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Ascension Living Names Nurse Leader of the Year

May 08, 2019

Rachel Morris, RN, Ascension Living Carondelet Place in Kansas City, Missouri, was named the senior living and care organization’s 2019 Servant Leader for a Nurse Leader Award. A panel of experienced post-acute and senior living leaders reviewed all nominations and picked Rachel as the top performing nurse leader across the 54 locations of Ascension Living, part of Ascension.

Ascension Living’s newly created Servant Leader Award for a Nurse Leader recognizes a nurse leader who serves people’s greatest needs. The honor is given to a nurse leader who honors the non-profit, Catholic organization’s values and whose behaviors guide and inspire others while effectively managing to get great outcomes for residents.

“Rachel is a worthy recipient of this new annual award,” said Danny Stricker, chief operating officer, Ascension Living. “She has made a tremendous impact on the lives of Carondelet Place residents, families and associates in a short amount of time because she has a visible passion for living our mission and providing unmatched care.”

In the many nominations received from residents, family members and co-workers, Morris was often referred to as a model leader who truly cares for all. Other submissions mentioned she openly communicates and engages in regular collaboration to create trusted partnerships that lead to excellent care and service. 

“Rachel successfully led quality improvement efforts at Carondelet Place that resulted in raising the skilled nursing facility’s Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services quality star rating from two stars to four stars, and the site anticipates receiving five stars by the end of June,” said Debra Valkenberg, chief nursing officer, Ascension Living. “Her mission-driven leadership style is inspirational and leaves a lasting positive imprint on the lives of Ascension Living Carondelet Place associates and the residents and families served. Rachel Morris personifies the perfect nurse hire.”

Since joining the Ascension Living Carondelet Place team in 2015, Morris has taken on more clinical and leadership duties. She started as the assistant director of nursing before being promoted to quality director in May 2018. Based on improved clinical indicators and associate engagement scores, Morris was promoted to director of nursing in November 2018.

“Rachel exemplifies Ascension’s core values in the deliverance of care of her residents and support of her team to deliver the care needed,” Valkenberg said. “She demonstrates a true passion for leadership with her consistent approach of staff empowerment and growth, giving her team a voice that allows for sustainability of growth and higher-quality care.” 

About us 
Ascension Living, based in St. Louis and part of Ascension, is a mission-driven senior living provider deeply connected to our Catholic faith that cares for the physical, mental, spiritual and social well-being of all individuals we serve. Our Mission calls us to provide spiritually centered, holistic care to seniors, particularly those most in need. We offer a wide range of programs tailored to meet the unique needs of older adults. Regardless of everyone’s stage in life, our goal is to provide seniors with opportunities designed to make their lives joyful, enriching and satisfying. With communities in 11 states and the District of Columbia, our ministries are continually developing and adopting new best practices in care that enhance the experiences of our residents, program participants and patients. Learn more at

Ascension operates more than 2,600 sites of care – including 151 hospitals and more than 50 senior living facilities – in 21 states and the District of Columbia, while providing a variety of services including physician practice management, venture capital investing, investment management, biomedical engineering, facilities management, clinical care management, information services, risk management, and contracting through Ascension’s own group purchasing organization. 

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Ascension Living

12250 Weber Hill Road

St. Louis, MO 63127


Phone: 314-729-3500