New Ozark Center CEO

Wednesday, September 01, 2010 - New Ozark Center CEO

Freeman announces Ozark Center CEO
JOPLIN, Mo.— Freeman Health System proudly announces Philip Willcoxon as Ozark Center Chief Executive Officer. In his new role, Willcoxon will continue to advance the center’s goal of enhancing the comprehensive behavioral health services provided each year to an estimated 13,500 four-state residents.

Willcoxon has been an employee of Freeman since 1992 and has served as Freeman Neosho Hospital Chief Executive Officer and, most recently, as Freeman Senior Vice President of Administration.

“The opportunity to assign this administrative position from within is a testament to the exceptional skill present at Freeman,” said Freeman President and CEO Gary Duncan. “Phil has proven himself as a leader. His knowledge and expertise will allow Ozark Center to continue raising the level of excellence for the behavioral health services on which so many people depend.”

Ozark Center was previously under the guidance of former CEO Paula Baker. Baker devoted her 30-year tenure with Ozark Center to improving mental health services. Under her leadership, Ozark Center earned the distinction of being the premier mental health center in Missouri. Baker now serves as Freeman Chief Clinical officer and will continue to supervise all Ozark Center for Autism programming.

“Throughout 30 years, I have had the honor of working with exceptionally talented individuals, especially Mr. Gary Duncan, the Ozark Center Board of Directors, and the Ozark Center executive team,” said Baker. “With their dedication and support, Ozark Center has succeeded in providing the highest quality mental health services to children, adults, and families in need. It has been my privilege to be a part of that.”

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.
For media inquiries, please contact Freeman Media Coordinator.