Dr. Emily Bowen Named Appalachian Leadership Institute Fellow

Emily BowenBig Stone Gap, VA — The Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) named MECC Dental Assistant Program Director Dr. Emily Bowen to participate in the 2022-2023 class of the Appalachian Leadership Institute, a leadership and economic development training opportunity for individuals currently living and/or working in one of ARC’s 13 Appalachian states.

As part of her training, Dr. Bowen will complete a nine-month curriculum anchored by six multi-day seminars across the Appalachian region focusing on each of ARC’s strategic investment priorities, which aim to strengthen economic and community growth in Appalachia.

Dr. Bowen has made a tremendous difference in improving oral health and the overall wellbeing of residents in Southwest Virginia. In her current role as the Director of Mountain Empire Community College’s Dental Assistant Program., Dr. Bowen has developed and implemented a dental assistant curriculum, training a multitude of students who have more than a 90 percent job placement rate in their field. MECC’s program recently expanded to include an advanced DA-II training through a collaborative agreement with Germanna Community College.

She served as one of the primary organizers of the SWVA Oral Health Summit held in 2021, serves on the Lenowisco Oral Health Partnership as a Coalition Member and Planning Committee Co-Chair and serves on the University of Virginia’s Cancer Center Without Walls Community Advisory Board, working to prevent HPV. Through her efforts working with Virginia Commonwealth University’s School of Dentistry, Virginia Health Catalyst, and the Virginia Dental Association, Emily has increased awareness of dental education and improving dental health in SWVA/NETN. She is an outstanding leader in her community and in her professional field.

“I’m incredibly grateful for this opportunity to represent both SWVA and Mountain Empire,” said Dr. Bowen. “The ARC has a tremendous presence in our region and being able to collaborate with this organization to highlight both oral health issues and dental workforce needs in our area is exciting. I am looking forward to the improvements and positive impact we can make for the residents of Appalachia.”

ARC’s Leadership Institute focuses on skill-building seminars and best practice reviews to prepare fellows to:

· Design effective economic development project proposals

· Integrate community assets into long-term economic development strategies

· Identify resources available to spark economic and community development

· Locate and access investment capital from a variety of public and private sources

· Prepare competitive applications for public grant opportunities

· Use expanded connections and leadership skills to create strong regional partnerships

“Congratulations to the incoming 2022-2023 class of Appalachian Leadership Institute fellows! These leaders are already growing their Appalachian communities and will be even better equipped to drive positive change after their work with this program,” said ARC Federal Co-Chair Gayle Manchin. “I am eager to see this class of fellows collaborate across state lines to set big goals that will help the entire Appalachian region thrive.”

Appalachian Leadership Institute fellows were selected via a competitive application process to reflect the Appalachian region’s wide range of economic development challenges, opportunities, and strategies.

Upon completion of the program, Dr. Bowen will automatically become part of the Appalachian Leadership Institute Alumni Network, a peer-to-peer working group of experts helping foster collaborative solutions that will build a stronger future for Appalachia. To learn more about the program, visit: arc.gov/leadership. To meet the 2022-2023 class of fellows and learn more about how they are working to transform their Appalachian communities, visit: https://www.arc.gov/appalachian-leadership-institute-class/.