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Cornwell takes over for Rivera at MedCare
01.13 Dr Rivera
Dr. Maria Rivera was thanked for her two and a half years of service at MedCare. - photo by Photo submitted

On Jan. 4 in a gathering at MedCare at Goshen Road, the Effingham Hospital’s administration, accompanied by many friends and associates, bade a fond farewell to Dr. Maria E. Rivera.  

Dr. Rivera is leaving Medcare and has chosen to return home to be closer to her family of two sisters and seven brothers in Long Island. Dr. Rivera related that she has met many genuine people in Effingham County and will never forget their kindness.  

Dr. Rivera has been working in family medicine at Effingham Hospital’s MedCare since she first arrived in August 2005. Dr. Rivera said she has greatly enjoyed working in the organized environment of Medcare and appreciates the opportunity to work with an experienced and friendly staff.

Dr. James R. Cornwell was welcomed as the newest physician to join and lead the MedCare team.  Dr. Cornwell’s arrival in Effingham is part of Effingham Hospital’s physician recruitment.

Another new physician is expected in June.  

Dr. Cornwell will be serving his patients in Springfield as well as working as the new medical advisor on scheduled days at MedCare in Rincon. Family nurse practitioner Janice Ford will continue working under approved nursing protocols (Monday–Friday) at MedCare in a clinical capacity.  

Dr. Rivera expressed her fondness for Effingham Hospital and related that she feels that the hospital has in many ways spoiled her with kindness and hands on professionalism.  Norma Jean Morgan, CEO of Effingham Hospital and Care Center, in the presence of physicians, friends, associates and colleagues presented Dr. Maria Rivera with a silver serving tray with an engraved inscription in the center stating “Effingham Hospital Medcare – Maria Rivera, D. O. – August 2005 – January 2008”.

Dr. Cornwell began his health care career as a certified emergency medical technician. He went on to become a certified respiratory therapy technician, Georgia certified cardiac technician and registered respiratory therapist. He received his Doctor of Medicine degree from Mercer School of Medicine in Macon.  

Dr. Cornwell completed his residency training at the Floyd Medical Center, Rome Family Practice Residency Program, and is board certified in family practice. Since 2003 Dr. Cornwell has been employed by WellStar Physicians Group in Powder Springs.