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Family nurse practitioner Shannon Hepler joins Oaklawn’s express-care team

Shannon Hepler is finding herself in familiar territory this month as she joins Oaklawn’s express-care team.

About a decade ago, Hepler was a member of the Oaklawn nursing force, making staff assignments and handling varied tasks ranging from patient progression and education to handling admissions and discharges.

Now returning to Oaklawn as a family nurse practitioner, Hepler will focus on more immediate medical issues at Oaklawn Express Care – Albion.

The Albion facility — based in Suite B at 302 N. Monroe St. — currently is open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, including weekends. The handicap-accessible site, established in 2019, may be contacted at (517) 654-1020.

Hepler also will see patients at Oaklawn Medical Group – After Hours Express in Marshall and Oaklawn Express Care – Beckley Road.

Born in Florida and raised briefly in Colorado, young Shannon Adkins came to Michigan when she was in the third grade and her family moved to Battle Creek to join other family members.

Early on, the young woman realized that she had a knack for looking after the needs of others.

“I have a lot of younger brothers and I was always helping, especially people at school and others who couldn’t help themselves,” she said, in part crediting her mother’s former work as a health-care aide as a possible inspiration.

“For a while I thought that perhaps I’d become a physical therapist,” she said. “Eventually, in high school I thought nursing looked more like what I wanted to do. Things just went on from there.”

After graduation from Battle Creek Central High School, Hepler enrolled in Western Michigan University, from which she graduated in 2009 with a bachelor of science degree in nursing.

Hepler went on to work as a registered nurse for medical organizations in Calhoun County, including employment at Oaklawn Hospital.

In time, Hepler enrolled in Indiana-based Purdue University Global Inc., graduating in early 2020 with a master of science degree in nursing with an emphasis on the family nurse practitioner track. Since then, she has worked as a registered nurse and family nurse practitioner for medical organizations in Kalamazoo and Battle Creek.

As a result of her educational and professional experiences, Hepler has had extensive experience in primary care and urgent care. She said she’s dedicated to providing collaborative care with an emphasis on evidence-based medical practice.

Hepler is a member of the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and has been certified in basic life support and advanced cardiac life support by the American Heart Association.

Hepler and her husband of 14 years, Nathan, reside in Battle Creek and have three children — David, 19; Alexa, 15; and Brianna, 13.

“When the weather is good, we like outdoor activities, including kayaking, camping, four-wheeling and trail riding,” she said. The family includes two dogs, a German shepherd named Chief and a French bulldog named Benson.

“As you know, I worked at Oaklawn as a registered nurse for about a year and I enjoyed the environment. I really wanted to be there,” she said. “The staff and administration are great, and everything about the hospital tells me that this is definitely where I want to be.”

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