It seems appropriate that Rachel Campbell, RN, organizes the Shining Light Infant Memorial each year at Carle Foundation Hospital because she is “a shining light in someone’s darkest hour.” That is how Mary Bess Gordon describes her in the nomination for the Central Illinois Business Magazine’s Forty Under 40 award.
“Rachel is truly a shining light to this community and to Carle Foundation Hospital. Not only has she been an extraordinary nurse and bereavement coordinator, she is always striving to be better. She deals with death day in and day out, yet she is so positive, kind, and always looking to add a little more light to the world,” Gordon wrote in her nomination of Campbell.
Campbell organizes the Shining Light Memorial for Pregnancy and Infant Loss each year for the community to come together to remember babies gone too soon. She makes certain the garden near Carle Foundation Hospital is a calm and welcoming place for visitors. In addition to the memorial, as the perinatal grief and bereavement liaison, she works with parents, providers and staff in connection with all areas of pregnancy and infant loss at Carle Foundation Hospital. Education, in-person support, resource and materials management, long-term follow-up, memory-making, policies, procedures, care coordination and advocacy are all part of the work she does.
Gordon said, “She has touched numerous lives in this community by helping countless women navigate childbirth in both good and bad outcomes. There is so much tragedy in this world and Rachel is doing her part to be sure that the C-U community has a place to help support people experiencing this kind of devastating loss.”
Campbell will join the other award recipients during an Oct. 27 lunch held in their honor by the magazine affiliated with the News-Gazette newspaper in Champaign. A congratulatory letter from the publication said a panel of judges selected from the nominations based on achievements, leadership ability, and expertise, as well as community involvement.
“I had no idea I was nominated and I was thrilled to get the news,” Campbell said.
In Bloomington, Jenny Drury, director of Carle Health Physician Partners at Carle BroMenn Medical Center, also was surprised to hear she was nominated for a similar recognition called Twenty Under 40 given this month by The Pantagraph newspaper and the McLean County Chamber of Commerce. Like the recognition in Champaign, it focuses on young professionals excelling in their careers.
“I am incredibly honored and was shocked when I was notified about being selected as a 20 under 40. Although I often receive credit for the great work our clinicians and practices are doing in Central Illinois, our successes are truly a team effort and should be acknowledged as such. CHPP (Carle Health Physician Partners) is dedicated to providing high-quality, coordinated care, and it is rewarding to be able to support providers in making a difference for patients in our community,” Drury said.
She said, “I have the privilege of leading Carle’s clinically integrated network of local physicians and advanced practice providers focused on improving health care quality and outcomes, while reducing the overall cost of care. We are very fortunate to have this integrated team of clinicians delivering value-based healthcare in our community.”