Phaedra Bell, PhD

Atlantic Fellow at GBHI
UCsf Memory and aging center
Home Country: US
Field of Employment: Education Leadership
Key Areas: Medical Education, Theater and Performance, Education and Health Equity

Phaedra Bell has been developing educational programs, leading teams, and teaching in the arts, humanities, and health professions for over two decades. At GBHI, Bell will develop a set of protocols for young people to use in regular, meaningful interactions with people living with dementia and with their families and care givers. Protocols may include narrative interviews where feasible, collective creative expression, or other evidence-based activities that honor participants’ experiences and stories, reduce social isolation, and improve quality of life. She looks at her work as translational research and implementation leadership that leverages her experience working in educational institutions, artistic media, and healthcare settings for the improvement of care for older populations.

Research about complex problem solving confirms GBHI’s approach. By working together across disciplines and boundaries, we can have a meaningful impact on dementia as a global public health challenge.

Bell is especially interested in systemic approaches to advancing both educational and health equity. Ultimately, she seeks to develop an ongoing system for connecting students with older adults through mutually beneficial, culturally sensitive interactions that advance health equity for aging populations worldwide. Both youth and age increase vulnerability among populations already struggling with the impact of structural inequities.  Bell is working to design thoughtful ways for these communities to improve health and educational outcomes together and to produce high-quality creative work that helps advocate for systemic change.

Bio: Phaedra Bell received her undergraduate degree in linguistics from Georgetown University and her PhD in theater and performance studies from Stanford University where she also wrote and directed for the stage. After teaching theater at UC Santa Barbara and the University of Washington, Bell took a Fellowship in the Humanities at Stanford. Most recently, she worked in Medical Education in the UCSF School of Medicine helping revise the MD curriculum and most recently advising the Pediatric Leadership for the Underserved (PLUS) residency program on preparation to scale their innovative program aimed at developing leaders to promote health equity for children.