Freeman Sports & Rehabilitation Center opens

Monday, March 05, 2012 - Freeman Sports & Rehabilitation Center opens

JOPLIN, Mo.—With a quick snip from a pair of oversized scissors, Freeman cut a bright red ribbon, officially opening the doors to its new $2 million rehabilitation and sports center. A project that began in July 2010, Freeman Rehabilitation & Sports Center will bring unprecedented care to the acutely injured, including those who have endured trauma or have extensive orthopaedic or neurological needs. Additionally, the new center will serve 3,700 high school and college athletes who depend on Freeman for their sports medicine needs, providing them real-world simulations that promote injured athletes’ safe return to play.

The 21,000-square-foot facility was designed to provide patients with a comfortable, private setting featuring individualized treatment and specialized areas of care.

“In the nine short months since the May 22 tornado, Freeman Health System has embarked upon ten construction projects to expand and improve our services to this community,” said Paula Baker, Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer. “This center changes the game for patients in need of rehabilitation and for local athletes. As the area’s only locally owned, not-for-profit health system, Freeman makes every decision with the needs of our community in mind. This is a shining example of that.”

Freeman Rehabilitation & Sports Center combines seven areas of care, including sports medicine and physical, occupational, speech, hand, lymphedema, and aquatic therapies, into a single, central location at 2206 East 32nd Street. Patients with mobility issues will find its convenient parking and easy entrance access appealing.

“This facility and the programs it houses are the definition of a patient-centered approach to healing,” said Jeffrey Carrier, Freeman Chief Clinical Officer. “From the moment patients walk through our door, they are greeted with warm colors and an atmosphere more reminiscent of a hotel than a healthcare facility. We designed this center so our patients are as comfortable as possible every second they are with us.”

For its sports medicine component, the center offers injured athletes therapy that includes an indoor sports court for functional training. This real-world simulation allows Freeman trainers and therapists to challenge students and aggressively promote their safe return to play. Advanced conditioning and computerized strength testing ensure students are strong enough to play. A second floor allows Freeman trainers to provide off-season conditioning.

A Hydroworks® therapy pool was designed specifically for patients in need of rehabilitation or strengthening. The floor of the pool rises to ground level, offering access to aquatic therapy for patients in wheelchairs or with mobility issues. It is also equipped with a treadmill and underwater cameras for gait analysis.

“While all of these outward changes will provide this region with unparalleled care, one vitally important characteristic of our programs is untouched,” said Mick Ward, Freeman Rehabilitation Services and Sports Medicine Director. “Our superior experience and knowledge—the fundamentals upon which we have built our reputation—remain the same.”

About Freeman Health System
Based in Joplin, Missouri, Freeman Health System is the area’s only locally owned, not-for-profit health system, serving southwest Missouri, southeast Kansas, northeast Oklahoma, and northwest Arkansas. Freeman provides comprehensive healthcare and behavioral health services, including cancer care, heart and vascular care, neurosciences, orthopaedics, and women’s services, with more than 300 physicians representing 60 specialties. For more information, visit or, or follow Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer Paula Baker at