TINA BELL ON LOVING WHAT YOU DO
Tina Bell, Vice President of Sales for Care Advantage in-home care services, says, “I look forward to coming to work every day and feel so fortunate to be able to say that. Tina’s background is international; born in London, raised in New Zealand and having lived in Australia, she has had multiple life and career experiences. “I have had the opportunity to live in many beautiful places. From my across-the-pond family to my blended bunch here, I enjoy time with all of them.”
Her career in the hospitality industry in the United States was going strong when a friend suggested she might want a change. When she looked at a job with Care Advantage, she says she found something she had not experienced before. “I was able to fully experience using my heart as well as my head in my job.”
She took the leap and that job put her in direct contact with people who were in the process of being discharged from hospitals, rehab settings and desperately wanted to be back at home. She says, “I can’t explain how great it felt to be holding the hand of a ninety-year old woman who said, ‘Thank you for helping me get back home.” I was able to make that happen for her and others, utilizing Care Advantage’s experienced in-home care staff.
That caregiving team includes young nursing students, experienced caregivers as well as older caregivers who can truly empathize with older clients. An important part of her job was to pair the right caregivers with clients. Finding the set of personality, skills, experience and understanding that a specific client required and matching them with the right care giver requires sensitivity and truly listening to clients and family members. Tina always took great care in getting those matches right.
She found purpose and satisfaction in helping these people get home and stay home safely. She shares that it’s wonderful to listen to a person share how important their home is to them and then be able to make it happen successfully.
Care Advantage is the largest privately-owned home care company in Virginia with offices all over the state. In the last twenty-four months it has continued that growth by adding Capital City Nurses and Coastal Home Care to expand its services into Washington DC, Maryland and Delaware.
As Care Advantage continued to grow, Tina’s role expanded to management. She became the hirer, teacher and inspirer of new sales representatives statewide. She now manages 14 home care specialists whose job it is to make Care Advantage’s services known to those hospital and rehab personnel who make discharge plans for patients returning home as well as patients and family members who need those services.
In an average day, Tina might be driving across the state to various offices, participating in company meetings, interviewing possible new home care specialists, offering support services, providing advice and training to any one of the fourteen home care specialists she manages, troubleshooting various problems and providing inspiration to them all. “I see the company as a true family.”
She says, “I identify new potential home care specialists, hire them and teach them what I know from having done their job myself. Training is about a two or three-week process. The most important advice I can give them is to lean on your peers, learn from their experience. It’s so rewarding, I am proud of our culture and our reputation.” She feels strongly that Care Advantage is bound by values of compassion, attitude, respect and excellence. “This eager, knowledgeable and kind team seeks to educate their communities on the services we provide, and the many programs and initiatives we offer ensure those services meet the needs of our clients.”
On a personal level, Tina is very much an outdoors girl. Weekends might find her camping with her husband and her English Black Lab, “Moseley.” She says she is an “adventurer by heart” who enjoys traveling, fly fishing, hiking, cooking, writing, vegetable gardening, and campsite relaxing in many of Virginia's beautiful state parks.
She suggests that others may want to look at this field for their career. “I feel good at the end of the day. It is a sales job, but also about compassion and caring, giving people the information and help they need to lead their lives as they want to. I have grown so much in this role; I now have an all-encompassing view of home health care and its value to individuals and the community.”
Tina feels even more proud to have helped her team navigate through the recent tumultuous waters known as COVID-19, which threw the sales team headfirst into unchartered territory – work-from-home. “Literally overnight we had to change the way we do everything, and guide a high-energy, driven, outside field team to their home offices and kitchen tables, to work.
Thanks to an incredibly strong clinical team, leadership support, and a marketing department that is second to none, the sales team was able to quickly adapt to a virtual setting and continue to deliver consistent messages electronically. Almost immediately, the team was setting up ZOOM meetings, creating video messaging, and educating their customers on our ability to care for COVID positive patients with stringent, safe policies. “We have continued to serve not just well, but impeccably so. We continue to outdo our competition, and to stay top of mind for those who trust us. We are incredibly proud to have stayed together and strong throughout all of this. It will serve as a constant reminder to Discharge Planners and others, that WE are the organization to turn to.
We can provide a safe solution for those wishing to heal in their own environment. We can provide that peace of mind.”