Thursday, May 26, 2011
Freeman Health System open and fully functional
JOPLIN, Mo.—Within minutes of the May 22, 2011, tornado, hundreds of injured began arriving at Freeman Health System via land and air ambulance, private vehicle, and on foot. The magnitude of their injuries was beyond comprehension—patients came to Freeman with severed limbs, abdominal lacerations, compound fractures, crushing head injuries from flying objects, and others too numerous to mention.
Literally hundreds of people swarmed the lobby in the aftermath of the storm. Despite their pain and shock, people with less severe injuries waited hours for care without complaint, fully understanding the gravity of the situation.
In the hours and days following the tornado, Freeman treated 916 patients, of those 124 were transferred to area, regional, and neighboring state hospitals. Sadly, 11 Freeman patients died as a result of their injuries.
“May 22, 2011, was a tragic day for this community,” said Gary Duncan, Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer. “Freeman physicians and nurses have been here day and night since the storm struck—they will continue to do so for as long as it takes this community to heal.”
Despite the devastation, the health system is open and fully operational at Freeman West, Freeman East, and Freeman Neosho.
- For those in need of specific services, including heart care, heart surgery, orthopaedic care, wound care, surgery, and obstetric and gynecological services, Freeman can meet your needs.
- QuickMeds Pharmacy™ at Freeman West is open and available for prescription refills or follow-up services.
- All Freeman OB-GYN physicians and nurse midwives have been relocated to 3333 McIntosh Circle.
- Because some physician offices have had to relocate, their new locations will be available on the Freeman website or by calling the main Freeman number at 417.347.1111.
- Despite the loss of Ozark Center for Autism, services for families with children living with autism will continue through in-home visits.
- Ozark Center has established a temporary treatment center and is providing counseling and services for those struggling to cope with their loss. Therapists are available to the community through a 24-hour crisis hotline at 417.347.7720.
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 freemanhealth.com or facebook.com/freemanhealthsystem. Follow Gary Duncan, Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer, at twitter.com/freemanceo.