New Administrator Hits the Ground Running

His mantra is “boots on the ground,” and he leads by example. Nick Campbell has consistently hit the ground running in his professional endeavors. A lifelong resident of Marengo, Campbell became the administrator of Briarwood Healthcare Center at Friendship Village senior living community in Schaumburg this past autumn.

Always motivated by helping and caring for others, Campbell’s first career, beginning right after high school, was as a firefighter/EMT. After 18 years in that role, he said, he knew he was ready for something different. While working full-time, he pursued his education, ultimately earning his Master of Healthcare Administration degree and then his nursing home administrator (NHA) certification. He became the administrator of a nursing home in Woodstock and, shortly thereafter, was promoted to its executive director.

Last October, Campbell learned about the open leadership role of administrator for the healthcare center of Friendship Village senior living community in Schaumburg. Although he was not looking for a new job, Friendship Village “checked all the boxes” for his career priorities. 

“A not-for-profit organization is the most important factor for me. I don’t ever want to sacrifice any type of care for someone in order for someone else to make money,” Campbell said.

“Additionally, an organization that values work/life balance is important to me. I need autonomy as a leader to take care of my staff. Everyone is dedicated and works hard. Leadership needs to return the favor by enabling them to have work/life balance as well,” he said.

Campbell said he is a strong proponent of the Life Plan Community, which offers a complete continuum of care available to residents if their healthcare needs change. Friendship Village is the largest Life Plan Community in Illinois and among the largest in the nation.

Campbell was favorably impressed with the research he did on Friendship Village, as well as by his interviews with leadership and the clinical team. “Everyone I met is hard-working, knowledgeable, dedicated, honest and real,” he said.

“Touring the campus,” he said, “I saw how beautiful and meticulously maintained it is. This is a direct reflection of how much the staff cares about the quality of life they’re providing the residents.”

As the administrator, Campbell is responsible for leading operations, compliance, policies and regulatory standards, the budget, and most importantly, quality of care. Coming on board in this role, Campbell said, he has brought his unique perspective. “As a retired fireman, I have an understanding of life safety compliance and front-line experience.”

As is his leadership style, Campbell hit the ground running, explaining that he takes pleasure in and responsibility for rolling up his sleeves and helping his dedicated team. “I don’t need to spend my day crunching numbers; I need to be on the floor, passing trays, visiting with the residents, etc. We can all be helping each other, providing the best resident-centered care.” In return, he said, “The residents are grateful that our staff is comprised of genuine, compassionate people, here to help them live the best life they can live.”

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