A Q&A with Mike Summers, Sunrise's New Chief Information Officer (CIO)

Sunrise Senior Living  |  October 20, 2014

Meet our new Sunrise CIO, Mike Summers. We recently sat down with Mike about his IT leadership experience, role of technology in today’s senior living communities and his favorite invention.

What’s your background and what attracted you to Sunrise?
My background encompasses more than 15 years of IT leadership experience in health care and hospitality industries, including managed care services. The primary force that attracted me to Sunrise is the specialized continuum of care provided to seniors, as I realize this is a growing need. I also see an opportunity where technology can play a major role in providing a competitive advantage for Sunrise. Lastly, I noticed almost immediately that Sunrise has a great culture, with dedicated team members on every level who truly embrace the company’s core values.  

What was your first impression of a Sunrise community?
I was instantly impressed by the beautiful architecture and warm atmosphere within the community, along with the range of services provided to the residents.

What makes Sunrise unique in the senior care industry?
Several things come to mind. First, is the Sunrise brand! The founders of Sunrise were the first to offer an alternative approach for providing senior living and care that transformed this industry into what it is today. Second, is the great culture at Sunrise, which is at the core of all successful organizations. Finally, is Sunrise’s commitment to improving the quality of resident care and management by investing in an Electronic Health Record (EHR) system, Sunrise CareConnect.  

How would you describe your leadership style?
Three words come to mind: collaborative, transformational and empowering.

How does technology play a role in today’s senior living communities?
Using technology-enabled solutions in senior living communities is paramount for addressing resident safety concerns, care coordination and driving operational efficiency. It starts with capturing and sharing health information amongst care coordinators through electronic records. For example, an EHR can help improve resident safety. Additionally, implementing remote monitors/alerts are effective in identifying emergency situations, like if a resident falls.

What was your first job?
My very first job was a newspaper route in high school, which I really enjoyed at the time.

Pick your favorite invention of the last 200 years.
The transistor.

What do you like to do for fun?
Fun means spending time with my family, golfing, as well as doing outdoor activities like fishing, hiking and camping.

Which sports teams do you cheer for?
Washington Nationals
Redskins (heavy sigh)