Cotton-O'Neil Clinic Co-Founder Dies

By: 13 News
By: 13 News

Topeka (WIBW) - One of the founders of what grew to become Topeka's largest medical practice has passed away.

Dr. Robert Cotton died Friday morning. He was 90-years old.

Cotton met Dr. Robert O'Neil in 1942 at the University of Kansas School of Medicine. They started their practice in 1956. The Cotton-O'Neil Clinic joined Stormont-Vail in 1995 and today has nearly 200 physicians on staff.

“Dr. Cotton was above all a compassionate physician. He and Dr. O’Neil shared a vision that grew the Cotton-O’Neil Clinic into one of the most prominent patient care organizations in America,” said Maynard Oliverius, president and chief executive officer of Stormont-Vail HealthCare. “Our thoughts go to the Cotton family as they, we, and the community mourn this loss.”

Dr. Kent Palmberg, senior vice president and chief medical officer, called Dr. Cotton a “distinguished person who was well ahead of his time. Other physicians considered Dr. Cotton to be an outstanding diagnostician and was often considered the doctor’s doctor.”

Cotton retired in 1987.

In 1990, Cotton was recognized for his long and distinguished service in medicine by the Kansas Chapter of the American College of Physicians with The Laureate Award. The Stormont-Vail Foundation honored him and O’Neil with the Bal Jeffrey Award in 1992. The medical office building at 901 Garfield was named the Robert T. Cotton Building in his honor.

Outside of his medical practice, Cotton was an avid entomologist, an active bird watcher, and a capable writer and made numerous presentations to local literature clubs.

Cotton is survived by his widow, Alice, and children and grandchildren. Funeral arrangements have not yet been announced.


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