Myra Christopher, Consumer Representative

AACN Certification Corporation Board
July 2012 – June 2013


Myra Christopher serves a three-year term as consumer representative to the AACN Certification Corporation board of directors from July 1, 2011, to June 30, 2014.

In December 2011, Christopher was named Kathleen M. Foley Chair for Pain and Palliative Care for the Center for Practical Bioethics. She was previously the center’s president and chief executive officer, since its founding in 1985. Located in Kansas City, Mo., the nonprofit organization raises and responds to ethical issues in health and healthcare.

Between 1998 and 2003, Christopher was director of Robert Woods Johnson Foundation’s National Program Office for State-based Initiatives to Improve End-of-Life Care, which was housed at the center. She served as public outreach adviser to the four-part 2000 documentary on death and dying, “On Our Own Terms.”

U.S. Sen. John Danforth, Mo., sought her assistance to draft the 1990 Patient Self-Determination Act and appointed her vice-chair to the Kansas Commission on the Future of Health Care in 1991.

In addition to the AACN Certification Corporation board of directors, Christopher serves on The American Journal of Bioethics Editorial Board and the Coalition to Transform Advanced Care (CTAC) board.

She has served on the Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Advancing Pain Research, Care and Education; the American Academy of Pain Medicine, Primary Care Special Interest Group; and the American Hospital Association Circle of Life Committee. She has been a consultant to the Duke Institute for Care at the End of Life and serves on The University of Kansas School of Nursing advisory board.

A prolific writer and presenter, Christopher has authored or co-authored recent articles in Pain Medicine, The American Journal of Bioethics, HEC Forum and AAHPM Bulletin.

She has received many awards for her work to improve care for those with advanced illness and chronic pain, including the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine Presidential Citation Award (2012), an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from National University of Health Sciences (2011), the American Academy of Pain Medicine Patient Advocacy Award (2010), American Academy of Pain Management “Head Heart” Award (2009), William Jewell College’s W.F. Yates Medallion for Distinguished Service (2008), the GE Healthcare-AACN Pioneering Spirit Award (2006) and the Kansas City Council on Philanthropy Nonprofit Professional of the Year (2006).

Named Honorary Alumnus of the Year by the University of Kansas School of Nursing in 2003, Christopher earned a Bachelor of Arts in philosophy with an emphasis in bioethics from the University of Missouri, Kansas City, in 1984.


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