Freeman and Ozark Center welcome new chief operating officer

Monday, April 28, 2014 - Freeman and Ozark Center welcome new chief operating officer
JOPLIN, Mo.—Mary Parrigon, a 24-year employee with Freeman Health System, has been named chief operating officer for Ozark Center, the behavioral health division of Freeman. During her decades-long tenure, Parrigon has served as chief financial officer, director of support services, accounting supervisor and staff accountant. In her new role, Parrigon will oversee leadership of Ozark Center, identify opportunities for expansion and serve as a liaison for community organizations.

“With extensive experience and a proven track record as a leader, Mary will ensure Ozark Center continues to provide world-class care and sets the standard for excellence in behavioral health,” said Paula Baker, Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer.

Parrigon completed coursework to become a certified public accountant in 1988. She earned a bachelor’s degree in accounting from Missouri State University in 1986.

“I am thrilled to work with the staff at Ozark Center to continue providing excellent service while also searching out new, innovative opportunities in behavioral health for our community,” Parrigon said.

About Freeman Health System
Locally owned and nationally recognized, Freeman Health System has earned a number of US News & World Report distinctions – Best Hospital in Southwest Missouri, #4 hospital in the state, and High Performing status in seven specialties. The health system includes Freeman Hospital West, Freeman Hospital East, Freeman Neosho Hospital, and Ozark Center – the area’s largest provider of behavioral health services – as well as two urgent care clinics, dozens of physician clinics and a variety of specialty services. A not-for-profit health system, Freeman provides cancer care, heart and vascular care, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopaedics, children’s services, and women’s services and has more than 300 physicians on staff. For more information, visit or or follow Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer Paula Baker at

About Ozark Center
An integral component of Freeman Health System based in Joplin, Missouri, Ozark Center provides comprehensive behavioral health services to children, adults, and families in an area that includes more than 450,000 residents from Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Ozark Center continually looks for innovative ways to address the mental health needs of the community and promote awareness of mental illness in an effort to eliminate the discrimination associated with it. For more information, visit or call 417.347.7600.