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Ozark Center Honored with Flag of Freedom Award

January 04, 2017

Ozark Center, an entity of Freeman Health System, was presented with the Flag of Freedom award from the Missouri Division of Workforce Development for its efforts in hiring military veterans through the Show-Me Heroes program. Started in 2010 by Governor Jay Nixon, Show-Me Heroes is a statewide effort to expand employment opportunities for veterans, active service members and their spouses.

The Flag of Freedom plaque features an American flag patch worn by a Missouri National Guard soldier or Airman while deployed in operations in Afghanistan or Iraq. This award is presented to businesses actively participating in the Show-Me Heroes program.

(left to right) Paula F. Baker, Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer; Mary Parrigon, Ozark Center Executive Director; Adrian Hopper, Missouri Division of Workforce Development Veterans’ Representative

About Ozark Center

An integral component of Freeman Health System based in Joplin, Mo., 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.

About Freeman Health System
Locally owned, not-for-profit and nationally recognized, Freeman Health System includes Freeman Hospital West, Freeman Hospital East, Freeman Neosho Hospital and Ozark Center – the area’s largest provider of behavioral health services – as well as two urgent care clinics, dozens of physician clinics and a variety of specialty services. In 2017, Freeman earned dozens of individual awards for medical excellence and patient safety from CareChex®, a quality rating system that helps consumers evaluate healthcare providers. U.S. News & World Report ranked Freeman one of the top Hospitals in Southwest Missouri more than four years in a row, and the Leapfrog Group awarded Freeman the highest grade possible in the Fall 2016 Hospital Patient Safety Score. With more than 300 physicians on staff representing more than 60 specialties, Freeman provides cancer care, heart and vascular care, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopaedics, children’s services and women’s services. Additionally, Freeman is the only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in a 70-mile radius. For more information, visit or or follow Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer Paula Baker at