Freeman employees present for children on 1st day of school

Monday, August 15, 2011 - Freeman employees present for children on 1st day of school

Hundreds of Freeman Health System employees will be among the lines of parents dropping off or picking up their children from school this week, thanks to the generosity of their coworkers.

Many clinical staff work 12-hour shifts that begin prior to the start of the school day. Given the hardships many of these families have faced since the May 22 tornado, Freeman recognizes the importance of allowing parents the time to take their children to school or pick them up at the end of the academic day. For the entire week, Freeman employees are covering shifts for their co-workers so parents can be present as their children start the school year.

More than ever, children may be apprehensive about the start of the academic year. Not only are some of them beginning the year in a new location, they may experience separation anxiety when away from mom or dad.

The largest employer in Joplin, Freeman continues to offer assistance to its 360 families impacted by the storm.

“So much has changed for these children in such a short period of time,” said Gary Duncan, Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer. “At a time when children need their parents most, we will make sure those parents can be there.”

Duncan said the banner hanging from Freeman Heart & Vascular Institute—visible from the 32nd Street entrance—reminds the community that Freeman employees strive to give of their hearts and hands to their patients.

“But we also never forget the importance of giving of our hearts and hands to each other,” Duncan said.

About Freeman Health System
Not-for-profit, community-owned, and locally governed, Freeman Health System is a 407-bed, three-hospital system. Based in Joplin, the fourth largest metropolitan area in Missouri, Freeman provides comprehensive healthcare and behavioral health services to an area that includes more than 450,000 residents from Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. For more information, visit or Follow Gary Duncan, Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer, at