Lynn Hood, 2024 McKnight's Women of Distinction Lifetime Achievement Award winner

Lynn Hood, a long-term care executive well-known for answering the call to act under emergency conditions in addition to being a champion of employees, has been chosen as this year’s Lifetime Achievement Award honoree in the McKnight’s Women of Distinction program.

A degreed nurse, Hood jumped into the long-term care administration ranks at age 24 and has served as the president and CEO of Principle LTC since 2017.  

Prior to leading the North Carolina-based operator of 46 facilities in three southeastern states, she rose to the position of vice president at HCR ManorCare. She enjoyed a 27-year career there with what was then the largest skilled nursing operator in the United States.

The Women of Distinction Lifetime Achievement Award honors a leader who has made outstanding contributions in the area of senior living, skilled nursing or home care over a lengthy career.

“Lynn’s rich career as a caregiving exec is remarkable in itself, but when you add in her humanitarian aid work, willingness to pioneer new treatments, eagerness to advance the careers of others and more, you realize she really is a unique leader,” said McKnight’s Vice President, Editorial Director and Associate Publisher John O’Connor. “The sector is fortunate to have someone of Lynn’s caliber to lead the way.”

Hood and the other 2024 class of Women of Distinction award winners will be feted at a May 14 awards dinner in Chicago that is open to the public.

Thriving in ‘situations that aren’t normal’

Hood’s friends and colleagues say there is no other person you would want more by your side during a crisis.

“I seem to thrive, and have always thrived, in situations that aren’t normal,” she once acknowledged to a McKnight’s reporter.

When she was just in high school, a tornado struck nearby and she found herself assisting emergency workers. That was just the beginning for the English-born daughter of a construction site manager, who traveled the globe with her family before settling in the United States.

A few years after that Connecticut twister, Hood’s giving nature again proved valuable when she was an emergency medical technician in Fort Lauderdale, FL, in the aftermath of Hurricane Andrew. She helped relocate nearly 200 patients.

She was at it again almost two decades later after an earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, causing more than 200,000 deaths. She took up the cause of supporting Haitian-American staff at HCR ManorCare, some of whom had lost family members.

Among other efforts, she established phone cards so affected staff members could contact survivors, and she also hosted memorial services. Weeks after the disaster, she flew to Haiti with a group of nurses and doctors from the Haitian American Nurses Association of Florida to provide medical assistance and tents for the homeless.

“She puts people first, and therefore people will go the extra mile because they feel appreciated,” said Marjorie Lozama, a nurse and HANA executive. “She opens her heart to many people.”

Going the extra mile

In 2019, Hood launched Principle Cares, a nonprofit fund that provides crisis funding for employees. That support helps workers with challenges ranging from rent payments to divorce.

Most recently, she volunteered Principle LTC staff members and facilities to help advance the development of COVID-19 and Alzheimer’s disease treatments.

In fact, Principle’s early and bold steps setting up some of the nation’s first dedicated COVID-19 units received wide notice.

“I don’t think we need a way back. We need a way forward,” Hood said at the time. 

In 2021, she was inducted into the McKnight’s Women of Distinction Hall of Honor.

Her work has led her to be labeled as a changemaker for senior care settings, and she has inspired staff members to follow her example. Workers have reported that she leads with encouragement and efficiency and that the results have been tremendous.

“Lynn’s leadership, focus, transparency, drive, dedication and people skills help her employees believe in their ability to shape their future and keep them from feeling powerless,” observed Principle LTC Chief Operating Officer Joylin Nation, herself a 2022 McKnight’s Women of Distinction Hall of Honor inductee.

Now, Hood is being lifted up to her fellow long-term care professionals with one of the field’s highest honors.

Other honorees and banquet details

Most McKnight’s Women of Distinction winners were selected by a national, independent panel of judges. The Lifetime Achievement Award winner was determined by event organizers.

Previously announced were 15 Rising Stars, 16 Veteran VIPs, 24 Hall of Honor inductees and four Spirit Award honorees, recognizing all levels of experience.

All of the 2024 honorees will be celebrated May 14 during an in-person cocktail reception, dinner and awards presentation at the JW Marriott in Chicago.

The sixth presentation of awards will be preceded by the 5th annual McKnight’s Women of Distinction Forum, which will offer 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 Anyone 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 (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.

Related Articles