Dr. Coppa is currently the Coordinator of the family nurse practitioner concentration and the PI of the gerontological nurse practitioner concentration funded by the US Public Health Service. She has a baccalaureate in nursing from URI, a masters in nursing, with a nurse practitioner specialization from the University of Colorado and a PhD from URI. Her teaching experience spans 20 years at URI, currently teaching advanced pathophysiology, pharmocotherapeutics, pediatric physical assessment, and all of the primary health care courses in the family practitioner concentration. In addition, she has an appointment as clinical instructor at the Brown University Medical School.
Her clinical interests are focused on the care of medically underserved clients. She supervises students as a certified, registered, nurse practitioner in the Teen Tot Clinic at Hasbro Children's Hospital and at the Rhode Island Free Clinic, serving medically uninsured people.
Her research interests are in the area of alternative health modalities, specifically therapeutic touch. She is a "Qualified Therapeutic Touch Practitioner and Teacher", certified by the Nurse Healer's Professional Associates Organization. Dr. Coppa has also conducted therapeutic touch research projects. She has received funding to manage descriptive data sets from the RI Free Clinic.
In terms of professional commitments, she is the current chair of the RI Nurse Practitioner Council, a council of RI State Nurses Association. She also serves on the clinical advisory Board of Neighborhood Health Plan and the mid-level health care provider committee at Blue Cross Blue Shield of RI. In addition, she serves on the RI Department of Health, Primary Care Advisory Committee. She is also an elected official on the North Kingstown School Committee.