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Personal dedication helps make echo lab a success

By Dede Bearden
Public Relations

Teamwork and innovative thinking make the echocardiography lab at MUSC one of the best in the Southeast for detecting and monitoring heart disease.

Adell Bell

However, clinical manager Adell Bell, who retired in December, was another key to the lab's reputation and success.

Bell came to work as a cardiac sonographer for medical director Bruce Usher, M.D., in November 1979. She became the only sonographer when echocardiography was advancing rapidly. She often worked 10-hour days while attending night school at Charleston Southern to receive her Bachelor of Science in Business Administration. Bell led the department through years of technological advancements, hiring and training more than 30 sonographers.

According to Usher, for more than 30 years, Bell was passionate about making a difference in patients' treatments, often working extra hours to make that happen. She insisted that those working under her give great respect to their patients, and over the course of her career, she assisted in the lab expanding to its current size.

"She has always taken great pride in the echo labs at MUSC," said Usher. "Through her efforts, the lab expanded to our current level of sonographers and the number of studies performed increased to over 10,000 procedures."

Bell also helped plan the labs in Ashley River Tower (ART), and she aided the smooth transition into the facility.
After working in the adult echo lab from 1979-2008, Bell became the clinical manager for the non-invasive cardiovascular diagnostic services, the echo lab, and the vascular and EKG lab.

As clinical manager, Bell assisted the technical and scheduling staff with the flow of patients in and out of labs. These labs included three labs on the first floor of ART, two labs on the third floor, and three labs on the sixth floor. On a daily basis, she communicated with the echo supervisor and staff members.

Bell retired after 32 years at MUSC, having earned her Master of Healthcare Administration and organized local and state continuing echo programs. She also organized echo conferences with the Bowman Gray School of Medicine.
The aspect of her career that Bell will miss most is learning and teaching new techniques. She was always excited to make advancements for heart patients.

"Just when you think, 'what can they come up with next?' the engineers, researchers, Ph.D.s and cardiologists band together and create a new modality to help diagnose and treat heart disease," she said.

Usher said the lab wouldn't be what it is today without her personal dedication.

"She was an ambassador for MUSC," he said. "She loved MUSC and echocardiography, and she will be greatly missed, not only by myself and the cardiology division, but by all of MUSC."



Friday, Feb. 3, 2012

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