Sixteen women working in skilled nursing, senior living and home care have been elected to the 2023 Rising Stars class of the McKnight’s Women of Distinction awards. The honorees, all early-career professionals, will be feted as part of the program’s fifth annual awards banquet May 22 in Chicago.

The program’s 2023 winners in the Veteran VIPs category will be unveiled Wednesday, with the Hall of Honor inductees, recognizing top executives, announced Thursday. The Women of Distinction honors are a joint program from McKnight’s Long-Term Care News and sister media brands McKnight’s Senior Living and McKnight’s Home Care.

The Rising Star awards category honors women who have fewer than 15 years of experience in the skilled nursing, senior living or home care fields or are 40 years old or younger. All have demonstrated an exceptional commitment at the community, facility, agency or corporate level.

“We’re delighted to welcome another class of women who, although early in their careers, already have made impressive contributions. We can’t wait to see what else they accomplish,” said McKnight’s Editorial Director, Vice President and Associate Publisher John O’Connor.

The 16 Rising Stars in the class of 2023:

Amanda Brooks, Senior Executive Director, Retirement Unlimited, Inc. (Paul Spring Retirement Community), Alexandria VA

Darlene Corporan, Clinical Care Manager, The New Jewish Home, New York, NY

Katie Davis, Administrator, Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society (Good Samaritan Society – Albert Lea), Albert Lea MN

Emily Erickson, Executive Vice President of Clinical Services, Retirement Unlimited, Inc, Roanoke, VA

Katie Gallenstein, Market Leader, Help at Home, Chicago

Jennifer George, MPA, Executive Director, WelbeHealth / Pacific PACE, Pasadena, CA

Carly Loewus, Campus Administrator, Clement Manor, Greenfield WI

Destiny Sisk, Executive Director, Touchmark (Touchmark on West Century), Bismarck ND

Hannah Sizemore, Administrator, Barbourville Health & Rehabilitation Center, Barbourville KY

Rhonda St. Onge, Executive Director, Brookdale Senior Living (Brookdale Trillium Crossing), Columbus OH

Sharell Shippen, Director of Spirituality, HumanGood, Duarte CA

Desirae Toomey, Administrator, Home- and Community-Based Services, Evangelical Lutheran Good Samaritan Society (Sanford Home Health), Sioux Falls SD

Rose Trevino, Director of Operations, Help at Home, Chicago

Amanda Young, Executive Director, The Wesley at Home, Towson MD

Izabella Wells, Director of Nursing, Hilltop Skilled Nursing & Rehabilitation Center, Charleston, IL 

Taylor Zelnio, Director of Resident Services, Crest Healthcare, Skokie, IL

More announcements coming

The McKnight’s Women of Distinction awards program was judged by a national, independent panel of judges. Overall, 26 states are represented by the honorees across all categories.

Once again, a Veteran VIPs category will recognize women with at least 15 years of experience who are making an impact. The Hall of Honor category will recognize women who are at a level equivalent to vice president or higher and who have had a significant effect on their organization or industry. 

The 2023 program, as in years past, also will bestow a Lifetime Achievement Award; the recipient of that award, as well as the recipients of the Spirit Award, introduced last year and recognizing inspiring women who provide care and services, will be announced at future dates.

An illustrious list of all past McKnight’s Women of Distinction honorees can be found by visiting here and scrolling down the page.

Awards dinner and educational event set for May 22

All of this year’s honorees will be celebrated Monday, May 22, during an in-person cocktail reception, dinner and awards presentation at the JW Marriott in Chicago. The presentation of awards will be preceded by the fourth annual McKnight’s Women of Distinction Forum, which will offer continuing education sessions featuring industry thought leaders delving into vital topics of the day. 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 Those 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 Long-Term Care News website.

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