WEST CHESTER, PA —The Fund for Women and Girls will host its fifth annual Champions of Change Event on Wednesday, October 27, 2021, from 8:00-9:30 am at the Farmhouse Bistro at People’s Light and Theater. The event will honor JoAnne Reifsnyder, Phd, MSN, MBA, FAAN, for her efforts to support and uplift women in the nursing and healthcare fields. Dr. Reifsnyder is the Executive Vice President, Clinical Operations, and Chief Nursing Officer at Genesis HealthCare. Law firm MacElree Harvey will also be honored for its commitment to career development and growth for female employees, and efforts to advance gender equity in the workplace.
Dr. JoAnne Reifsnyder will receive The Fund’s fifth annual Gladys Black ‘Woman of Distinction’ Award, named in memory of The Fund’s late friend and committed Board member Gladys Black. As a business leader and supporter of women and girls in Chester County, Gladys left a lasting impact on the community. This year, the organzation will honor Dr. Reifsnyder’s dedication to supporting, mentoring, and uplifting women in the nursing and healthcare fields throughout her career.
In her role at Genesis HealthCare, Dr. Reifsnyder is responsible for leader development, nursing strategy and clinical quality, safety and efficiency. She joined Genesis in 2011 as Vice President of Clinical Strategy and Implementation, and was previously Senior Vice President of Care Transitions at CareKinesis, Inc. Dr. Reifsnyder serves on the Board of the Hospice Foundation of America and is the past President of the Board of Directors for the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association. She is a member of the American Nurses Association, American Organization of Nurse Executives (AONE), the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA), the National Gerontological Nurses Association (NGNA) and Sigma Theta Tau International, the Honor Society of Nursing. Dr. Reifsnyder was inducted as a Fellow in the American Academy of Nursing in 2015. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in psychosocial oncology at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, and holds a PhD in nursing from the University of Maryland, an MBA from George Washington University, a master’s degree in nursing from Thomas Jefferson University, and a BSN from Holy Family College.
As the only female member of Genesis HealthCare’s executive management committee, Dr. Reifsnyder is a true champion for women. She oversees the nursing department, social services and quality – which includes six female VPs, more than 200 Directors of Nursing, and thousands of nurses and social workers, the vast majority of whom are female – and is responsible for the leadership development and career growth of more than 20,000 female clinicians. Through her leadership, Genesis HealthCare provides female employees with access to local universities, onsite training, virtual training, and opportunities to move up the career ladder. In addition, Dr. Reifsnyder led the development of nursing career ladders and the successful achievement of the Pathway to Excellence designation at an affiliated center in PA, one of just a handful of the nation’s roughly 15,000 nursing centers to achieve this recognition.
“JoAnne is never too busy to meet with young women who are just beginning their career trajectories – whether in nursing, an allied health profession, or in business. She has met with many such aspiring professionals in the local area,” says her nominator and colleague Lori Mayer, Vice President of Marketing and Communications at Genesis HealthCare. “She has dedicated her life’s work to caring for those that cannot care for themselves and who are at the end state of life… through her leadership, she has helped other women to develop their own careers and thrive in a very difficult industry. I, along with the other 20,000 Genesis female clinicians, thank Dr. Reifsnyder for her support, dedication, and leadership.”
As an advocate for its employees, MacElree Harvey recognizes the importance of gender balance in a team and the significant benefits it brings to the organization. The firm encourages female employees to pursue professional and leadership opportunities, providing them with training and resources to support their professional growth. For instance, the firm’s Educational Assistance Program has been utilized by female staff and attorneys to further advance their careers. MacElree Harvey also offers work schedule flexibility, including the opportunity to work from home, to support work-life balance among its attorneys. Its Paid Medical Leave of Absence Plan provides paid time off for maternity leave, illness, or injuries. Finally, MacElree Harvey partners with the Chester County Bar Association to promote their Diversity Program, designed for first year law students who identify with groups historically discriminated against on the basis of gender, disability, race, ethnicity, or gender identity.
“MacElree Harvey has a history of advancement and promotion of women within the firm. Most notably, our current CEO, Michelle Foster, has been promoted numerous times over her
19-year career with MacElree Harvey… Eight of the current women Partners began their careers with MacElree Harvey as Associate Attorneys and were promoted to Partner,” says Firm Administrator Nicole Castafero. “The Firm promotes women from within, allowing for the advancement of their careers.”
“Now more than ever, we need leaders who will bear the mantle for gender and racial equity in the workforce, education, and all institutions,” says The Fund’s Executive Director, Michelle Legaspi Sánchez. “The Fund is proud to recognize the longstanding commitment of Dr. JoAnne Reifsnyder as well as MacElree Harvey. Because of their leadership and courage, many women in Chester County and beyond have more opportunities to move forward.”
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