Freeman Medical Musings Blog

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As the leaders of healthcare in Joplin and surrounding areas, you rely on us to keep your informed and healthy. Locally Owned, Nationally Recognized means we're here for you every step of the way. 

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man cutting vegetables

Sep 09, 2021

Superfoods For A Healthy Prostate

Socrates gave wise advice when he said, “Let food be thy medicine.” Indeed, what men eat can make a positive, or negative, difference to their prostate health.

During Prostate Health Awareness Month, we’re reminded there’s strong evidence good nutrition, and an active lifestyle, can boost your prostate health, reduce the likelihood of prostate cancer and slow its progression.

“For prostate health, a heart healthy balanced diet is a prostate healthy diet. Enjoying fresh fruits and vegetables and drinking at least 64 ounces of water per day is a good start,” explained Ashley Southern-Devoe. Nurse Practitioner at Freeman Urology Associates. “Remember to drink coffee, soda, black tea and alcohol in moderation since they can exacerbate urinary symptoms.” 

Eating a variety of colorful foods and increasing intake of anti-inflammatory foods and antioxidants, may go a long way to protecting the prostate and preventing prostate cancer. Recommended changes from the Prostate Cancer Foundation include a diet high in colorful vegetables, low in sugar and processed carbohydrates and moderate in animal-based protein (taking advantage of the health benefits of beans, nuts, soy, and certain fish). Some might refer to this as a version of the Mediterranean Diet. Other healthy foods choices include:

Cruciferous Vegetables

Things like cabbage, bok choy, kale, cauliflower and Brussels sprouts are high in antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Broccoli, often hailed as prostate super food, contains Glucpraphanin, a phytochemical researchers suggest can convert to substances that potentially target and prevent cancer cell growth. Studies suggest that eating cruciferous vegetables can also lower inflammation, which is related to the risk of getting prostate cancer.


Strawberries, blackberries, blueberries and raspberries are full of antioxidants that help neutralize and remove free radicals from the body.


Certain cold-water fish such as salmon, sardines and trout provide the “good fats” that don’t trigger inflammation the same way as saturated animal fats such as beef fat. Recently, scientists have begun to see inflammation within the prostate as a dangerous condition that can make it easier for cancer to take hold. Keep in mind, not all fish is created equal. Canned tuna, shrimp, lobster, scallops and “other” fish are more inflammatory than “dark-meat” fish like salmon or red snapper. For those not wild about fish, try replacing animal fat with vegetable fat.

Cooked Tomatoes

Tomatoes are one food that’s been on the list for prostate health for years because the lycopene in tomatoes is a powerful antioxidant. The cooking process makes it easier for men’s bodies to access the antioxidant and send it to the prostate. Tomato paste and juice can help men’s bodies as well. By the way, cooking tomatoes in olive oil, helps the body absorb lycopene.

Green Tea

Green tea is another source of antioxidants which are believed to be anti-carcinogenic and anti-mutagenic. A systematic review of multiple studies published in Medicine® (Baltimore) suggested men who drank seven cups of green tea per day had a decreased risk of prostate cancer.

Living well, with healthy eating and lifestyle habits, can go a long way to reduce prostate cancer risk. According to the National Cancer Institute (NCI), prostate cancer is the most common cancer and the second leading cause of cancer death among men in the United States. So, it’s worth taking the time when grocery shopping, preparing meals and going out to eat, to make smart food choices for better prostate health.

The Prostate Cancer Foundation (PCF) challenges Americans to show their support for men affected by prostate cancer by taking a simple challenge to eat 30 healthy foods during Prostate Cancer Awareness Month in September. PCF’s “Eat It to Beat It” campaign is a national effort to raise awareness about prostate cancer and show that making healthy lifestyle choices can potentially reduce the risk for developing prostate cancer and improving outcomes.

Ashley Southern-Devoe, MSN, APRN, FNP-C, at Freeman Urology Associates, is devoted to providing patients the opportunity to express their concerns and getting their questions answered. The team at Freeman Urology Associates, including Drs. James Frogge and David Anderson, specialize in high-quality care and offering information on the latest treatment and therapy options to help men live a healthier life. For more information about having regular screenings for optimal prostate health, call 417.347.3703 or visit


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Breastfeeding mother

Aug 24, 2021

A Celebration of the Breastfeeding Journey

August is National Breastfeeding Month and a celebration of the breastfeeding journey many mothers choose to take after having a baby.

