Lisa Campbell receives Janet M. Wendorf Outstanding Caregiver Award

Unlike some of her peers, Lisa Campbell did not feel called to the nursing profession. Yet the registered nurse at McLaren Greater Lansing feels she is doing what she was meant to do.

“I went into nursing because there was a big shortage of nurses,” she said of her entry into the health care field. “I had no idea it would be such a good fit for me. But I fell into the perfect career.”

Campbell, who has worked at McLaren Greater Lansing since 1997, was presented with the third annual Janet. M. Wendorf Outstanding Caregiver Award at the McLaren Greater Lansing Foundation’s Annual Gala held at Crowne Plaza Lansing West on November 2. The award, which was presented to Dr. Chintalapudi Kumar of the Intensive Care Unit in 2017 and to Dr. Christine Perry of the Emergency Department last year, recognizes a caregiver at McLaren Greater Lansing for his or her commitment to providing quality and compassionate care to patients and their families.

Jan Wendorf, who passed away in 2017, was a no-nonsense person who valued the importance of giving back.

In 1984, she and her husband Dick moved from Mason to Port Charles, Fla., and he went on to become the owner of a successful construction company. But they never forgot their Michigan roots, eventually buying a seasonal home in the state, and supporting the McLaren Greater Lansing Foundation and other community organizations.

Campbell, a resident of Eaton Rapids, was presented with the Wendorf Award for a variety of reasons, including her penchant for treating patients like family members and always asking if more can be done on their behalf.

Donna McClure, a nursing supervisor, says there have been times when Campbell has taken patients’ clothes home to wash because they did not have anyone to do it for them. She also describes Campbell as someone who sees the whole picture when it comes to patient care. If something doesn’t sound right or look right, she will investigate the matter to see what can be done to rectify it.

“She does it professionally and from an intellectual perspective,” McClure said. “She is a true professional and would never say no to something just because it put more work on her. She is not afraid of hard work, but it must make sense to her and have a positive impact for her patients.”

Campbell says she feels fortunate to work at a hospital where the opinions of nurses matter and they can put forth ideas about potential ways to improve processes and procedures.

One thing she enjoys most about nursing is “meeting the patients at their level, and getting to know them so you can help them get better.”

Meeting patients at their level was difficult for Campbell during her first two years as a nurse. Not because she lacked compassion for them, but the number of daily tasks she needed to accomplish could seem overwhelming. There were times when she wondered what she had gotten herself in to, but then a strong work ethic would kick in and she would “get to work and do the job to the best of my abilities.”

Campbell became better at developing relationships with her patients during her third year on the job, as her accumulated knowledge and experience enabled her to complete her myriad tasks, as well as get to know the people for whom she cared.

“Nursing is about the people we encounter and the difference we make in their lives,” Campbell said. “What we do is important.”

Outside of work as a floating nurse at McLaren Greater Lansing, Campbell spends much of her spare time supporting the extracurricular activities of her 13-year old son, Clark, who is a Boy Scout working toward becoming an Eagle Scout. Campbell has borrowed medical manikins from the Medical Education Department to teach Scouts how to properly administer cardio pulmonary resuscitation (CPR), and also taught them how to operate an automated external defibrillator (AED).

She is also part of McLaren Greater Lansing’s nursing honor guard, which is comprised of about 30 nurses who voluntarily attend memorial services for former nurses.

The group usually sends five to seven nurses to the services, with each nurse dressed in their traditional white uniform that includes a blue cape and a white hat. They also carry lanterns emblematic of the one Florence Nightingale used in the 1850s while making nighttime rounds tending to British soldiers wounded during the Crimean War.

Campbell enjoys the “community service part” of serving on the nursing honor guard and said it is very moving and rewarding to memorialize individuals who were committed to caring for others.

“That life you’re remembering was very special,” she said, “and nursing was a huge part of that life. That giving and caring for people is a big part of yourself. So honoring former nurses is important.”

Spoken like a nurse who is doing what she was meant to do.

For more information about the McLaren Greater Lansing Foundation and its events such as the Annual Gala, please call (517) 975-7100, email, or visit