To say Gia Bell is passionate about making her mark is an understatement. Driven by her deep commitment to her faith, family, and community she exemplifies the characteristics of a resolute trailblazer.
As a healthcare worker and parent of a child with Autism, she lives and breathes concern for those impacted by it. While working full-time, she saw the need to undertake a daunting project at her workplace and did not flinch. Spurred by a vision of what an Autism Friendly Hospital could do to accommodate parents and patients, she tackled the project in her unassuming style. Through research and her understanding of the disability she developed resources, organized training, and best practices to be operationalized.
Today Cleveland Clinic Akron General is one of the first Adult Autism Friendly Hospitals in the nation. More than 650 caregivers from security, registration, leadership, and executive teams are now trained in adapting their approach, making accommodations, and utilizing resources and supports to improve the patient experience and medical outcome. The impact of this volunteer initiative is evident in the culture of CCAG’s attentiveness and empathy for the special population.
Autism is just one of the initiatives this single mother has undertaken. Finishing her college education and caring for two young sons (one with Autism) while employed fulltime she has used her experience to encourage other women. She has a unique understanding of those in the Autism Support Group. She identifies with their challenges and often encourages women to return to school. Her example serves as a role model of how doing so can enhance one’s life and ability to provide for their families.
A mentor and friend of Ms. Bell recently commented. “Gia is very deserving of this honor. She is a critical thinker and a results-oriented leader. She is a woman of integrity and has a heart for uplifting others. She has consistently aligned herself with organizations and causes that help individuals and families thrive. I wish her continued success in her professional and community service endeavors” stated Tracy Carter, System Director, Government Relations for Summa Health.
Gia Bell believes it is not about where you come from, but about where you want to go. She has proven that adversity can be a motivator to overcome obstacles and create a better life and community. She serves on the Single Parent Alliance Board of directors, an organization she helped to formalize and restructure. She mentors young women and herself engages with a mentor.
She serves on a variety of other boards including the Akron Urban League Young Professionals Member and Fund Development Task Force, Torchbearer Class of 2020 Leadership and Development Committee, as an Ohio Gap Closers Board Member, the Women’s Network Leadership Council, is a member of the Autism Society of Greater Akron, Julie Billiart Schools Parent Association and the St. Vincent de Paul Parent Board Association serving as Ways and Means Chair.
Congratulations to Gia Bell! The future is bright for this aspiring and emerging leader.