SHANNON DOWLER, MD, CPE, FFAFP

Healthcare Executive, Sexual Health Educator, Health Equity Advocate

A family doctor born, raised and trained in North Carolina, I have spent the past twenty years pursuing health access, equity and quality in Western North Carolina. In 2019 I began a commute to Raleigh to serve as the Chief Medical Officer for North Carolina Medicaid where I hope to positively impact North Carolina's most vulnerable populations on a larger scale.

As a family physician I have enjoyed caring for families and generations. In addition to traditional clinic practice, I have developed expertise in sexual health and sexually transmitted diseases and infections(STD/I's). I have over twenty years experience teaching lay and professional audiences in print,  public speaking, radio and television interviews, and educational rap videos. Most recently, with the increases in STD/I’s in the geriatric population, I have added a focus on educating senior populations on sexual health throughout the Golden Years!

FAMILY DOCTOR, EDUCATOR AND HEALTHCARE EXECUTIVE

I have had an amazingly rewarding career balancing my love of leadership and healthcare impact with my clinical passion. For twenty years I have maintained a panel of patients as a family doctor, while also providing clinical services in the STD clinic. Balancing my clinical time with the executive leadership is not always easy but it has proven to be a full and rewarding career! In 2019 I accepted the role of the healthcare leader of the NC Medicaid program to help transition the program through a massive transformation to managed care, and balance my time between Raleigh and Asheville.

RAPPER AND WRITER, USING WORDS TO MOTIVATE CHANGE

For as long as I can remember, I have loved writing. Some mornings I wake up and realize that a patient encounter or political upheaval has worked its way into my subconscious and the day cannot begin until I put a pen to paper. Whether an op-ed for the newspaper, a healthcare blog, or a new chapter in a book, my writing takes a variety of shapes.

Equally powerful to prose is my drive to rhyme, hence my alterego, Rap Dkta D, where I use humor and familiar beats to educate and entertain on important, often “taboo” topics! What better way to teach about asymptomatic chlamydia than to rhyme it with “you may not know when that bug has gotten into ya”? It's not just iambic pentameter---I'm a limerick maker as well...and no topic is off limits!

RAPPER AND WRITER, USING WORDS TO MOTIVATE CHANGE

Some mornings I wake up and realize that a patient encounter or political upheaval have worked their way into my subconscious and the day cannot begin until I put a pen to paper and write. Whether an op-ed for the newspaper, a healthcare blog, or a new chapter in a book, my writing takes a variety of shapes. Equally powerful is my drive to rhyme, hence my alterego, Rap Dkta D, where I use humor, rhyme and familiar beats to educate and entertain on important, often “taboo” topics! What better way to teach about asymptomatic chlamydia than to rhyme it with “you may not know when that bug has gotten into ya”?

SEXUAL HEALTH AND HEALTH EQUITY CHAMPION

As a college student I decided I wanted a career where I could provide healthcare with a focus on the underserved. The child of a social worker, my upbringing exposed me to the impact of poverty on populations and I felt called to care for those most often unserved. Early in medical school, in the peak of the AIDS epidemic, I recognized an unmet need in the care of sexual minorities, underserved populations and those affected by substance abuse.

The combination of those factors paved a path for a career in public and community health, with clinical expertise in sexual health. From lay audiences in high schools and bible study groups, to professional gatherings of physicians, I have enjoyed public speaking at the local, state and national level on the intentional reduction of sexually transmitted infections across all ages and populations.

CONTACT

Interested in connecting? Contact me for more information about speaking, my work and health equity in general.