Staff Photo: Brendan Sullivan Meena J. Shah, M.D. listens with a stethoscope while performing a physical on Mo Chaaito at the Gwinnett Clinic in Duluth on June 7th.
LAWRENCEVILLE -- For 30 years, businesses have come and gone in Gwinnett County, but for Dr.'s J.J. and Meena Shah, their medical practice has lasted because of its core principles.
With a focus on providing quality care, even on weekends, the Shahs have grown the Gwinnett Clinic to 20 locations, giving residents in the county everything they could ask for from a medical practice.
"We take a lot of pride in what we do," said J.J., an orthopedic surgeon. "We want to provide quality care to our patients."
One of the ways the couple has been able to do that is with little turnover on their staff.
"We have many doctors that have been with us 15 years," said Meena, a family practitioner/primary-care provider. "Patients come in and they're seeing the same people every time. There are a lot of practices out there where the turnover rate is high. Some doctors don't stay but a few years."
In June, the clinic had a celebration dinner at the 1818 Club where all senior staff and providers were recognized. Congressman Rob Woodall attended and presented the staff with a US Congressional Resolution to honor them for 30 years of patient care.
Building a family atmosphere with their practice was always the dream of the Shahs when they met in medical school in western India in the late 1970s. After immigrating to the U.S. in 1978 and completing specialty training at the Medical College of Georgia in Augusta, the Shahs decided to settle in Gwinnett County.
"We felt Gwinnett was a good place to live and raise our three children," Meena said. "We saw a tremendous opportunity in a county that was one of the fastest growing in the nation."
In 1981, the pair opened up two practices -- in Lawrenceville and Lilburn -- and began their work.
From there, it grew from a husband and wife practice to a 20-provider, multi-specialty practice. Included on staff are six board-certified family medicine physicians, 10 board-certified internal medicine physicians and four specialty physicians.
And not only that, two of the Shah's three kids are currently practicing doctors in the clinic, while the third just graduated from Harvard Medical School and will start his residency at Emory University in July.
"The plan is for him to eventually join the practice," J.J. said. "One day, we'll hand this practice over to our kids and they'll carry the same philosophy that we have."
The Shahs believe that if their five core principles of comprehensive care, access and convenience, strong relationships, commitment to quality, and stewardship are continually followed, the practice will be around for a long time to come.
"It's not always about making money," J.J. said. "We're a part of this community and we want to help it as much as possible. One of the best things about our practice is that it is local and personal. Our staff has personal relationships with their patients."
Whether patients make an appointment or need to walk-in, the Shahs said they welcome anyone and everyone who need their services.