Freeman honored for organ and tissue donation efforts

Tuesday, November 27, 2012 - Freeman honored for organ and tissue donation efforts

JOPLIN, Mo.—Freeman Health System was one of two hospitals recognized by the Missouri Hospital Association (MHA) for its exceptional leadership in raising awareness of organ and tissue donation and transplantation. Freeman received a Donate Life Award for the Midwest Transplant Network region. 

Despite the significant increase in inpatient and outpatient activity following the May 2011 tornado, Freeman’s commitment to donation and transplantation education did not waiver. Freeman maintains an active donation council that supports innovation in promoting donation and awareness activities throughout the health system. The council initiated fundraising activities to provide roses for the Donate Life float in the Tournament of Roses Parade in Pasadena, Calif. Freeman has consistently been listed as one of the top hospitals in the country for the number of donors honored on the float. Freeman also created a “Tree of Honor” memorial—dedicated in 2011—that now hangs in the lobby of Freeman Hospital West.

Paula Baker, Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer, recently accepted this award on behalf of the health system during the Missouri Hospital Association 90th Annual Convention & Trade Show in Osage Beach, Mo. Barnes-Jewish Hospital in St. Louis was also recognized with a Donate Life Award for its promotion of organ and tissue donation and transplantation.

Freeman was also one of 20 hospitals in Missouri that recently received the Medal of Honor for Organ Donation from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This distinction honors hospitals and organ procurement organizations that achieve and sustain a donation rate of 75 percent or more.

MHA is a not-for-profit association in Jefferson City, Mo., representing 154 Missouri hospitals. In addition to representation and advocacy on behalf of its members, the association offers continuing education programs on current healthcare topics and seeks to educate the public about healthcare issues.

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