Editor’s Note: The McKnight’s Long-Term Care News Daily Update and McKnight’s Senior Living Daily Briefing e-newsletters are profiling each of the McKnight’s 2020 Women of Distinction honorees now through the July 28 online awards celebration. To learn more about the 2020 McKnight’s Women of Distinction Awards and Forum events July 28 and 29, where attendees will be able to earn continuing education credits, see mcknightswomenofdistinction.com.

Since she began working at Legacy Healthcare as a receptionist in 2014, Chona’s career has moved at a lightning-quick pace.

Just six months after starting at The Grove nursing home in Evanston, IL, she was promoted to admissions director at another facility, Warren Barr Northshore. There she became a senior admissions director. Returning to The Grove, she quickly was promoted to administrator and took on the role of hospital liaison. Before long, she was promoted to regional administrator.

Chona has made significant improvements at Legacy. They include increasing census, profitability, quality, customer satisfaction, turnover, regulatory compliance and outcomes. She also has made great strides in helping to reduce hospital readmissions.

In addition, Chona has instituted innovative programming at Legacy. This programming includes the ambassador program for customer service, which was designed to create consistency and a standard of excellence for resident and patient satisfaction. She also has relaunched the mentor program for staff, teaching leadership skills to line staff and empowering them to provide exceptional service.

Among her professional accomplishments are being selected as the Illinois Health Care Association Administrator of the Year in 2019 and inclusion in the IHCA leaders program. She also was instrumental in helping The Grove of Evanston and Warren Barr Lincoln Park receive American Health Care Association Silver Quality Awards.

Part of her deep connection to senior care and healthcare is personal. Her father has multiple sclerosis and uses a wheelchair. About a year ago, he moved into one of her facilities. 

Having Type 1 diabetes, Chona also understands the challenges of living with an illness. But clearly, given the pace of her career, she has not let it or anything else slow her down.

The McKnight’s Women of Distinction program’s Diamond sponsor is PointClickCare. The Silver sponsors are OnShift and PharMerica, and the Signature sponsor is Acadia Pharmaceuticals.