Meera Riner Named Champion of Quality

Innovator, advocate receives Mary K. Ousley Champion of Quality Award

Awards and Recognition; Quality
​WASHINGTON, D.C. – Meera Riner, chief operating officer of Nexion Health Management, Inc., based in Sykesville Maryland, has been named the 2022 recipient of the Mary K. Ousley Champion of Quality Award by the American Health Care Association and National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL). Riner is recognized for her outstanding contributions to quality in long term and post-acute care. 

“I applaud Meera for this well-deserved honor,” said Mark Parkinson, president and CEO of AHCA/NCAL. “Her trailblazing work to improve and sustain quality care has made a tremendous impact on the lives of residents and the staff who care for them. She truly is a champion of quality.”  

Riner has been an integral part of the long term care profession for more than 30 years, including key roles advocating for seniors. She has worked tirelessly to educate and bridge the gap between long term care facilities and lawmakers. Riner has also helped shape programs that incentivize quality improvement in the profession. Coupled with her active leadership roles in legislative testimony, she has influenced state policy to the benefit of nursing facility patients and residents. 

“Meera’s work with lawmakers and federal regulators to improve and sustain quality outcomes is inspiring,” said Mary Ousley, co-chair of the AHCA Quality Cabinet and namesake of the award. “This award recognizes individuals who embrace quality as a central focus of their work, and Meera does just that. It is an honor to recognize her for her innovation, leadership and dedication.”  

Riner’s achievements have been recognized at the national level. She is a Baldrige Program Fellow, the first person in long term care to achieve the honor. In 2020, she was awarded the McKnight’s Woman of Distinction Hall of Honor, and in 2020, Nexion was recognized by McKnight’s Senior Living with an Innovation in Technology Award for its work during the COVID-19 pandemic.  

Riner has served on the Texas Healthcare Association’s Board of Directors, as an AHCA/NCAL National Quality Award Program Examiner, and currently serves on AHCA quality and workforce committees as well as on the Louisiana Nursing Home Emergency Preparedness Review Committee.  

Each year, AHCA/NCAL presents the Mary K. Ousley Champion of Quality Award to an individual that has made significant national contributions to advancing quality performance in long term and post-acute care. Recipients display leadership in the development, promotion, and implementation of quality improvement initiatives that have resulted in measurable outcomes. 

In 2011, the Friend of Quality Award was renamed the Mary K. Ousley Champion of Quality Award to honor the ongoing legacy and commitment to quality care demonstrated by its namesake, Mary Ousley, a licensed nursing center administrator and nurse who has dedicated her life to quality improvement programs in long term care. 

Riner will be presented with the award at AHCA/NCAL’s 73rd Convention & Expo​ in Nashville, Tennessee, October 9-12.