Editor’s Note: We are profiling the McKnight’s 2020 Women of Distinction honorees daily through the program’s July 28 online awards ceremony. To learn more about this digital celebration, the Forum the next day (which offers three free continuing education credits July 29) or the program in general, visit mcknightswomenofdistinction.com.

Dina Besirevic headshot
Dina Besirevic

Dina Besirevic grew up knowing she wanted to help others, to ease their pain and to provide care. It was witnessing her father’s care through his illness, however, that led her to a career path in nursing and healthcare.

She began her life in Croatia, growing up during the Balkan War. She came to the United States in 2001 as a high school sophomore when her father sought advanced treatment for a brain tumor. As Besirevic picked up the language, she came to understand the influence that interpersonal relationships can have on professional caregiving.

After initially attending nursing school, she switched her focus to business studies in an effort to support her family, earning an associate’s degree in business from Northeastern Illinois University. She later returned to nursing and earned her associate’s degree in nursing from City Colleges of Chicago–Harry S. Truman College. 

Besirevic stopped into a nursing home after taking her licensing exam and never left the industry. She was hired on the spot and discovered her love of skilled nursing, the continuity of care, and the relationships with residents and patients and their families.

Besirevic worked at ManagCare, which operates a network of senior care centers in Illinois, as a charge nurse for a year before moving to Mosaic Healthcare as minimum data set coordinator. A clinical reimbursement consultant position at BRIA Health Services allowed her to reach her current position, regional clinical reimbursement consultant, at Villa Healthcare in 2018. There, she works with staff, residents and patients in Illinois and Wisconsin.

Besirevic is a member of the National Association of Directors Of Nursing Administration in Long Term Care and the American Association of Nurse Assessment Coordination. She also is a steering committee member of the Villa Women’s Group and a graduate of the Nursing Leadership Academy, and she began the Advanced Management Group. 

Last year, Besirevic was recognized for her work to revamp the restorative program to best meet patient needs according to the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services’ Patient-Driven Payment Model. She created a new format in the electronic health records system, drafted guidelines and produced a library to increase accuracy in entering tasks into the EHR on care plans. This led to increased data for PDPM calculations and improved accuracy for documentation and billing.

The McKnight’s Women of Distinction program is jointly administered by McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Long-Term Care News. The program’s Diamond sponsor is PointClickCare. Silver sponsors are OnShift and PharMerica, and the Signature sponsors are Acadia Pharmaceuticals and Enquire.