Heart and vascular center at Wellstar WGMC named in honor of Copeland

Published 8:00 am Thursday, June 25, 2020

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LAGRANGE, Ga. — The Georgia Heart Clinic at Wellstar West Georgia Medical Center has officially been renamed the Copeland Heart and Vascular Center by Callaway Foundation, in honor of Dr. Robert Copeland, MD, MACP, FACC, FRCP. The decision to rename the clinic was made in collaboration with the Callaway Foundation Board of Trustees, according to a press release from Wellstar.

Copeland served Troup County for more than 50 years as an eminent cardiologist and director of the Georgia Heart Clinic, as well as a supporter of the West Georgia Health Foundation.

“We are tremendously excited for our Heart and Vascular Center to be named in honor of Dr. Copeland,” said Wellstar West Georgia Medical Center President Coleman Foss. “He has meant so much for this community, this state, this region and truly for this nation in terms of what he’s been able to accomplish in cardiac care. Without him and his guidance, we would not have the cardiac center that we have today. Over the years, we have been blessed to have the working relationship that we have enjoyed with the Callaway Foundation. Their presence enriches the lives of our community and affords us the opportunity to honor great work such as what Dr. Copeland has provided.”

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Copeland graduated with honors from the Medical College of the University of Alabama in Birmingham. He completed his residency and fellowship at Harvard Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. He has served as Chair Emeritus of the Board of Regents for the American College of Physicians, a member of the National Academy of Science’s Institute of Medicine and Clinical Professor of Medicine at Emory University. He was instrumental in developing the Georgia Heart Clinic on the campus of West Georgia Health in 1972 and served as the first medical director. He has been board certified in Internal Medicine, Cardiovascular Medicine and Geriatric Medicine.

Copeland specialized in cardiovascular care and was visionary in adopting new technology, encouraging participation in research and training, and setting high standards for clinical excellence. Among his many achievements, he was instrumental in the state decision to participate in the Cardiovascular Patient Outcomes Research Team (CPORT) study. This study changed care of the ST-Elevation Myocardial Infarction (STEMI) patient for the nation by allowing percutaneous coronary intervention at hospitals without surgery on site. Although he is retired, Dr. Copeland’s impact on the health of the community will continue to be felt and live on in his name through the work of the Copeland Heart and Vascular Center.

“I’m humbled by having my life’s work honored in the changing of the name to the Copeland Heart and Vascular Center,” Copeland said. “It’s been a long and sometimes difficult, but rewarding, journey to bring cardiac care services here that weren’t available in any other town our size in Georgia. I really wanted to bring the same level of services and excellence to LaGrange that I had experienced during my time at Harvard and Mass General. And I was fortunate to have the support of so many along the way, including Fuller Callaway Jr. and other local businesses. We knew we could develop something here that was done with excellence, was self-supporting and had the potential to be important to a lot of people. And that’s exactly what we did with the Heart Clinic.”