Tamara Konetzka headshot
Tamara Konetzka, PhD

Editor’s Note: McKnight’s Senior Living, McKnight’s Long-Term Care News and McKnight’s Home Care are profiling the McKnight’s 2024 Pinnacle Awards honorees daily in April and May. For additional McKnight’s Pinnacle Awards content, visit this page.

The work of R. Tamara Konetzka, PhD, resonates in the improved care and conditions for the hundreds of thousands of seniors living and recovering in long-term care facilities. 

The Louis Block Professor of Public Health Sciences in the Department of Public Health Sciences at the University of Chicago, Konetzka has published more than 75 studies focusing on geriatric health and the connections between payment systems and quality of care. She also has a direct role in policy making as a member of the technical expert panel that advises the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services on its nursing home ratings system. 

Recently, she was appointed to the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission. 

In addition, she was invited twice to testify before the US Senate Special Committee on Aging and the US Senate Finance Committee on the effects of COVID-19 in the nation’s nursing homes. 

On top of all her professional involvement, she is not just an outside researcher; she has a personal connection. Her mother lives in a continuing care retirement community in Florida, and her mother-in-law resides in a nursing home in Indiana. 

Konetzka’s work is defined by an attention to the connection between policy and quality of care, and how federal and state policies filter down to providers. 

She has been the principal investigator on numerous major federal research grants, leading to significant advances in knowledge of the drivers of nursing home quality, how public reporting of quality changes the behavior of providers and consumers, and the unintended consequences of home-based long-term and post-acute care. 

  • Konetzka holds a secondary appointment in the University of Chicago Department of Medicine, Section of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine. 
  • She has been an invited member of CMS’ Five-Star Quality Rating System Technical Expert Panel since 2014. 
  • She earned her PhD in health policy and administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and a master’s in economics from the University of Pennsylvania.

The McKnight’s Pinnacle Awards program is jointly administered by McKnight’s Senior Living, McKnight’s Long-Term Care News and McKnight’s Home Care. Honorees were recognized March 21 at a dinner and awards ceremony in Chicago. Omnicare was the Silver sponsor for the 2024 Pinnacle Awards program. Parker Health Group and Sentrics were event sponsors.