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2012 40 Under 40 Honoree: Shallina Bowers

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Shallina Bowers thinks leadership is a team achievement rather than an individual attribute.

“I believe no accomplishment of leadership is possible without a talented and functional team,” says Bowers, the executive director of health care services for Oxford HealthCare. “My primary function as a leader must be staff focused, involving building and developing the individuals to form a cohesive unit.”

For Bowers, being a leader is an ongoing process, and there’s not a one-size-fits-all solution.

“I have shown success in recognizing talent and potential in others and then working with them to discover their unique gifts and abilities, ultimately empowering them to take ownership of their jobs and truly shine,” she says. “Equipping and encouraging others to be successful is not a checklist scenario. It is individually unique.”

Bowers has a staff of nearly 300 employees, and her division is responsible for Lifeline, which provides 24-hour access for nearly 2,000 people, who use emergency response devices to call for help when its needed. Lifeline AutoAlert detects falls and calls for help automatically, according to

In 2006, Bowers assumed responsibility for the program, which she says is growing at a clip of 15 percent a year.

“This is quite an accomplishment given the fact that health care numbers have largely declined due to economic challenges throughout the industry,” Bowers says. “We have recently extended our service area by six additional counties (and) we were asked to assume responsibility for two other struggling Lifeline programs.”

Bowers calls Lifeline one of her proudest accomplishments.

“The service provides safety and security for some of our most vulnerable community members. The significance of that is eternal,” she says, noting that she’s invested at all levels in the program’s success. “Starting with the key leadership staff, which I personally selected and continue to develop, to restructuring the business, adding creative new service lines expanding our territory and negotiating product contracts – it has all been a challenging and very rewarding leadership experience.”

And Bowers knows that because of the framework she’s created, the program could continue without her if necessary.

“If I were to disappear tomorrow, the program would still be able to flourish,” she says. “Those who work with me know my vision. They know how to execute it. To have an effect that can outlast me makes me very proud.”

Though Bowers says she has suppoted numerous community groups, she says most of her civic influence was through teaching children and teenagers at Ridgecrest Baptist Church.

Click here for full coverage of the 2012 40 Under 40.

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