After almost 44 years, Michele Campbell says goodbye to ChristianaCare

After almost 44 years of service with ChristianaCare, pioneer nurse and Vice President of Quality and patient safety, Michele Campbell walks away in retirement.

Wilmington (DE): Already working from home due to the pandemic, this farewell retirement party didn’t happen at the office. Colleagues including nurses, doctors, family, and friends decided to surprise Michele with a retirement parade at her house.

“She is really a ChristianaCare treasure,” said Dr. Stephen Pearlman, who worked with Campbell. “She was foundational to creating the whole culture of safety within the organization” Pearlman added. “When a situation such as the COVID-19 arises a lot of things that she had put in place in terms of how we monitor patients’ well being and processes, et cetera, is fundamental to how we deal with a crisis like this.”

Photo: George Shea | For Delaware Newsline

Michele was part of the nursing leadership team that opened ChristianaCare’s Christiana Hospital in 1985, transitioning 500 patients during the first week alone. In her role as the nurse manager of the Medical Intensive Care unit, where many patients with Coronavirus are cared for, she greeted the first patient when ChristianaCare opened it’s doors at ChristianaCare’s Christiana Hospital. Michele didn’t have the picture with her but she remembers him. “I know his name was George.”, she took a picture with George on that day, and ChristianaCare reflected Michele’s almost 44 years in a slideshow including the picture with George.

Michele has served in various nursing leadership roles and led various projects, and during her career she played an integral role in the development and implementation of ChristianaCare’s comprehensive quality and safety program. She also championed the Report 2 Learn program, a next-generation online adverse event management platform that makes it easy for employees to report safety concerns so they can immediately resolved.

Outside Einstein Bagels in the Shoppes of Graylyn, almost 50 cars lined up decorated with posters, balloons, and flowers. The drive to her house was just minutes away, and when the caravan of vehicles made it to her street, they wasted no time honking horns and yelling joys of cheers as they drove by her house in almost slow motion.

As she stood outside with her two daughters, colleagues drove by hanging out of sunroofs and windows waving signs and posters. Others were ringing cowbells and blowing bubbles, and almost everybody was briefly stopping to pass on gifts, flowers, cards, champagne, and wine.

Photo: George Shea | For Delaware Newsline

Her daughter, Lisa Campbell, who set up a tent in the front yard with a sign that read “Congratulations Michele”, and who is also caring for covid-19 patients, stood outside with her mother. Both shared a few tears of joy.

“It was really heart warming,” Michele Campbell said. “Typically you have a tea party at Christiana, and that was worrisome because people wouldn’t be able to come and remember how we worked together, and today there were people here that I worked with twenty-thirty years ago,” she said. “This actually was fun and very surprising.

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