Association of Advanced Practice Psychiatric Nurses
Advancing your practice, your career, and our community.

AAPPN Leadership


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Board Officers

Get to know your AAPPN Board Members→

  • President: Mary Ellen O’Keefe, MN, MBA, ARNP | Whatcom/Skagit Chapter
  • President Elect: Kristine Highlander, ARNP, PMHNP-BC | Seattle Chapter
  • Past President: Dana Dean Doering, ARNP | Seattle Chapter
  • Treasurer: Position open
  • Secretary: Nikki Behner, DNP, MPH, ARNP | Whatcom/Skagit Chapter
  • Member at Large: Ginni Buccola, DNP, ARNP | Tacoma Chapter
  • Member at Large: Lee Moore, ARNP, PMHNP-BC | East King County Chapter 
  • Member at Large: Jean Tang, PhD, PMHNP | Seattle Chapter
  • Member at Large: Danielle Waldron, MSN, ARNP | Snohomish Chapter
  • Member at Large: Patricia Wuertzer, MSN, ARNP-BC, PLLC | East King County Chapter 

Advisory Council

  • Damaris Aragon, PMHNP, BC
  • Ophelia Blue, ARNP, PMHNP-BC, PMHCNS-BC
  • Travis Damico, MSN, ARNP, PMHNP-BC
  • Lynne Dearing, MA, MSN, ARNP
  • Danielle DeOliveira, MSN, ARNP, PMHNP-BC
  • Bernie Gilroy, MN, ARNP
  • Connie Huffine
  • Melanie Kristoferson, MSN, ARNP, PMHNP-BC
  • Graham Patrick, PhD, ARNP

Awards Committee

  • Bernie Gilroy, MN, ARNP, Chair
  • Ginni Buccola, DNP, ARNP
  • Patricia Wuertzer, MSN, ARNP-BC, PLLC

Education/Clinical Practice Committee

  • Melanie Kristoferson, MSN, ARNP, PMHNP-BC, Chair
  • Bernie Gilroy, MN, ARNP
  • Deborah Eti, Student Member
  • Erika Giraldo, DNP, ARNP
  • Mary Ellen O’Keefe, MN, MBA, ARNP
  • Jennifer Schladweiler, MN, PMHNP, ARNP
  • Soonja Tyrrell, MSN, ARNP, PMHNP-BC
  • Patricia Wuertzer, MSN, ARNP-BC, PLLC


  • Mary Ellen O’Keefe, MN, MBA, ARNP, Chair
  • Nikki Behner, DNP, MPH, ARNP
  • Dana Dean Doering, ARNP
  • Kristine Highlander, ARNP, PMHNP-BC

Health Policy/Government Relations

  • Danielle DeOliveira, MSN, RN, PMHNP-BC, Chair
  • Nikki Behner, DNP, MPH, ARNP
  • Melanie Kristoferson, MSN, ARNP, PMHNP-BC


  • Kristine Highlander, MSN, ARNP, PMHNP-BC, Chair
  • Damaris Aragon, PMHNP, BC
  • Michele Kulbel, DNP, ARNP
  • Jean Tang, PhD, PMHNP


  • East King County Chair: Patricia Wuertzer, MSN, ARNP-BC, PLLC
  • Peninsula/Kitsap Chair: Graham Patrick, PhD, ARNP
  • Seattle Chapter Co-Chairs: Ophelia Blue, ARNP, PMHNP-BC, PMHCNS-BC; Travis Damico, MSN, ARNP, PMHNP-BC; & Melanie Kristoferson, MSN, ARNP, PMHNP-BC
  • Snohomish Chapter: Co-Chairs: Nikki Behner, DNP, MPH, ARNP & Danielle Waldron, MSN, ARNP
  • Spokane Chapter: Damaris Aragon, PMHNP, BC
  • Tacoma Chapter: Ginni Buccola, DNP, ARNP

If you are in the Vancouver/Portland or Whatcom/Skagit chapters and are interested in chairing chapter meetings in your area, please contact Chris Crosser, AAPPN Member Services, at chris@aappn.org or 360-734-3166.

Volunteer Questions

Interested in volunteering with AAPPN? Contact Kirk Roberts at kirk@aappn.org.

Membership Questions

Have questions about your member benefits or becoming a member? Contact Chris Crosser at chris@aappn.org.