Grant enables purchase of tornado shelters for Turnaround Ranch

Wednesday, March 20, 2013 - Grant enables purchase of tornado shelters for Turnaround Ranch
JOPLIN, Mo.—A grant from the Joplin Tornado First Response Fund will allow for the purchase and installation of seven tornado shelters at Ozark Center Turnaround Ranch, an organization that assists local youths with emotional and behavioral problems. A shelter will be positioned outside each of the six cottages at the three Turnaround Ranch campuses located throughout Joplin. The seventh shelter will be placed behind the organization’s administrative building. 

Installation of the shelters began March 20; weather permitting, installation will continue on March 25. The media are invited to film or photograph the installation process as part of a story.

Turnaround Ranch provides group, individual, and family therapy; recreational therapy; and behavioral health services for adolescents, ages 10-18. On a typical weekday, the number of residents and staff present at the three Turnaround Ranch campuses totals an estimated 120; during the average weekend, that number is approximately 90. Each shelter is rated for up to 22 individuals.

“We are tremendously grateful to the Joplin Tornado First Response Fund for this grant,” said Rono Bowyer, Turnaround Ranch Director. “Many of our staff and residents were in the May 2011 tornado, an experience each is reminded of often, especially during storm season. These shelters will provide us with a real sense of security. Nothing is more important to the staff at Turnaround Ranch than the safety of our residents. We are grateful beyond words for the generosity of the Joplin Tornado First Response Fund.”

About Freeman Health System

Based in Joplin, Mo., and proudly recognized as the Best Hospital in southwest Missouri—as well as ranked #4 in the state—by US News & World Report, Freeman Health System provides comprehensive healthcare and behavioral health services, including cancer care, heart and vascular care, neurosciences, orthopaedics, and women’s services. The area’s only locally owned, not-for-profit health system, Freeman has more than 300 physicians representing 60 specialties serving southwest Missouri, southeast Kansas, northeast Oklahoma, and northwest Arkansas. 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.