2024 McKnight's Women of Distinction Veteran VIPs announced artwork

Sixteen women working in senior living, skilled nursing or home care are being announced today as the fourth class of Veteran VIPs in the annual McKnight’s Women of Distinction awards program, a joint effort of McKnight’s Senior Living and sister media brands McKnight’s Long-Term Care News and McKnight’s Home Care. They will be celebrated May 14 in Chicago at the McKnight’s Women of Distinction and Forum.

The Veteran VIP category honors women who have more than 15 years of experience and have made an impact on the senior living, skilled nursing or home care fields, typically at a level lower than vice president or its equivalent.

“The contributions of these seasoned professionals are valued greatly by their skilled nursing, senior living and home care employers, and we are pleased to honor them,” McKnight’s Editorial Director, Vice President and Associate Publisher John O’Connor said.

The 16 Veteran VIPs in the McKnight’s Women of Distinction class of 2024:

Teresa Edge, Regional Clinical Executive, Bedrock Care, Royersford, PA

Cathy Farmer, Director of Clinical Services, Goodwin House Alexandria, Alexandria, VA

Jaclyn Gardner, Director, Operations Management, LCS, Des Moines, IA

Diane Johnson, Regional Director of Operations, LiveWell Centers, North Wales, PA

Miriam Levi, Assistant Administrator, The New Jewish Home, Mamaroneck, NY

Angel Loyd, Regional Manager, Bridges Health, Oklahoma City

Nancy Maina, Senior Health Services Director, Brightview Senior Living – Brightview Severna Park, Severna Park, MD

Morgan Mulvany, Administrator, Odin Health and Rehab Center, Odin, IL

Myra Punla, Director of Nursing, HumanGood Piedmont Gardens, Oakland, CA

Shellie Rachal, Regional Vice President of Operations for the Southern Region, Elara Caring, Dallas

Maureen Rizzo, Senior Executive Director, Generations Senior Living, Strongsville, OH

Cameo Rogers, Corporate Life Enrichment Manager, Immanuel, Omaha, NE

Heather Turner, Executive Director, Timber Ridge at Talus, LCS, Issaquah, WA

Jacqueline Vance, Senior Director of Innovation and Education, Mission Health Communities, Tampa, FL

Cheryl Wallen, Director of LifeMinistries, Givens Communities, Asheville, NC

Elizabeth Wheatley, RN, Vice President of Resident Care, Benchmark Senior Living, Waltham, MA

More announcements coming

The McKnight’s Women of Distinction awards program was judged by a national, independent panel of judges.

Fifteen Rising Stars awards were announced Tuesday, recognizing women who are either aged fewer than 40 years or have fewer than 15 years of experience in the senior living, skilled nursing or home care fields. A Hall of Honor category will recognize women who are at a level equivalent to vice president or higher and who have had a significant effect on their organization or industry. Those award recipients will be announced Thursday.

The 2024 program, as in years past, also will bestow a Lifetime Achievement Award; the recipient of that award, as well as the recipients of the Spirit Award, recognizing inspiring women who provide care and services, will be announced later.

In-person celebration set for May 14

All of this year’s honorees will be celebrated Tuesday, May 14, during an in-person cocktail reception, dinner and awards presentation at the JW Marriott in Chicago. The presentation of awards will be preceded by the fifth annual McKnight’s Women of Distinction Forum, offering educational sessions featuring industry thought leaders discussing important topics. All events are open to the entire long-term care industry, family members and friends of winners, and anyone else interested in attending.

For more information and to register for either or both events, visit https://www.mcknightswomenofdistinction.com/. Those with questions about the events should contact Anna Naumoski, senior event manager at the parent company of the McKnight’s brands, Haymarket Media, at [email protected].

Keep up to date with McKnight’s Women of Distinction news on the McKnight’s Senior Living website. See a list of previously honored women by year and category on the McKnight’s Senior Living website or an alphabetical list by category at mcknightswomenofdistinction.com (click on “Past Honorees” at the top of the page).

Healthcare Services Group is the Platinum sponsor of this year’s event. PointClickCare is the Gold sponsor. PharMerica is the Silver sponsor. Additional sponsors include HER Stories, Curana Health, DirecTV for Business, ShiftKey and Sentrics.

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