Joan E. Campbell honored for 50 years of service to Meharry

The 2013-2014 Employee Service Awards & Retiree Reception, celebrating career milestones and those employees who have retired, was held Thursday, December 10, 2014 in the Henry A. Moses, Ph.D. Alumni Hall.

In a letter from President A. Cherrie Epps and Associate Vice President of Human Resources, Mark C. Smith, employees and retirees were acknowledged for their years of service and for their abilities and contributions made toward the success of Meharry Medical College.

Joan E. Campbell receives honors


Joan E. Campbell, LPN

50 Year Honoree

Joan E. Campbell has worked as a licensed practical nurse (LPN) in two departments since her arrival at Meharry: the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Department of Pediatrics.

Born and raised in Nashville, Tennessee, Campbell wanted to be a nurse since she was 10-years-old. “I had a nurse’s toy kit and I would take the syringe out and pretend I was giving my sister's son a shot," she laughs. “My sister would start yelling at me and say, ‘Joan don’t you stick my child anymore!’”

She received her LPN degree in 1982 making her a member of the second LPN class to graduate from Meharry. As a nurse in the ob/gyn department, Campbell worked under former acting president and Surgeon General Nominee, Henry Foster Jr., M.D., for 25 years.

She loves working with the students. Campbell remembers when Charles E. McGruder, M.D. ’52, who was a professor in ob/gyn during her tenure, would tell the students, “Yes, we are your instructors and teachers but [the nurses] are the ones who will help you make it, too. They will show you the correct way to do a procedure and how to give excellent patient care.” Campbell said the students are always respectful and eager to learn.

Campbell said she has been at Meharry so long that some of the babies she helped deliver are now bringing their own children to Meharry’s pediatrics department. She even remembers Board of Trustees Chairman Frank S. Royal Sr., M.D. ’68 and Meharry's former president, John E. Maupin Jr., D.D.S. ’72, M.B.A., when they were students.

In her 50 years, Campbell has seen employees come and go. She firmly believes  people are hired from Meharry because employers know they have been trained and trained well.

“I have no plans to retire,” said Campbell. “A lot of my friends are retired, but I want to keep working for now. Nursing is so important and I like staying occupied and busy.”