A Not-So-Stiff Upper Lip…

Parkinson (center) takes in a lovely English garden with Coupe (left) and Hooper (right).

Parkinson (center) takes in a lovely English garden with Coupe (left) and Hooper (right).

American Health Care Association/National Center for Assisted Living (AHCA/NCAL) President and Chief Executive Officer Mark Parkinson has been mixing business with pleasure in his recent adventure abroad to England.

While visiting the former mother country today, Parkinson paid a visit to several Sunrise Senior Living assisted living personal care communities. (Seventy-five Sunrise Senior Living communities are recipients of the 2015 AHCA/NCAL National Bronze Quality Award.) He met Laura Coupe, regional director of 11 Sunrise buildings south of London, Kara Hooper, general manager of Sunrise of Fleet, and Elaine Banerjee, general manager of Sunrise of Bagshot.

“I was impressed by the passion that I saw and how exceptional care has made its way across the ocean,” Parkinson tells Provider. “The same commitment that Sunrise has to quality in the United States is in full force in the United Kingdom.”

Hooper told Parkinson an arresting story of how a church next to one of her facility’s buildings caught on fire. Smoke filtered into the building, affecting several residents. Six employees not on the job saw the event on the local news and raced down to help. Even when the all clear signal was given, the fire officials could not get these six superheroes to leave.

The rapidly increasing costs in the American health care system in recent years have given rise to medical tourism. Some health care analysts predict that long term care will become global, with the United States exporting its field expertise to other countries, such as Denmark, Thailand, and China.

Sunrise Senior Living has 47 UK facilities. Its staff believe “real happiness and joy come from serving others.” According to its website, each Sunrise team member’s responsibilities and personal interactions with residents are guided by five core values: passion, joy in service, stewardship, respect, and trust.

So much for English stoicism… The British Bulldog himself, Winston Churchill, was quite the softie: “We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.”

Jackie Oberst is Provider’s managing editor. Email her at joberst@providermagazine.com. Follow her on Twitter, @ProviderMag.

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