Local doctors share the Cedar Park
Pediatric & Family Medicine story
By KIM ESTES
Four Points News
Brent Cardwell of Grandview Hills and Cameron King of Steiner Ranch were college roommates who turned into business partners. King and Cardwell first met at the University of Kansas, went their separate ways for a while but came together again in Austin to open Cedar Park Pediatric and Family Medicine in 2005.
“We have known each other for a long time, and we think the same way when it comes to the medical business,” said Cardwell about the pair opening a practice together.
King added, “We’re very like-minded. Having been roommates, we’ve seen each other from behind the scenes.”
Kansas is where the boyhood homes of both physicians are. Cardwell grew up in Topeka and attended Kansas State University as an undergraduate. King attended KU after growing up in Wichita.
They met when they enrolled as medical students at KU and shared an apartment for a year before leaving for residency training. Coincidentally both ended up in Tennessee. Cardwell went to Vanderbilt Children’s Hospital in Nashville to pursue pediatric medicine, and King went to the University of Tennessee Medical Center, Knoxville, for family medicine.
Cardwell was a groomsman in King’s wedding to Debbie in May of 1998.
“Debbie and I went to visit in Nashville and met Jennifer (Brent’s girlfriend at the time) early in residency,” King said. “Later in residency Brent and Jennifer came to the Smoky Mountain National Park just outside of Knoxville, where I was in residency. Then later Debbie and I made a beautiful drive up through the Appalachian Mountains to West Virginia for Brent and Jennifer’s wedding.”
In 2001, fate intervened again, and King and Cardwell were unknowingly recruited to the same large Austin clinic.
Four years later, they opened Cedar Park Pediatric and Family Medicine on Cypress Creek Parkway with a staff of four, including themselves.
They expanded in 2010 and opened a second, smaller clinic on Vista Ridge Boulevard but knew they were going to need a larger space. In January this year, they moved from the Vista Ridge location into their new, larger Ronald Reagan Boulevard location.
Today CPPFM has 41 employees and 12 medical care providers that came to include Jennifer Cardwell. She is a pediatrician who had stayed with another practice until CPPFM was fully operational.
Both Cardwell and King believe their clinic is successful because they offer accessible, personal care.
“People have a lot of stuff going on and need convenient care,” King said, noting that the clinic offers extended hours as well as telemedicine services for things such as first degree burns, seasonal allergies, eczema and other needs.
Additionally, as providers of both pediatric and family medicine, doctors can see all members of a family.
“It’s a lot easier when you’ve known an individual and their family for years. Things get missed, otherwise. In medicine, a personal connection will always be necessary,” said Cardwell.
They have treated five generations in cases.
“It is part of our design – to care for sick families, to be here and provide medical access from birth to old age,” King said.
“We’re our patient’s medical home,” Cardwell added.
And, Austin is home now to the two doctors who have become sort of an extended family to each other.
“Yes,” they simultaneously answered when asked if they do things together outside of the work environment. The men load up their families for an occasional weekend trip or a day on King’s boat. They all have even been to Disney World together.
One can imagine the unrelenting conversation and enthusiasm as, between the two families, they have five daughters who stair-step in age. The King’s have three daughters, Isabelle, 15, Anwen, 13 and Emilia, 11. The Cardwells have two daughters, 14-year-old Grace and 12-year-old McKenna.
It’s a close group, and the former college roommates agree that the support of their wives has been critical to the success of their business. Debbie is a stay-at-home mom.
“We couldn’t do this, start a small business from the ground up, without the help of our wives,” said Cardwell.
The greatest challenge for the healthcare entrepreneurs is interfacing with the insurance industry.
“Sometimes, patients think we have more control than we do. We’ve tried to put systems in place to make reporting as simple as possible for our patients and insurance companies,” King said.
Cardwell added, “A lot of times there is nothing we can do.
“We see it from both sides, too, because we provide insurance for our employees,” he said.
CPPFM services include asthma care, annual wellness visits, minor surgeries such as skin biopsies and minor cut repairs, lab draws, vaccinations and stress tests. For more information, visit cedarparkdoctors.com.
“We are very blessed that we have grown from initial convenience and coincidence to a purposeful friendship and business partnership that allows us to serve our patients and community,” King said.