1. Gorman, Linda M. RN, MN, APRN, OCN, CHPN

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The Annual Assembly in Nashville was the site of the first annual HPNA Past Presidents Council meeting. The inception of this council is an innovation of HPNA CEO Judy Lentz and the HPNA Board of Directors. When HPNA presidents leave the board, they take with them unique experiences, knowledge, and perceptions of the organization. Having demonstrated leadership skills and proven dedication to the organization, past presidents are a valuable resource to the association. Recognizing that these attributes can still play a role in the development and future of HPNA is the foundation of this council.


Ten of the 11 past presidents in the 20-year history of HPNA came together in Nashville to receive the HPNA Leading the Way Award. While there, the first meeting of the council was held. The purpose of the council is to discuss futuristic issues and trends facing HPNA. To initiate this purpose, the council members were presented with eight questions as part of the larger environmental scan currently underway. The outcomes of the feedback from a variety of groups internal and external to HPNA will be used by the HPNA Audit and Assessment Committee in assessing the work of the association.


The first meeting in Nashville was unique because it occurred in conjunction with the Leading the Way Award they all received. Unique because, normally, the Council will meet by conference call annually. Unique also because it provided the opportunity for these leaders to meet each other personally and connect the past with the present. What a perfect beginning for the future.


Why have a Past Presidents Council? Here are the answers offered by the HPNA Board:


* The experiences of these past leaders in the organization may give important information for future leaders.


* HPNA can continue to use the leadership skills of these individuals in different ways.


* Meetings will allow past presidents to interact with each other and stay involved in the organization.


* The council provides a forum to discuss organizational issues of common interest.


* The council recognizes the contributions and accomplishments of the organization and has a commitment to its future.



All great organizations become great because they had leaders who step up to meet the challenges presented to them. By recognizing the contributions from the past, HPNA is solidifying its vision for the future.


Linda M. Gorman, RN, MN, APRN, OCN, CHPN


Immediate Past President, Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association