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.

JoAnne Reifsnyder headshot
JoAnne Reifsnyder

JoAnne Reifsnyder is the leader of 28,000 clinicians — most of them women — who take care of patients and residents under the Genesis HealthCare flag.

Reifsnyder joined the company in 2011 as vice president, clinical strategy and implementation, and since has added “executive” to the front end of her title and “chief nursing officer” to the back end. Three clinical vice presidents, 400 directors of nursing, 11,000 registered and licensed practical nurses and 17,000 nursing aides report to her

She has been instrumental in developing nursing career ladders, providing affiliations with local universities and offering onsite training and virtual training to advance colleagues’ progress.

Early in her career, Reifsnyder and a colleague implemented Schwartz Rounds at Presbyterian Hospital in Philadelphia. Later, she did the same at Genesis. Schwartz Rounds focus on a case or theme related to the emotional impact of patient care that care team members encounter. Clinicians share their experiences, which then are discussed by a larger group.

Education is at the core of just about everything Reifsnyder does. Currently an assistant professor at the University of Pennsylvania, she holds a Ph.D. in nursing from the University of Maryland and completed a post-doctoral fellowship in psychosocial oncology. She also earned master’s degrees in nursing and business administration, as well as a bachelor’s degree in nursing.

She has focused on advancing palliative and end-of-life care and has been a board member or top officer for numerous affiliated groups. Recently, she was selected by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar to join the Health Care Infection Control Practices federal advisory committee to give guidance on prevention and treatment of healthcare-associated infections, antimicrobial resistance and other matters.

In addition to other activities, Reifsnyder has been a significant financial contributor to Doctors Without Borders. She and her daughter volunteered at a foreign pediatric hospital, and she plans to participate in medical missions upon retirement.

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.