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Blue Ridge health leader installed as academy president

Dr. Shannon Dowler Dr. Shannon Dowler

Dr. Shannon B. Dowler, family physician and chief medical officer of Blue Ridge Community Health Services in Hendersonville, was installed as the president of the NC Academy of Family Physicians during the organization's annual meeting in Asheville Saturday, Dec. 8.

Dowler is the first medical director of a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) to serve as president of NCAFP.
During her installation speech, Dowler stressed the importance of physician mentoring.
"The issue of mentoring is a complex one," Dowler said. "Sometimes mentoring is an intentional planned act and sometimes it can be spontaneous and almost ordained in its creation. Regardless of the origin, these relationships are powerful and often enduring, and I believe — for our specialty of Family Medicine — critical to the future."
Dowler attributed several mentoring relationships as critical to her own development as a physician executive.
Over 830 family physicians, family medicine residents and medical students attended the annual meeting at the Grove Park Inn, making the gathering the largest state-based meeting offamily physicians in the country. The NCAFP is the largest specialty medical association in North Carolina with over 3,300 members. Dowler will serve a one-year term as president.
Dr. Dowler graduated from the Brody School of Medicine at East Carolina University in 1999 and completed her residency training in Family Medicine at the MAHEC Family Medicine Residency Program in Asheville. She completed her undergraduate studies at Appalachian State University in Boone. As a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians, Dowler has served the NCAFP in various leadership capacities since 2003.
Her professional interests include maternal and child health issues, the prevention and treatment of sexually transmitted diseases, teen pregnancy prevention, and the medical care of vulnerable and marginalized populations.
Dr. Dowler and her husband, Jared Dowler, have two sons, Jacob and Eli.