Editor’s Note: McKnight’s Senior Living, McKnight’s Long-Term Care News and McKnight’s Home Care are profiling the McKnight’s 2023 Women of Distinction honorees daily from July 5 to Aug. 15. For additional McKnight’s Women of Distinction content, visit this page.

CEO of American Senior Communities at the time of her selection as a McKnight’s Women of Distinction honoree, Donna Kelsey has overseen more than 100 memory care, rehabilitation, retirement and senior living communities, leading a team of more than 10,000 professionals who make it their mission to enhance the lives of residents and their families as well as staff members. Currently, she is transitioning to the position of senior adviser at the organization.

A veteran leader in senior healthcare, Kelsey has specialized in multi-site management, bottom line impact and continuous improvement. As CEO, she was responsible for driving strategic plans to carry out the vision, mission and values of ASC. One of Kelsey’s top priorities as CEO was to recruit and retain quality employees by instilling the company’s core values of compassion, accountability, relationships and excellence into the culture. 

The Indianapolis Business Journal in 2020 honored Kelsey as a Woman of Influence, and under her leadership, ASC was recognized in 2020 as one of Central Indiana’s top workplaces by the Indianapolis Star. She has been a member of the Indiana Health Care Association Board of Directors for more than five years, including several as chairperson. 

Kelsey has maintained high levels of customer satisfaction through quality care and positive clinical outcomes, keeping ASC in compliance with federal and state regulations, and leading teams that drive total quality management processes designed to generate profitability and growth. ASC’s overall CMS quality rating is 3.33, exceeding the Indiana state average of 2.84 and the national average of 2.90. 

In service to its employees, ASC has partnered with Workplace Chaplains to support team members and their families. In addition, the company’s Share to Care fund was created to assist ASC employees and/or their immediate families during times of hardship. 

Kelsey is a 26-year veteran of the US Naval Reserve, where she achieved the rank of captain.

Kelsey lives her principles of servant leadership. She maintains a balance of operational excellence with a passion to provide quality care for each resident. By prioritizing each resident and family, she strives to epitomize person-centered care.

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. PointClickCare is the Diamond sponsor of this year’s program. PharMerica is the Silver sponsor. Additional sponsors include American HealthTech, Healthcare Services Group, Omnicare, Sentrics and ShiftKey.

Visit this web page to see lists of honorees from 2023 and previous years.