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Cowles Clinic and Navicent Health Announce Partnership

Union of Greene Co. Medical Specialty Clinic, Bibb Co. Health System to Enhance Access to Care

At a press event on Thursday, December 8, healthcare leaders from Cowles Clinic of Greensboro, Ga. and Atrium Health Navicent of Macon-Bibb County, Ga. announced their intent to enter into a strategic partnership. The partners will focus on patient access to efficient, high-quality healthcare services.

"The goal of our partnership is to expand primary care and specialized services for those who live in Georgia's lake country, allowing us to recruit physicians and expand services to cover the continuum of care. The partnership will allow Atrium Health Navicent, with the strength and reputation of Dr. Robert Cowles and the Cowles Clinic, to expand resources in the lake country area in an effort to keep healthcare local," said Dr. Ninfa Saunders, President and CEO of Atrium Health Navicent.

Founded in 2004, Cowles Clinic is the largest medical complex in the Lake Oconee area. Specialists practicing on the 13-acre campus primarily serve Greene, Morgan and Putnam County residents.

"Cowles Clinic has always been focused on providing the highest quality of healthcare to the people in the greater Lake Oconee area and beyond. Together with Atrium Health Navicent, we will expand the number of quality services, physicians and technologies offered to residents not only of the greater Lake Oconee area, but throughout Georgia, the Southeast and the U.S. Our partnership will allow us to achieve that goal," said Robert Cowles, M.D., urologist and founder of Cowles Clinic.

Initially, the partners will focus on expanding services through the creation of a women's health center and expanded cardiology services, as well as the addition of primary care and pediatric physicians. The partners will also revitalize the clinic's existing cardiology practice and imaging center.

Through the partnership, Atrium Health Navicent Physician Group plans to bring four new physicians to the area within the coming weeks:

"¢ Dr. John Hennecken, who trained at Yale University and is board-certified in Cardiovascular Disease, Internal Medicine, Echocardiography, Nuclear Cardiology and Lipidology. Dr. Hennecken focuses on general and preventative cardiology.

"¢ Dr. Shanna Holcomb, a graduate of the Mercer University School of Medicine, who is board-certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology. She has practiced in the Milledgeville area since 2010 and is a North American Menopause Society Certified Menopause Practitioner.

"¢ Dr. Nathan Kow, who studied at Emory University and trained at Cleveland Clinic, offers services for Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery and offers a wide variety of innovative treatments for incontinence, pelvic organ prolapse, and other pelvic floor disorders that affect the quality of life for women.

"¢ Dr. Eric Long, a board-certified General Surgeon who joined Surgical Institute, Atrium Health Navicent in 2014 after completing his General Surgery Residency and Surgical Critical Care Fellowship at the Mercer University School of Medicine.

Atrium Health Navicent Physician Group will continue to bring additional physicians to the area through the partnership in the coming months.

"In order to expand, we needed help, and we needed help from an organization that is physician and patient oriented. That is a great description of Atrium Health Navicent. Our partnership with Atrium Health Navicent will enable us to expand our service offerings. Atrium Health Navicent is well respected throughout the region and our new relationship will enable us to become one of the leading outpatient healthcare centers in the Southeastern United States. Together, we will continue the momentum of growth that began here 13 years ago," said Dr. Cowles.

Since 2013, Atrium Health Navicent has focused on the development of strategic partnership with the goal of creating medical neighborhoods throughout central and south Georgia. Such partnerships allow healthcare providers to recruit physicians and expand healthcare services along the continuum of care in an effort to keep healthcare local and cost-effective for patients, providers and payors.