Cowles Clinic essentially brought specialized healthcare to Lake Oconee and the surrounding area, and that mission is still central to what happens every day at the world-famous medical campus.
Cowles Clinic is privately owned by Dr. Robert Cowles and other entities. The patient-friendly, convenient campus consists of nine buildings that patients can easily walk between while seeing a wide variety of specialists.
Stonemont Financial Group recently acquired a cancer center property on campus, but Cowles said the building was never owned by the clinic due to state rules and regulations regarding radiotherapy centers and they could not own it at the time the clinic was built.
“The reason we didn’t own it was because when we built it years ago it had to be owned by radiation/oncology groups,” explains Cowles.
When the founder of that radiation group passed away, the building was sold to Northside Hospital, who only wanted to rent it, and later sold to a company that acquires medical office space across the country and now rents it from them. Cowles said nothing has changed on the inside of the operation. The building still stands on the Cowles Clinic campus and he regularly walks there to conduct business.
“Think of it like a university where you have a big campus, and then you might have an industry that comes in and decides they’re going to build a big building there and do research,” Cowles explains. “The company that does that builds it on campus. They own the building, but it’s still part of the University of Georgia campus… All the other buildings here that are medical buildings have always been owned and are still owned by what’s called Cowles Clinic. ‘
Although Cowles started practicing in Greensboro in 2002 after first practicing in Atlanta, he has been coming to Lake Oconee since it was first built. It was a place that immediately felt like home to him.
“I grew up in a small town in America, and I loved it here,” he said.
And he had a premonition about the level of growth that was to come for the area.
“I felt like what happened was going to happen, and I felt like health care was needed because there was virtually no health care,” he said.
Cowles realized that a large proportion of people moving into the community would come from cities with a full range of health care services, and he knew they would expect a community like Lake Oconee to also have the full range of health care available .
“I felt like I was meant to be the guy to take care of that,” he said.
For Cowles, it’s part of a family tradition. His grandfather was a physician who was asked by the Governor of Tennessee to take health care where there was no health care.
“I grew up hearing stories about that,” he said. “My dad did the same, and now I’m the third generation to do the same, and it’s kind of become a mission for my family that we do that, which is why I came here. I’ve always felt that people living in rural America deserve the highest quality health care and health care that is equal or commensurate with the health care you’ll find in major metropolitan areas, and this clinic is here to prove it.
Cowles said the clinic is intended to represent any specialty that can function part-time or full-time in rural Georgia.
“As we move forward, we aim to cover almost every specialty in medicine,” he said.
For example, Cowles is currently recruiting a pediatric cardiovascular surgeon.
“That’s about as specialized as you can get,” he said.
He also talks to hand surgeons, occupational therapists, psychologists and nephrologists.
“We’re not going to do anything but get bigger and better… I’m determined to expand. I am committed to maintaining the highest quality of care we can, and I am committed to the community and the area around the community because we don’t just serve Greene and Putnam County.
Cowles said the clinic serves about a 70-mile radius of patients, and they also have people visiting from nearly every state in the U.S. and from many countries.
“So I think we’ve proven that people will look for the highest quality health care, and we’ll not only continue to provide it, but expand it,” he said.
Recently, Cowles met a family who drove 2½ hours to get to the clinic, and loved that they could see several doctors in one day, easily walking from one office to the next. They were so impressed that they decided to move their health care from their local town to Cowles Clinic.
“That’s one of the reasons I built it the way I built it, which is with lots of options to walk and get from one doctor’s office to another and make it easy,” Cowles said.
In addition to the specialties represented, Cowles Clinic also features a state-of-the-art imaging center where patients can receive everything from x-rays to MRIs and pet scans.
Cowles said the clinic will continue to upgrade and improve not only the care they currently provide, but will strive to provide new, better and more diverse care in the future to meet the needs of a growing community. to fulfil. Future expansion, he said, is always part of the clinic’s way of working.
With hundreds of thousands of patients visiting Cowles Clinic each year, it is certainly a destination for healthcare. Every day, however, comes down to helping one patient at a time.
“The most rewarding thing I get to do every day at this clinic outside of my family is helping sick people get better, and that’s what it’s all about,” Cowles said. “It’s about helping people who are sick get better and helping people who are healthy stay healthy. It’s that simple, and it boils down to one patient at a time.”