Shari McDowell, PT, DPT, is the program director for the Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation Program at Shepherd Center. Since 1992, Shari has served in various leadership roles at Shepherd Center, including serving as a physical therapist in the Spinal Cord Injury (SCI) Program and in the Intensive Care Unit (ICU), a physical therapy and SCI education coordinator, and as the inpatient spinal cord injury program manager.
Shari has more 30 years of healthcare experience, ranging from providing physical therapy to lecturing at spinal cord and brain injury seminars. She has written 13 publications for healthcare professionals to better understand spinal cord injury prevention and rehabilitation, as well as neurological rehabilitation. Shari also has been an active participant and contributor to more than 30 professional presentations, conferences and grant/research studies.
Shari has supported and developed new programming for rehabilitation services for people living with a spinal cord injury, and she has integrated evidence-based research into practice. Shari also participates in hospital-wide strategic planning. Her strong business acumen and knowledge of spinal cord injuries have contributed to the success of rehabilitation programs at Shepherd Center.
Before her work at Shepherd Center, Shari worked at Physiotherapy Associates of Metro Atlanta. From 1986 to 1992, Shari held numerous roles at Physiotherapy Associates of Metro Atlanta, including as a physical therapist, staff development-clinical education coordinator, lead cardiopulmonary rehabilitation physical therapist and intensive care unit physical therapist.
Shari received her bachelor’s degree from Georgia State University, where she was awarded “Most Outstanding Student” in 1986. She then received her doctorate in physical therapy from the University of Montana-Missoula in 2012.