Mom and mentor: Every day is Mother’s Day for one Michigan Medicine nurse manager

May 11, 2017  //  FOUND IN: Our Employees,

Sue Kofflin, left, and her daughter Molly eat lunch together a few times per week.

Molly Kofflin remembers her first day at Michigan Medicine, nearly eight years ago.

“I saw my mom as she was trying to catch the elevator, and by instinct I started yelling ‘Mom, mom!’” said the senior activity therapist in the Department of Child and Family Life at C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital. “As you can imagine, ‘mom’ is a pretty popular word at Mott, so about 4-5 people turned around — not including her.”

When you work with your mom, almost every work day is an occasion to celebrate family — and Mother’s Day.

Sue Kofflin is a nurse manager in the birth center at Von Voigtlander Women’s Hospital. At least a few times a week, the pair dine together in the Mott cafeteria. On particularly difficult or stressful days, they know they can count on one another for a quick morale-boost.

“Everyone in the organization works in a fast-paced, sometimes stressful environment,” Sue said. “No matter what is happening on my floor, I know that I have somebody I can call upon who will support me, even if that just means listening for a few minutes. After spending time with Molly, I get back to work feeling refreshed and ready to go.”

Sue first joined Michigan Medicine as a nurse in 1975. Her career took her to a few other organizations but always brought her back to Ann Arbor; she started in her current role in 2005.

“There’s just so much collaboration here,” Sue said. “Everyone is fully on board with how much hard work and dedication is required to keep our patients safe, healthy and happy.”

Molly joined Michigan Medicine after she graduated from Eastern Michigan in 2008.

“I have a very creative mind, and my coworkers let me think outside the box in how I interact with patients and families,” Molly said. “On top of that, all team members are respectful of one another. It’s just a fantastic place to work.”

Are those the only reasons she chose to work at Michigan Medicine?

“Oh, and my mom’s here too. I guess that’s a good reason,” Molly said with a laugh. “Seriously though, she is just so patient and kind to everyone. It couldn’t help that a little bit of that rubbed off and inspired me to go into health care.”

Clearly, Molly’s mother has had a big influence in her life and remains her biggest supporter.

“Molly makes me so proud — she’s forging her own career path in health care,” Sue said. “She is sensitive and extremely creative and she’s using those skills to serve children in need.”

While all moms serve as role models, Molly said she is fortunate to be able to learn from her mother’s example both at home and in the workplace.

“My mom is a strong, wise lady with an incredible work ethic. I’ll just watch how she conducts herself and the way she takes care of patients, families and her colleagues. I feel like I’m getting a chance to learn from the best,” Molly said. “The fact that she can serve as both my mother and my mentor is really special.”