On Wednesday, Sept. 9, Judy Lupton, LPN, retired after 23 years with the Citizen Potawatomi Nation Health Services. Throughout her time, she provided thoughtful care and attention to patients, and her dedication inspired many.

She began as a temporary nurse in the fall of 1997, filling in for a few shifts here and there. CPN quickly realized the extent of her skills and hired Lupton as a regular, full-time employee shortly after.

Judy Lupton opens gifts at her retirement party, celebrating 23 years with CPN Health Services.

“I just felt so much better working in this environment,” Lupton said. “So, I’ve been here ever since.”

She worked at a local hospital for almost 18 years before coming to CPN. Although Lupton enjoyed working in a fast-paced environment, she preferred the ability to build one-on-one relationships with those she met while working at the Nation.

“I was trained to work with high-risk patients of different kinds … but it’s never been about the money. It’s just been about what I love doing and people,” she said.

Lupton is not a CPN member, but she is thankful for her role in giving back to the greater Native American community.

“Having a career with CPN has meant more than I can tell — more than I could put into words,” Lupton said.

Throughout her time at CPN, she witnessed immense growth.

“There were only two nurses here at the time when I first started. … Every week, there was a meeting about goals that had been met, what was on the agenda and what we could do to help make things better, and I fell in love with the ideas, the plans and what was going on and how to help Native Americans in a more positive way,” she said.

Lupton said she looks back in amazement of the impact CPN has made on the community.

“Unless you had seen it, you could not believe what has occurred here,” she said. “And just watching it and being a part of it, that’s just been awesome — just absolutely awesome. And I could never convey to you how much the Nation has meant to me as a human being throughout all these years.”

She said she had too many fond memories to name just one, but Lupton enjoyed interacting with CPN members during Family Reunion Festival and sharing in the fun, family energy the weekend always brings.

“The Potawatomi people are special people, and you become part of their lives,” Lupton said.

Although she plans to stay very busy in retirement, Lupton will miss her patients and co-workers the most.

“The patients and the people I worked with are just awesome people,” she said.

To learn more about CPN Health Services, visit cpn.news/health.