ALBANY — Dougherty County Coroner Michael Fowler was recently appointed to the Georgia Composite Medical Board by Gov. Nathan Deal. Fowler was one of 15 members selected to serve on the board.
“It’s an honor to be considered, and I am humbled to have received that call,” Fowler said. “I just want to serve the people by being the person that can help in different situations.”
Fowler will join the board as one of the two consumers that serves on the Georgia Composite Medical Board. As a consumer, he will offer an alternative perspective in a room of physicians, but for Fowler, it’s a statement about getting yourself to the table to have your voice heard. And his appointment brings Albany to the table with him, he said.
“My philosophy is somebody needs to be at the table,” Fowler said. “If you’re not at the table, you don’t make the decisions. You’re just outside complaining. So my thing is, are we trying to get to the table, and how can we help our people as a group? Not just our people, but how can we help people in general and not just the people doing a lot of red-taping up (in Atlanta) and making all of these decisions without considering the people (in southwest Georgia)?
“I’m a person here trying to help the people up there realize that we need help. We need help here in south Georgia. I hope that I can be an asset for the people and be of help to them. That’s my goal.”
Fowler said he was drawn to the board due to a number of medical issues that have arisen recently such as with insurance and Obamacare. As a consumer board member, he will act as a liaison for the people and will provide the board with the public’s point of view on licensing matters.
The Georgia Composite Medical Board oversees all the licenses held by physicians, therapists or anyone with a medical license in the state of Georgia. The board also handles complaints, investigates malpractice claims and other issues, as determined by the individual committees within the board including:
— The Investigative Committee, which examines complaints, investigation results and malpractice reports;
— The Physician Licensing Committee, which evaluates each applicant’s ability to practice the individual’s medical profession in Georgia;
— The Wellness Committee, which reviews all cases that may or have already impacted the licensees’ practices.
The board oversees more than 51,000 medical licenses in Georgia, including licenses held by physicians, physician assistants, respiratory care professionals, auricular detoxification technicians, acupuncturists, perfusionists, residents in training, orthotists and prosthetists, pain management clinics and cosmetic laser practitioners.
Fowler recently left the Georgia State Board of Funeral Services in June after 18 years. Asked how he manages the time to serve on multiple boards, be active in the Dougherty County community and work as the county’s coroner, Fowler said, “I reckon I’m good at scheduling, and I have a great secretary. I’ve served on numerous boards, but people don’t die every day.
“Most of the time when people die, I try to do 80 percent of the calls, and my deputy coroner will do under 20 percent, so many times I just have a lot of down time. I want to be involved with doing something positive in the community by trying to help push Albany forward. I don’t want to just have a title or a position and not do anything. I don’t want to be idle. I want to be busy trying my best to push Albany forward.”