Jon, Michael and Sean Cotton watched their father, one of the nation’s foremost specialists in maternal and fetal medicine, build a legacy for mothers and children.
Now, they have joined The Campaign for Beaumont Hospitals by making a legacy gift, creating the Shery L. & David B. Cotton, M.D. Family Birth Center at Beaumont Hospital, Grosse Pointe.
The new center offers a comfortable, soothing environment with home-like amenities, establishing a beautifully appointed facility for new parents and their babies.
The substantial gifts by the brothers are reflective of their father’s lifelong commitment to others. He’s a high-risk obstetrician, so when we were younger, he was either at the hospital saving lives or giving lectures across the country,” says Jon.
A highly respected obstetrician, Dr. Cotton rarely spoke of his accolades at home, so his sons discovered them by accident. “His awards were in the basement. He wrote the textbook on high-risk births, but I never knew it until I saw it up on a bookshelf one day. I went to him and said, ‘What’s this?’” laughs John. “He was so invested in the lives of others, he didn’t think about the honors it brought.”
Dr. Cotton, listed among the “Best Doctors in America” since 1994, is now CEO and majority owner of Health Plan of Michigan, which is owned and managed by the family. All three brothers work for the company, and their mother, Shery Cotton, is chief operating officer. Under their leadership, U.S. News & World Report rated the company tenth in quality among all Medicaid plans in the nation in 2008 and it has been in the top 15 since 2007.
Such an accomplishment is indicative of his father’s commitment to health, says Jon, who serves as director of finance. “We are responsible for the lives of 250,000 members. He’s dedicated to giving the best care possible. It’s a philosophy borne of his medical training.”
Anne Marie McCarren, M.D., chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at Beaumont, Grosse Pointe, recalls her years as his student. “Personally, I’m a much stronger clinician and physician because I trained under him,” she says.
For brothers Jon, Sean and Michael, this is an opportunity to acknowledge the sacrifices of their parents. “My dad spent his life taking care of mothers and babies, and now both of our parents are fully committed to improving the care of our community through their work,” says Jon. “What they have accomplished is amazing, so honoring them through the Family Birth Center makes perfect sense. This was an important gift for us.”
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