2013 UNP Election Candidate List

Posted about 6 years ago by Amanda Al-Khudairi

UNP Members,

As of  January 3,2013  we have the following list of candidates after reopening the ballot for UNP annual elections.

  • President Elect: Jared Johnson, Wendy Rusin
  • Treasurer: Julie Steele
  • Membership: Barbara Holstein, Keisa Lynch
  • Legislation (2 candidates): David Skalka & Grace Forsythe
  • Communication: Michelle Litchman

Elections will open soon, so stay tuned for your opportunity to vote. Please let us know if you are interested in the open membership board position. 

Jessica Lewis-Caporal, APRN FNP-BC
Nominations Committee

Mandy Al-Khudairi, DNP, WHNP-c, Membership and Communications


Jared Johnson- Candidate for President Elect
Jared Johnson, APRN, ACNP-BC
VA Medical Center
Salt Lake City, UT

Jared Johnson, MS, APRN, ACNP is a board certified acute care nurse practitioner. He attended Brigham Young University, where he graduated cum laude with dual degrees in Russian Language & Literature, and Nursing. While at Brigham Young University, Jared was a leader among his peers and was a member of the first group of undergraduate students to pilot a program where senior students taught entering nursing students in fundamentals of communication. Jared also worked closely with various faculty members as a teaching assistant in Research and Ethics courses and as a tutor for the University’s Intensive Care Nursing course. Jared was also invited to speak at the College of Nursing Convocations as part of graduation. Following graduation, Jared’s professional experience as a Registered Nurse included Emergency & Trauma Nursing where he was recognized early as a leader and took on leadership roles within a few months of graduation. He then continued to expand his knowledge and skill set in Critical Care Nursing, taking positions in Intensive Care Units. Jared worked in Utah prior to working as a travel nurse in emergency and critical care.
Following his experiences in travel nursing, Jared enrolled as a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania in the nationally top-ranked Adult Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program where he graduated in 2009 at the top of his class. In addition to continuing his professional work in the Critical Care Units at Pennsylvania Hospital, Jared accepted an invitation to work as a graduate teaching assistant for the Advanced Pathophysiology course during his final year. Following graduation, he returned to Utah and has since practiced at the George Whalen Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Salt Lake City as the sole full-time Nurse Practitioner in the Surgical Intensive Care Unit. Jared has participated in the American Academy of Nurse Practitioner’s Healthy Policy Leadership Fellowship Program and is currently an adjunct faculty member at the University of Utah in the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program. He is also enrolled at the University of Utah in the Doctor of Nursing Practice Program, where he will graduate December 2012.


Wendy Rusin, MSN, ACNP

"I am writing to nominate Wendy Rusin for the position of president elect. Wendy received her MSN from the University of Utah in 2006 and is a certified Acute Care Nurse Practitioner. Wendy is currently working as the Director of Clinical Nursing Services for Care Source Hospice in Salt Lake City. Wendy is an active member in both UNP and AANP. She has served UNP as president elect (2010), president (2011) and immediate past president (2012). Wendy had been instrumental in moving UNP forward; for example, Wendy has helped to author and put into place the UNP bylaws and policies and procedures. Wendy has been instrumental in working with ENP network to make the UNP website the useful tool it is today. She made possible electronic membership registration and payments. Under her leadership UNP had strong legislative representation in the form of an active legislative committee and a lobbyist. Wendy’s term as president was cut short by 4 months due to restructuring of the elections, and it has seemed to me that Wendy still had many ideas for UNP that she left unrealized. I am certain Wendy Rusin would be an excellent choice to once again lead UNP."

Julie Steele-Candidate for Treasurer
Julie Steele, DNP, FNP – BC
University of Utah College of Nursing
Assistant Professor (Clinical)

“As the current Awards Committee Chair and past UNP Board member I have attended the majority of the board meetings for the past several years. This has enabled me to gain a working knowledge of the organization. I also believe I have demonstrated strength in communication skills and working principles. Furthermore I am committed to upholding the bylaws and vision of the organization. My involvement with UNP has increased my desire to remain an active member of UNP. As Treasurer I will uphold the trust of the organization with fiscal responsibility and transparency”

