In the summer of 1941, the classic Citizen Kane premiered in theaters, baseball great Joe DiMaggio began a 56-game hitting streak for the New York Yankees, and a new car would set you back an average of $925.
It also marked the season when Watson Clinic first opened our doors to the community.
The seedlings of Watson Clinic were planted long before they sprouted into existence 80 years ago.
The future of healthcare for residents of Lakeland and surrounding communities had its origins in Metter, Georgia, a small city in the southeastern portion of the state. That’s where Willis Herman Watson was born into the world on February 12, 1889. Two years after graduating from the University of Georgia School of Medicine in 1912, he made the move to Lakeland to start his own private practice, a professional ambition that was interrupted briefly by his calling to serve during World War I.
In the years immediately following the war, Lakeland enjoyed a brisk population boom. Quality healthcare options became even more paramount to service the needs of our growing community. Dr. Herman Watson was soon joined in his practice by his nephew Edgar. In 1938, Dr. Jere Annis joined the team from the world-renowned physician-led team at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN.
Plans were set in motion to model a healthcare establishment from the Mayo Clinic’s formidable example. In 1941, that vision was born in the form of Watson Clinic.
So much of the world has changed over the past eight decades, but it’s comforting to know that our mission has not.
Watson Clinic continues to be owned and operated by its physicians. That means that the services we provide are not determined by outside bureaucrats, but by the medical professionals who come face to face with the patient population on a daily basis. Every decision we make is based upon the needs of the patient, and our mission to elevate the health and vitality of our community as a whole.
Through evolving technologies and escalating challenges, Watson Clinic continues to set the standard for an all-inclusive healthcare experience.
It’s a recipe that has enhanced the lives of countless people, and served as a great influence to other medical establishments throughout our region and beyond. Many have followed our lead when it comes to groundbreaking research, innovative care, and personalized approaches to the practice of medicine.
We may be turning 80 this year, but we’re just getting started.
As we enter our next 80 years, we remain focused on responding to the needs of our community through the convenience of our locations, the ingenuity of our providers, and the breadth of our specialties and services. We’ll never waver from delivering the tools of tomorrow that will continue to ease illness and cure disease. Finally, we will continue to maintain the meaningful doctor-patient interactions that have successfully cemented our legacy above all else.
We thank each and every one of you for being a part of the Watson Clinic family.