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Campbell Bequest Helps Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation at Fort HealthCare

Friday, April 29, 2016

Everyone leaves a legacy – by intention or by default. That legacy is built by the choices we make.  The character of our relationships with family and friends, the impact of the work we do and our involvement in community are what we talk about when we celebrate someone’s life.

Joan and Michael Campbell’s legacy is such a story. They were educators who influenced thousands of students.  The Campbell’s were very active people who engaged in a wide variety of interests throughout the area.  Joan and Michael were a joyful presence among their many friends and for each other.

When they created their final estate plan, it was a statement about their legacy. Joan and Michael thought about their lives and chose to help several organizations that had been important to them over the years” says Jim Vance, their attorney.  “Because the Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation program had a big impact on their quality of life, they wanted to help other people served by Fort HealthCare.”


From left to right: Heather Thoms, respiratory therapist ,Colleen Voll, exercise physiologist, Lisa Michaels-Bilgrien, Cardiopulmonary Rehab Coordinator and Jeanne Stefanac, RN

When Joan was diagnosed with pulmonary disease, she and Michael made the commitment to reduce unhealthy habits and live a healthier life to cope with her disease. Lori Sachse, a respiratory therapist at Fort HealthCare, remembers Joan as a motivated patient. “When we first met, Joan wanted to know what she could do and breathed in every bit of information we offered.  This was a new program at that time.  Joan helped us achieve excellence in care as she always gave good feedback about what we were doing to help her manage her disease.” “Joan always cared about the other patients in our program.” says Pat Parks, a respiratory therapist who treated Joan. “She encouraged other patients with empathy to persevere when therapy and lifestyle changes were a challenge.  She knew how difficult that can be from experience.”  Joan and Michael were always mindful of the staff helping them. Michael would stop in to greet the staff while Joan was exercising.  Joan’s quilting projects became familiar thank you gifts as well. “Joan truly enjoyed the people she got to know through our Pulmonary Rehab program. She tried to help everyone enjoy themselves while exercising.  And she always expressed her appreciation for the staff who were attentive and compassionate about helping with her therapy.” according to Dr. Donald Williams.



The Campbell’s acknowledged the caring staff and importance of Fort HealthCare’s Cardiopulmonary Rehabilitation Program with a gift of $300,000 in their estate plan to the Fort Memorial Hospital Foundation. Their gift will help make upgrades to the facility and equipment, expand educational offerings for cardiac and pulmonary patients, and for innovations in therapy that emerge in years to come. Lori Sachse, who also became a personal friend of the Campbell’s, remembers them fondly. “I was shocked to learn about this gift.  It’s an honor that they thought so highly of the work we do.  I wish I could give Joan and Michael a big hug in appreciation for their generosity and the impact this gift will have for our patients.”