Janet Cordell is a missionary and her mission fields stretch from Enid to Jamaica to Honduras, Mexico, and beyond, but her favorite trip was to Africa. Janet has been a Registered Nurse for over 40 years. Janet has served on numerous committees and task forces including the Governors Steering Committee for Oklahoma’s Healthy Futures Program, the Oklahoma Nurses Association, American Red Cross, Enid MS Walk, Success by Six, Oklahoma Institute for Child Advocacy, and CDSA Community Action Agency, to name a few.
Janet is a member of Christian Church of the Covenant, serving in many roles throughout the church. She has been an adjunct instructor with Autry Tech, served as co-coordinator of the American Legion Auxiliary Girls State Committee, and chairperson of the NORCE Foundation.
Janet has been recognized for many awards. In 2005 Janet was recognized as Pillar of the Plains and the Oklahoma Nurses Association awarded her the Excellence in Nursing Award. In 2009 Janet was awarded the Enid YWCA Woman of the Year award.
Janet states that her involvement with the American Red Cross “is one of my greatest passions and one that I am very involved in right now.” She serves as the Disaster Health Services Lead for Kansas & Oklahoma, which has recently occupied much of her time. Her mother was a Red Cross nurse in WWII and her father survived the Bataan Death March. In 2081 she received her Red Cross pin for 50 years of volunteer service.
Janet is actively involved with the Enid Community Clinic, which she has coordinated since her retirement. It is currently closed due to COVID. She doesn’t know when it will reopen, but it’s still serving the community. Those with questions about their medications can call and leave their name and phone number, and Cordell will get them in touch with Bob Taylor, the clinic’s pharmacist. He will pull up their chart and see if they need lab work. Cordell will review the lab work and discuss it with doctors as necessary. The Community plans to reopen but has yet to set the schedule.
Another one of Janet’s recent causes is the Garfield County Covid Vaccination distribution process. Cordell said the coronavirus is the biggest health challenge she has faced in her years of nursing because of its international impact.
“I can’t compare it to anything else,” she said. She was ready and willing to volunteer to give COVID vaccination shots after an Enid Board of Health meeting. “By God, I’ll put on a mask and give shots with the best of them,” Cordell said. “That’s what I have been doing all of my life. I was giving a shot and somebody said, ‘Surely tell me this isn’t your first job!’ No, I’ve been practicing for 50 years. If I haven’t been proficient at it before, giving two months of COVID shots has made me proficient at it now!” Cordell gives shots quickly in the “wham bam, thank you ma’am” fashion, like Dr. Bryan Whitson, one of her mentors. “I’ve worked on immunizations to kids,” she said. “There’s no messing around.” Janet is also quick to point out that she is not alone in her efforts. “We need to brag about our health department because they have done a wonderful job of putting it on,” she said. “Those doctors and other employees have put in tremendously long hours, way beyond the call of duty.
Cordell follows the philosophy of Mother Teresa who has said, “Love begins by taking care of the ones at home.” Based on her philosophy and her lifelong commitment to caring for others, she has been called the “Matriarch of Public Health” in Garfield County.