Michelle Litchman, MS, (PhD.c), FNP-C  - Candidate for Communication

Michelle Litchman  has made numerous contributions to healthcare and the promotion of NP practice. Her proactive and innovative development of community programs that address gaps in healthcare, such as NUSANE, DOS, and the Diabetes Mixer, make her an emergent healthcare leader. She is active in her community with regard to health policy, committed to educating NPs, and emerging as an expert in the field of diabetes care. She is an active participant in the diabetes online community, and her proficient use of social media has significantly expanded her purview. She was the first PhD student invited to attend the AANP Leadership Fellowship, selected for her outstanding leadership skills. She serves as a volunteer adjunct instructor at the University of Utah and volunteer preceptor for five NP programs in Utah, Missouri, Idaho, and Ohio. In this role, she lectures on chronic illnesses and prepares NP students in the clinical setting to manage patients with chronic comorbidities. She was a guest diabetes expert for the“Picture This: Diabetes” program and the Partners in Patient Health program. She was invited to write a commentary on an article for the journal of Evidence-Based Nursing highlighting the cost-effectiveness of substituting physicians with diabetes nurse specialists. I truly believe she is one of the most motivated, creative and talented individuals I have had the privilege of working with and should be recognized for her commendable efforts to improve healthcare and advance the NP profession.
A member of the AANP 2012 National Conference Planning Committee, she enlisted the participation of e-patients, advocated for social media sessions, and encouraged the use of Twitter to share information.
Recipient of Sigma Theta Tau International Gamma Rho Chapter Clinical Excellence Award, Utah NP Leadership Award, Utah NP Service Award, and finalist for WEGO Health Activist Awards in the Offline Crusader category.  While maintaining a full time diabetes specialty practice, she matriculated into the PhD program at the University of Utah College of Nursing where she is a Jonas Scholar.

Grace Forsythe- Candidate for Legislation:
Grace Forsythe, PhD, BC, APRN, JD
VA Medical Center
Salt Lake City, UT

Grace is a board certified Psychiatric Mental Health Specialist who has worked for several years at the Salt Lake City VA Medical Center treating Veterans with PTSD and other Mental Health Disorders in the Outpatient Mental Health Clinic. She is a member of the VA APRN Peer Review and Suicide Prevention Committees. She has been an APRN in private practice, on the University of Utah Medical Center’s Psychiatry Consult team, and taught Psychiatric Nursing at the University of Utah College of Nursing. She has her Master’s degree in Psychiatric Nursing from the University of Michigan and her PHD in Family Nursing from the University of Utah. She has done research in the area of Patient/Consumer satisfaction with healthcare. She has been a leader in Psychiatric nursing and on behalf of Advanced Practice Nurses. She has her JD degree from the University of Utah College of Law and is a skilled negotiator and mediator regarding health care issues. She mediates in a variety of specialty areas and has chaired Utah State Medical Malpractice Pre-Litigation Hearings. She has helped revitalize the Utah Chapter of the American Psychiatric Nurse Association which includes all levels of psychiatric nurses as members and is on their board. She has also been the past Chair of the Psychiatric Mental Health APRN Council. She has been a member of AANP and UNP for several years. She looks forward to supporting the role of Utah Nurse Practitioners in Health Care Reform and Policy making.

David Lee Skalka Jr., FNP-C, JD  - Candidate for Legislation

David is a board certified Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) who is currently employed at the Salt Lake City VA Medical Center, Kaysville Family Medicine, and CGSN.  He was recently awarded an internship as a Department of Veterans Affairs Geriatric Scholar. He is actively engaged in Medicare reimbursement issues, advocating for NPs to be included in meaningful legislation including securing NP participation in ACOs.  These interests directly affect NP reimbursement for Medicare patients and also affects NP inclusion in Utah state-based insurance exchanges which will be implemented as part of the PPACA in 2014. 

David has served on the Board of Directors for the Utah Ambulatory Association (UAA) where he was very active in lobbying efforts during the 2007-2010 Utah legislative sessions. He has contributed to the NP profession through his ongoing involvement in the health policy arena where he uses his expertise as both a NP and JD to advocate for the citizens of  Utah who are in desperate need of healthcare services.  He was instrumental in focusing attention on evidence-based outcomes, high-quality data, and cost-effectiveness to provide support for proposed changes during the legislation session. He has participated in numerous AANP leadership meetings, attended national Health Policy Fellowships, and speaks routinely on the subjects of health care reform, access to care, professional issues, and health policy.

David has an MSN with a focus on Family Practice and also received his Juris Doctor with a concomitant minor in healthcare policy. He is an avid golfer, an eagle scout, a veteran of the United States Army,  and former president of his college class.


Barbara Holstein, FNP  - Candidate for Membership

Barbara is a family nurse practitioner who has worked mostly with vulnerable and underserved patients in the community throughout her career in addition to being on the faculty for the Primary Care NP program at the University of Utah. She is actively involved with the Head Start program as a volunteer provider. She enjoys doing evidence-based research applicable to practice. Her goal for 2013 is to continue to lobby for establishment of a medical home for juvenile offenders who are re-entering the community. As a member of the UNP board for legislation over the past two years she learned a lot and established a record of voting districts for each current UNP member. She hopes to continue to contribute to the legislative committee and learn the membership role on the board this year.


Keisa Lynch, NP  -- Candidate for Membership

Keisa M. Lynch, DNP, APRN, FNP is a family nurse practitioner in the department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the University of Utah School of Medicine. Her clinical interests include treatment, diagnosis and continuing care for gastrointestinal diseases and hepatology.  Keisa received her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree (DNP) from the University of Utah and her Masters of Science in Nursing (MSN) as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) from Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah.  I look forward to the opportunity to represent all of the members of Utah Nurse Practitioners and to help ensure that NPs in the state of Utah can practice to the full extent of our education.