Editor’s Note: McKnight’s Long-Term Care News and McKnight’s Senior Living are profiling the McKnight’s 2021 Women of Distinction honorees daily July 6 through Aug. 6. To see the 2021 McKnight’s 2021 Women of Distinction awards ceremony, register for free here. For additional profiles of McKnight’s Women of Distinction, visit this page.

Meera Riner headshot
Meera Riner

Meera Riner’s career has been a combination of working with young and old. She began as an occupational therapist for children in India and is now an executive for long-term care in Maryland.

The chief operating officer for Nexion Health Management in Sykesville, MD, Riner has served in a few different roles at the company in her 20 years there. She ultimately landed as COO when it became clear how passionate and effective she was in the industry.

One of her many accomplishments and what she is known for, according to colleagues, is her expertise in safely preparing for disasters and evacuating residents. She has successfully evacuated and returned close to 1,000 residents from multiple facilities in hurricanes such as Katrina, Rita, Gustav and Ike. She has spoken about her experiences at conferences and is regarded as an expert.

Riner also has been able to lead Nexion’s facilities to success in many different categories under her leadership. Facilities have received multiple quality awards of varying levels from the American Health Care Association. She also was accepted into and completed the highly competitive Baldridge Fellowship program. 

Riner has developed many of the successful programs and initiatives at Nexion. She has been credited with taking advantage of the rise of the use of virtual during the COVID-19 surges, heading the implementation of a new telehealth platform used across the company’s facilities. She also led the use of FaceTime for wound care and bedside consulting.

Other projects include a program called “White Dove,” used to bring dignity to a dying resident or patient, and “Thursday Triage,” a program that lessened re-hospitalization at Nexion by 25%. Riner also initiated social justice and equality committees during the past year.

Riner, a mother of two who enjoys running marathons, also serves her community through programs such as Florida Guardian ad Litem. 

The McKnight’s Women of Distinction program is jointly administered by McKnight’s Long-Term Care News and McKnight’s Senior Living. The program’s Diamond sponsor is PointClickCare, and the Roundtable Sponsor is Paycor.