Medical All-Stars, Part 1

Jennifer Campbell, 
PA-C, Physician Assistant, PinnacleHealth CardioVascular Institute

Jennifer Campbell feels like she wears a lot of buttons, the type declaring the wearer’s allegiances.

“Ask me about your heart,” she says. “Ask me about PAs. Ask me about Girl Scouts. Ask me about health screenings for kids.”

Campbell is chief advanced practice clinician for a team of 16 physician assistants and nurse practitioners. She is an all-star for her devotion to patients, her community outreach, her commitment to teamwork and her volunteerism for Girl Scouts.

As a PA, Campbell sees patients in her office and in the hospital. She carries out the responsibilities that doctors delegate and works with them to help assess new patients or plan their care.

“Being a PA is cool because you get to work in this exciting environment and still take care of patients,” she says. “You have a lot of opportunities to make a difference, but you’re also part of a team. You’re not doing it alone.”

Campbell loves the patient-empowerment movement, teaching patients about their illnesses “and helping them understand so they can make choices.” With each encounter, she hopes every patient learns something new or gains a better understanding of all the information coming at them.

“I explain what’s going on so people feel comfortable with what’s going on with their bodies,” she says.

She and her husband, Penn State Hershey Med nurse practitioner Dean Campbell, have two athletic, dancing daughters, ages 5 and 9. As co-leader of her 9-year-old’s Girl Scouts troop, Campbell takes a week’s vacation every year to organize a summer day camp for girls.

“It’s so important to teach girls they can do whatever they want to do and allow them to have a good variety of experiences so they can try different things and see what’s out there in the world,” she says. “The Girl Scouts program has been proven to create leaders and build confidence.”

At work, Campbell is the community outreach go-to person, organizing and staffing heart screenings, heart-health fundraisers and health education. She doesn’t want to sound hokey, but when she says that each person doing his or her part will make the world a better place – well, it comes from her heart.

“It’s so important to give back and be a good example to your kids and other kids in the community. If everybody just does a little part, big things happen.”