Trista Wilson headshot

Editor’s Note: McKnight’s Senior Living, McKnight’s Long-Term Care News and McKnight’s Home Care are profiling the McKnight’s 2022 Women of Distinction honorees daily July 5 through Aug. 10. For additional McKnight’s Women of Distinction content, visit this page.

It is not an overstatement to say that without Trista Wilson, English Meadows Senior Living might not have made it through the pandemic. 

In 2020, when COVID-19 hit long-term care facilities across the country, Wilson leapt into action.

As the executive director of the company’s Abingdon, VA, assisted living and memory care community, she chose to boost morale by moving into the community, staying there 24/7 and helping the short-staffed team. Although, sadly, seven residents were lost in the first month of the pandemic, staff members were able to isolate the virus and stop the spread.

“Trista saved so many lives and helped save our company in 2020,” English Meadows CEO Mike Williams said. “While saving that campus, she also helped me daily in supporting the rest of the company.”

During the pandemic, Williams said that he and Wilson, who in 2019 was promoted to the position of chief operating officer, spoke 10 to 15 times a day initially and had daily conference calls for an entire year.

“I am not sure where we would be without her,” he said. “She was the perfect executive director and has been the best COO that I could ever have found.”

Now as COO, Wilson is responsible for the 17 English Meadows campuses across Virginia, Washington DC, West Virginia and South Carolina. The company hopes to add more than 13 more campuses by the end of next year, an effort Wilson will head.

Colleagues like Williams know Wilson is up to the task.

“Trista will lead our company to its goal of 30+ campuses in 2023 and is a prime example of what a leader in our industry should be,” he said.

The McKnight’s Women of Distinction program is jointly administered by McKnight’s Senior Living, McKnight’s Long-Term Care News and McKnight’s Home Care. The program’s Diamond sponsor is PointClickCare. Silver sponsors include OnShift and PharMerica, and the Bronze sponsor is Reliant Rehabilitation. Table sponsors included Dreamscape, Gojo/Purell and Sound Physicians.

Visit these web pages to see lists of the 2022 honorees: Rising StarsVeteran VIPsHall of HonorLifetime Achievement Award and Spirit Awards.