Editor’s Note: McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Long-Term Care News are profiling the McKnight’s 2021 Women of Distinction honorees daily July 6 through Aug. 9. To see the 2021 McKnight’s 2021 Women of Distinction awards ceremony, register for free here. For additional profiles of McKnight’s Women of Distinction, visit this page.

Melissa Sorenson headshot
Melissa Sorenson

Melissa Sorensen has proven herself to be a dedicated and loyal employee of ProMedica Senior Care (formerly HCR ManorCare). Starting as a CNA, she quickly moved up the ranks to be a nurse. After holding various administrative positions, Sorensen, a 26-year employee, now holds the title of chief nursing officer.

In this position, Sorensen leads with the knowledge that nurses are the backbone of the nursing home system, colleagues say. She understands from professional experience the needs of nursing staff members as well as the medical needs of residents and patients.

During the pandemic, Sorensen organized and coordinated infection control policies within the company, minimizing staff member and resident exposure to the virus. Colleagues say she is an extremely valued member of the company leadership, constantly dealing with very difficult subject matters and everyday challenges. They also say, however, that she leads with humor and is able to find new angles on issues that put people at ease. 

“Melissa is a purpose-driven and inspiring leader who embodies our mission in all that she does. I am proud to have her on our team,” ProMedica President and CEO Randy Oostra said.

Colleagues say Sorensen always takes the extra step to help others, whether it be crocheting blankets for an employee’s new grandchild or baking a meal for someone suffering a loss. For Sorensen, they say, caregiving is more than work; it is part of who she is.

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, and the Roundtable Sponsor is Paycor.