Doing well in long-term care is not easy. Regulators, families, financial challenges and simply the nature of the frail, vulnerable clientele will always make it so.

That’s why when you find somebody doing long-term care well, it pays to sit up and take notice.

And when you find somebody doing it well for 20 or more years, well, that’s sublime and a reason to politely stare if you can’t help it.

This week, McKnight’s announced a group of long-term care personnel that probably can never be given enough attention to do them justice. But we’re going to try. 

On Tuesday, we announced the inaugural class of McKnight’s Pinnacle Award winners. It’s a group of long-term care professionals that’s about as eclectic and elite as you’ll ever find in one place. Talk about an embarrassment of riches.

Quality? Check. Brains? Check. Success? Double-check.

This is a group you can’t pass by without wanting to know more. (And if you can, then you probably don’t have to worry about ever joining them as a Pinnacle Award winner.) Thirty individuals who account for hundreds and hundreds of years of quality long-term care.

The good news is, you have the chance to not only learn more about them, but you can do it in person. Meet these stellar role models face-to-face, hear what makes them tick and learn what habits keep them on top. A gala awards ceremony and dinner will celebrate them March 7 in Chicago, and you’re invited to it. Seriously.

The industry endures so much persecution and angst, it’s only fitting we take time to properly celebrate the best of the best.

Rub elbows, collect tips and make new friends — or see old friends. Congratulate comrades. It will be prime time for all of this at the historic Ivy Room in Chicago March 7.

Whether in the corner office, on the floor or making the rounds, these stars have reached the pinnacle of their profession. They have done their jobs exceedingly well, most of them well into the last century.

You’ll see more about them in the coming months. But do yourself a favor and come see them in person. Let us know you’re coming and we’ll keep a seat warm.

It’s time to sit up and take notice of the greats among us.

Visit the program website for more information about the event and to see a gallery of winners.

James M. Berklan is McKnight’s Executive Editor.

Opinions expressed in McKnight’s Long-Term Care News columns are not necessarily those of McKnight’s.