McKnight's Women of Distinction 2023 logo

McKnight’s Long-Term Care News, McKnight’s Home Care and McKnight’s Senior Living have opened the nomination process for the 5th annual McKnight’s Women of Distinction awards program.

The first McKnight’s Women of Distinction awards were bestowed in 2019. Since that time, the program has honored 185 women in senior living, skilled nursing or home care across three categories and through a Lifetime Achievement Award. Additionally, seven women have been recognized via the McKnight’s Spirit Award, which was introduced last year.

“We’re energized every year hearing the stories of these outstanding individuals, who have so much passion for the work they do and the people they serve,” McKnight’s Editorial Director John O’Connor said. “We can’t wait to share additional stories with the industry and provide more women with the recognition they deserve.”

Eligible for recognition in the sector’s prestigious competition are women working as executives, managers, direct care providers and owners in independent living, assisted living, memory care and life plan communities. Also eligible are those working in those capacities in skilled nursing facilities and in home care, home health, hospice and palliative care. 

Women who serve the fields indirectly — for instance as association staff members, academicians or thought leaders — also are eligible for recognition. Individuals working for vendor companies serving the industry are not eligible.

The categories:

  • Hall of Honor: Candidates should be senior-level professionals in the C-suite or at a level equivalent to vice president or higher and should have made a significant impact on their organization or the industry.
  • Veteran VIPs: Candidates should have more than 15 years of experience making an impact in long-term care and should be at a level lower than vice president or its equivalent. Whether as a community/facility administrator or executive director; or as a director of nursing, health/wellness or activities; or through some other position, they must have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the senior living and care industry through their accomplishments.
  • Rising Stars: Candidates must be aged 40 or fewer years or have fewer than 15 years of experience in the profession. Also, they must have demonstrated an exceptional commitment to the senior living and care industry. Those achievements/accomplishments may include, for example, managing a project, developing a campaign or contributing to the field via research or thought leadership.

Additionally, nominations once again will be accepted for the McKnight’s Spirit Award. This award will recognize inspiring caregiving and service provision efforts. Eligibility is open to women who have demonstrated acts of bravery, courage, perseverance, dedication, determination — or other noble gestures. The awardees will be celebrated in conjunction with the McKnight’s Women of Distinction program. Nominations for this award may be submitted at no charge.

Nominators should be prepared to share detailed qualitative and quantitative information about nominees’ work histories, exceptional achievements and contributions or service, and anything else the judging panel should consider.

Nominations submitted by Jan. 5 will have a $79 entry fee. Nominations submitted between Jan. 6 and 10 will carry a $109 entry fee.

All honorees, including a Lifetime Achievement Award winner, will be celebrated at an in-person event in Chicago in the spring that also will recognize winners from previous years who are in attendance. Details about the event, which also will include educational sessions, will be announced at a later date.

For additional information about the awards, or to submit a nomination for any of them, visit Questions should be directed to Anna Naumoski, senior event manager for Haymarket Media, the parent company of McKnight’s, at [email protected].Read about previous Rising Star, Veteran VIP and Hall of Honor inductees, as well as Lifetime Achievement and Spirit Award winners here. See lists of previous classes of honorees here.