Kristien Van Acker completed her internal medicine/ diabetology training in 1989 at the University of Antwerp. Where she founded in the same year the first multidisciplinary Diabetic Foot Clinic for Belgium.Dr Van Acker finished her PhD thesis at the same University in 2001, titled "The Diabetic Foot a Challenge for Policy Makers and Health Care Professionals”.
For more than 10 years she was active and the stimulating power behind national preventive programs in her country. She was several times awarded for this innovative work.In 2005 she was instrumental in setting up the first 22 recognized diabetic foot clinics in Belgium, based on the system of governmental reimbursement.For already more than a decade she is a respected teacher at the High Education School of Podiatry in Gent.
Since 2001 Dr Van Acker has gained extensive experience in the field of diabetic foot education in developing countries. As active IWGDF Representative she was heavily involved as faculty member of the so-called "Step-by-Step" programs and chaired many courses throughout the world. Together with the Step-by-Step Development and Research Group (SSDRG) she founded and chaired the Train-the-Foot-Trainer projects, which were recently very successfully executed in Brasilia for the SACA region and in Tobago for the Caribbean region.
She is (co-) author of many peer reviewed articles, book chapters and books, of which the IDF WDD publication "Time to Act, Put feet first" in 2005 was widely raved throughout the world. She was in the board of “Eurodiale” group.
She has been involved with the twinning program in Senegal, Dakar since 2001. She is a consultant of the Tropical Institute in Antwerp, Belgium and a lecturer on “Public Health” and “ Chronic disease management” matters. She is interested in and a promoter of data-collection and e-Health.
She has been a member of many boards, notably as longstanding Vice-Chair of the IDF CS/IWGDF and the DFSG Europe. Today she is the Chair of the International Working Group and the chair of the Consultative Section of the Diabetic foot of International Diabetes Federation (IDF).
She is clinically active as diabetes consultant and runs outpatient multidisciplinary diabetic foot clinics in her country.( today: Centre Santé Des Fagnes , Chimay).