A Q&A with Sue Coppola, Sunrise’s New SVP of Care

Sunrise Senior Living  |  March 2, 2015

We recently sat down with senior vice president of Care, Sue Coppola, about her new role, the senior care industry and the greatest lesson she has learned from working with seniors.

What is your career background and how did you get into the senior care industry?
I started my career as an intensive care and emergency room nurse before moving to developing and implementing care management programs for a large HMO insurer and then a hospital. I was blessed to have some fantastic opportunities in hospital administration and at one of the top five accounting/consulting firms.  In 2002, I received an opportunity to work with a skilled nursing provider in Boston. I instantly connected to senior care, as I had the chance to make a positive difference in the lives of those who have done so much in their lifetimes to serve us.

What do you think sets Sunrise apart in the senior care industry?
It’s important to focus on quality and work with those who are innovators in what they do. Sunrise is the perfect fit, as team members work hard every day to deliver a high quality of care and services.

How would you describe your leadership style?
I pride myself on being very open and creating relationships with the team based on trust, honesty and transparency. Fostering strong communication, being inclusive and understanding “why” is instrumental to leading. Also, sometimes we need to stretch ourselves to think differently and not jump to conclusions or keep doing what we have always done, just because we have always done it. By fostering trust, open communications and relationships, so much can be accomplished.

What’s the greatest lesson you have learned from working with seniors?
We must listen and treat others the way we want to be treated. It’s critical we understand the desires of the seniors we serve, even if they cannot communicate them, and work to know who they are so that the care and service we provide can be truly personalized and impactful.

What are you most looking forward to in 2015?
I’m really excited to get to know the Sunrise team and learn more about our team members, communities and our residents, so that I can work with the team to make a difference.

What do you like to do for fun?
I like to stay active through traveling, kayaking, dancing and enjoying time at the lake. I also love spending time with family, friends and my Australian Labradoodle, Tilly.

What is your favorite book and movie?
The Sound of Music and Little Women are enjoyable classics. As far as novels, anything by Lee Child or James Patterson makes for great reading.

Do you have a favorite quote?
Yes, it’s by Mother Teresa: “I can do things you cannot, you can do things I cannot; together we can do great things.”