HOW IT ALL BEGAN
HOW IT ALL BEGAN
Before “concierge” practices, before “executive” physicals, there were doctors. Jonathan Sheldon and Heather Sowell were two of them.
Dr. Sheldon earned his MD from the University of Colorado in 1984, and Dr. Sowell earned hers from the University of Washington in 1991. Together, they worked in private practices and an HMO-owned clinic, and founded their own practice assisting other doctors during busy periods.
As healthcare changed in the 1990s, giving more power to insurance companies and less to patients, Drs. Sheldon and Sowell had one of those insights that’s as simple as it is life-changing: we don’t need to work for insurance companies. We need to work for our patients.
The practice that resulted in 1998 was, from a management perspective, simplicity itself: patients paid for medical care; doctors provided it. After stepping away from bureaucracy-based medicine and dubbing the practice an “HMNo®,” it was clear Drs. Sheldon and Sowell had tapped into a longing among patients for a trusting, private relationship with a physician. Media coverage followed, including Newsweek, The Wall Street Journal, The PBS Newshour, The CBS Early Show with Bryant Gumbel, and ABC World News Tonight with Peter Jennings.
The practice moved from Englewood, Colo., to Denver in 2004 and evolved into The Sheldon Sowell Center for Health with the addition of two highly educated Registered Nurses, an in-house information technology manager, and a custom-designed office suite that maximizes convenience and security. Drs. Sheldon and Sowell continue to put patients first by maintaining a small patient-doctor ratio, emphasizing clear and consistent communication, and building their own network of specialists.