September 17 is National IT Professionals Day, celebrating our IT coworkers who configure solutions, provide desktop support and assist us with many forms of technology when we’re at our wits’ end. Get to know some of the CMH IT team a little better.
By Sarah Bello, Marketing & Communications Specialist
As a child in West Virginia, the sounds and blinks of electronics fascinated Lars Bell. When he was eight, his parents bought their first computer, a Commodore 64. That computer became his world, he says.
Bell spent years tinkering and teaching himself how to work with electronics as a young adult. A sci-fi fan from a young age, he wanted to learn as much as he could. He attended a vocational school and studied electronics, which segued into doing technical support at Honeywell in Charlotte, North Carolina.
For more than 13 years, he worked for Honeywell Scanning and Mobility. He and his wife, who is originally from Portland, decided to move to the Pacific Northwest in 2013. He started working for CMH in 2015 as a medical records analyst. He went relatively unnoticed for a while, stuck in a back office analyzing records for years.
After joining IT a few months ago as a desktop support technician, he is a much more visible presence around the hospital.
“Everybody knows me now,” he says. “When you’re in IT, everybody knows your name.”
Bell spends most of his days working with hardware that isn’t functioning, fixing keyboards or printers, connecting network drive access, and getting quotes for new equipment. There aren’t enough hours in the day to get everything done, he says, but there is a sense of accomplishment when he can see the end result after finishing a project.
“I had a user a while ago who was complaining about monitor brightness,” Bell explains, “and being able to work with her to get the monitors set the way she needed them, so she didn’t get headaches, was satisfying.”
Other projects can be challenges, when he’s tried everything he can think of and still the problem persists. In those instances, he uses his personality skills and empathy to deescalate the situation and works to find a solution as quickly as possible.
“I always enjoy seeing someone happy at something I’ve managed to do,” he says, rather than the opposite.
When he isn’t working, Bell enjoys playing video and board games with his wife, going on walks and bike rides at Fort Stevens, playing badminton and attending beer and wine festivals and renaissance fairs.
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