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.

Kelly MacNeill-Cooney began her career as a speech-language pathologist and quickly took on more responsibility, becoming a program manager and then a regional therapy manager. Her passion for treating patients, mentoring employees in clinical excellence and leading organizations in developing strategies based on regulatory and legislative requirements led her to the National Association of Rehab Providers and Agencies in 2011. 

After joining NARA, MacNeill-Cooney quickly jumped in to support the association’s mission of creating collaborative opportunities for members and advancing the therapy industry through advocacy and education. She currently is NARA’s president. During the COVID-19 public health emergency, MacNeill-Cooney set up a biweekly town hall call for NARA members to share rapidly changing regulatory guidelines and solutions to operational and clinical challenges. She helps NARA create collaborative opportunities for members and advance the therapy industry. 

She has worked in healthcare service for more than 28 years and was vice president of clinical compliance and training at Therapy Specialists before that organization was acquired by HealthPRO-Heritage. 

At Therapy Specialists, MacNeill-Cooney was responsible for ensuring that the goals of employees and clients were met through aligning the clinical team’s therapeutic skills, programming, documentation and clinical compliance with current rules and regulations, as well as the goals of the organization. In her current role as a member of the senior leadership team at HealthPro-Heritage, she is responsible for reporting observations on the status of regulatory issues and strategies to the executive team. 

She also is the steering committee secretary for the Princess Project in San Diego, which promotes self-confidence and individual beauty by providing free prom dresses and accessories to high school teens. 

MacNeill-Cooney’s steadfast focus on advocacy, education and collaborative relationships has allowed both NARA and HealthPro-Heritage to meet the needs of all stakeholders amid some of the most tumultuous times the healthcare industry has ever seen.

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.