President and Chief Executive Officer
Paula Baker is the President and Chief Executive Officer of Freeman Health System, a 460-bed health system headquartered in Joplin, Missouri. Previously, Paula served as CEO of Ozark Center, Joplin, Missouri, from 2003-2008, where she was the guiding force behind the development of Ozark Center for Autism and continues to provide executive leadership for the program.
Honors include the Missouri Hospital Association Visionary Leadership Award; Joplin Citizen of the Year; Pittsburg State University Outstanding Alumni; Pittsburg State University Meritorious Achievement Award; Making a Difference to Women Award; 2008 Women of Distinction; Hero in Healthcare Award; Ten Most Influential Women; and recognition by the Missouri House of Representatives for distinguished leadership in behavioral healthcare.
Additionally, Paula was appointed to the Task Force for Examining Statewide Medicaid Delivery Models, the American Hospital Association Regional Policy Board and the Missouri Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorders. She serves on the Pittsburg State University Foundation Board of Trustees and on the boards of Ronald McDonald House Charities of the Four States, Arvest Bank, Connect-2-Culture, Joplin Regional Prosperity Initiative Advisory Council, Missouri Hospital Association, Healthcare Services Group, VHA Mid-America and Mid-America Service Solutions.
Paula holds a bachelor’s degree in secondary education and a master’s in clinical psychology from Pittsburg State University.