NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – Growing up during the Great Depression and World War II eras, Robert Campbell understood from a very early age the importance of personal sacrifice and helping others who cannot help themselves.
These values remained with him as he rose through the ranks at the Johnson & Johnson Corporation and influenced him to assume countless leadership roles to benefit charitable causes. “I grew up learning that if you were in a position to help others and you had an opportunity to do so, you had an obligation to help,” Mr. Campbell explains.
So when the RWJ University Hospital Foundation asked Mr. Campbell to co-chair its current Capital Fundraising Campaign, “Breakthroughs: Redefining Academic Medicine,” the North Brunswick resident didn’t hesitate to get involved and made a $1.25 million pledge on behalf of him and his wife, Joan.
The hospital recently honored Bob and Joan for their generous gift by dedicating the facility’s main rotunda in their honor. The donation will be used to support a broad range of initiatives at RWJUH, including technology acquisition, facility expansion, community outreach, education and research programs.
The Campbells’ generosity has encouraged many other individuals and organizations to follow their lead and the campaign is well on its way to achieving its fundraising goals.
“When Steve Jones (Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital and Robert Wood Johnson Health System President and CEO Stephen K. Jones) told me that Bob had agreed to be Co-Chair and asked if I would do the same, I said, ‘Where do I sign up?’’ says Michael Maroney, Jr., who also serves as campaign Co-Chair. “Everything Bob has been associated with has been successful, and I knew that this campaign would be because of his commitment.”
Mr. Campbell spent 40 years at Johnson & Johnson before retiring in 1995 as Vice Chairman of the Board. He held a variety of positions in financial management and systems planning and was named treasurer and a director in 1976. In 1985, he was appointed Chairman of the Professional Sector and named Vice Chairman in 1989. Under his leadership, Johnson & Johnson introduced major professional medical devices including disposable contact lenses, endo surgery instruments and cardiovascular stents.
Mr. Campbell, who also served in the United States Military as an Air Force Officer, has dedicated much of his personal and professional life to supporting charitable causes and leading non-profit boards. He has always had a desire to give back to his community, but he also feels fortunate that he worked for a corporation which values community involvement.
“Johnson & Johnson not only tolerated community involvement on behalf of its employees, they supported and encouraged it,” Mr. Campbell notes.
After retiring from Johnson & Johnson, Mr. Campbell wanted to remain active with non-profit boards whose missions focused on education and health care. “I firmly believe that the health of individuals is linked to the education they have,” Mr. Campbell explains. “Through education, people understand and gain an appreciation of how important good health is to them.”
Mr. Campbell takes great pride in playing a role in New Brunswick’s transformation from a troubled city in the 1960s and early 1970s, to “America’s Healthcare City,” through his service at Johnson & Johnson and on The Cancer Institute of New Jersey and Robert Wood Johnson Foundation boards.
“I grew up in Passaic and witnessed the challenges they faced, but they didn’t have the same level of shared vision and civic support that was present in New Brunswick,” Mr. Campbell explains. “New Brunswick is a national example of what urban renewal can accomplish and to be part of Johnson & Johnson’s commitment to the city and establishing The Cancer Institute of New Jersey here, is extremely gratifying.”
He is quick to note that New Brunswick’s progress can be traced to partnerships. “None of what you see throughout the city would have happened were it not for a shared vision among institutions like Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital,” Mr. Campbell says. “There are many individuals who freely gave their time, knowledge and resources. They do not do it for publicity; they do it to improve the community.”
Despite his impressive list of accomplishments and extensive resume of community service, Mr. Campbell does not plan on slowing down and watching from the sidelines. He still enjoys leading teams and insists that he has received more from his efforts than he has given.
“There’s really no secret to it (leading successful teams),” Mr. Campbell says. “It’s about respecting people and showing that you’re working hard and setting an example. This never seemed like work for me. You get back much more than you give through the goals you accomplish and the great people you meet.”
About Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital
Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH) is a 600-bed academic medical center and the principal hospital of UMDNJ-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in New Brunswick, NJ. Robert Wood Johnson is an innovative leader in advancing state-of-the-art care. RWJUH is the first hospital in the nation to implant the AbioCor self-contained artificial heart since the device received FDA approval in 2006. RWJUH is one of only three sites in the nation approved to offer this groundbreaking technology.
Its Centers of Excellence include cardiovascular care from minimally invasive heart surgery to transplantation, cancer care, and women’s and children’s care including The Bristol-Myers Squibb Children’s Hospital at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (www.bmsch.org). The hospital is also a Level 1 Trauma Center and serves as a national resource in its ground-breaking approaches to emergency preparedness.
The hospital has earned significant national recognition for clinical quality and patient safety. Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital is among U.S.News & World Report’s 2011 “America’s Best Hospitals.” It is the fifth consecutive year that RWJUH has achieved this prestigious ranking. The American College of Surgeons’ Commission on Cancer has rated RWJUH among the nation’s best comprehensive cancer centers. The Leapfrog Group rated RWJUH as one of the 50 exceptional U.S. hospitals, as published in Consumers Digest magazine. Harvard University researchers, in a study commissioned by The Commonwealth Fund, identified RWJUH as one of the top 10 hospitals in the nation for clinical quality. RWJUH is also a recipient of the prestigious Magnet Award for Nursing Excellence for more than 10 consecutive years.