. Torkildson is a published author and researcher and presents nationally on topics related to nursing education, perinatal & and pediatric palliative and end-of-life care, models of care, medically fragile children and home and community-based services. Her most recent research has been in the areas of inter-professional education and training as well as home and community based services for children with complex chronic conditions.

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Michelle Webb, MSN, RN

I am a nurse with over 35 years of diverse experience in practice.  I have 14 years of experience in the hospice setting.  I have held a variety of direct care and progressive leadership positions since joining the team at Four Seasons Compassion for Life in 2004.  I am currently the Chief Nursing Officer for Four Seasons and Chief Clinical Officer and Chief Learning Officer for Teleios Collaborative Network.  I have been a member of the Hospice and Palliative Nurses’ Association since 2006.  In 2017, I served as Managing Editor for the Core Curriculum for the Hospice and Palliative Administrator, Second Edition.

My desire to serve on the Board of Directors for the HPNA stems from my personal passion to advance expert care for persons with serious illness and to ensure the nursing profession leads in this effort.  I want to use my diverse leadership, personal and professional experience to support HPNA in fulfilling its mission and realizing its vision.  I am honored to be among those selected to appear on the election ballot and grateful for the opportunity to increase my service to the professional organization for the nursing care specialty I love.

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