Breastfeeding is an excellent way to provide babies with the nourishment their little bodies need as they grow. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that babies be breastfed for at least a year, with an introduction of solid foods at six months.

Colostrum, mother's first milk, is a concentrated source of nutrients and disease-fighting antibodies. As the baby grows, a mother’s breastmilk changes to meet her child’s nutritional needs, increasing in volume as baby gets older. The content of breastmilk also changes during baby’s growth spurts (increased fat content) and illnesses (increased antibodies), and it even changes from day to night, with milk at night containing more elements that will help baby sleep well. No matter the stage, though, breastfeeding can also reduce a child's risk of ear infections, respiratory infections, colds, gut infections, childhood cancers, diabetes and even SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome), just to name a few.

There are also many benefits to breastfeeding for mothers. Breastfeeding promotes faster weight loss, helps contract the uterus back to pre-pregnancy size, helps with postpartum blood loss and can reduce the risk of female cancers. Additionally, breastmilk is free, always available and never gets recalled.

If a mother decides to breastfeed, Freeman Certified Lactation Consultants are available throughout their journey. We offer prenatal breastfeeding classes (currently cancelled due to COVID-19), breastfeeding assistance throughout the hospital stay and outpatient services for any problems or questions that may arise after going home. Our services are available to all individuals, even those who may have delivered at other locations.

For more information about Freeman Lactation Services, call 417.347.1067.

About the author

Rachel Jobe, BS, IBCLC, is a lactation consultant at Freeman.

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construction workers

Aug 09, 2021

Keeping the Four States Working

Occupational Medicine in Joplin, Missouri

Healthy workers are safer workers! Led by a board-certified occupational medicine physician, the occupational health specialists at Freeman OccuMed dedicate their careers to improving and maintaining employees’ health at work. Staying healthy and being safe at work leads to fewer accidents, reducing stress and giving employees more time to enjoy life. OccuMed uses evidence-based practices shown to improve outcomes and reduce lost time at work.

OccuMed is committed to patient-focused care, enhancing worker safety by minimizing workplace hazards, and improving job satisfaction by helping employees return to whole health, and to work, as quickly as possible.

"We improve the health of the communities we serve by tailoring a personal plan for employees during the lifespan of their career, from starting as a new hire through to enjoying a retirement full of wellness,” said Kathryn Charlton, Freeman OccuMed Director of Operations. “Over 450 area businesses partner with OccuMed to be their high quality, fair-cost solution for work injury prevention and treatment.”

Freeman OccuMed compassionately cares for employees of diverse work environments at each stage of employment by providing:

  • Drug and alcohol testing to support a drug-free workplace.
  • Physicals to match workers to jobs they can safely perform.
  • Specialty physical exams (DOT, hazmat, forklift, respiratory and more) so employees can enter or remain in a chosen career.
  • Timely referrals to other specialties keeping workers on the road to recovery.
  • Monitoring for hearing loss, exposure to hazardous materials and respiratory protection programs to maintain OSHA compliance.
  • Workers’ compensation injury care, physical therapy and comprehensive case management to rehab injured employees and return them to work.
  • Ergonomic evaluations to teach proper body mechanics for lifting and carrying to reduce injuries.
  • Telemedicine to enable workers to connect with a physician without having to go to a clinic.


Freeman OccuMed is pleased to welcome Dr. Dennis Estep, Medical Director, who has over 25 years of experience working with area companies and industries and providing care to regional employees. We’re confident Dr. Estep will both enhance OccuMed’s daily operations and future growth. Call Tera Lankard, Employer Relations Manager, at 417.347.6950, to schedule a tour of OccuMed and learn what we can do for your business and your employees.

Three convenient Freeman OccuMed locations:

3201 McClelland Boulevard

336 South Jefferson Street

1500 South Case Street

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Tuberculosis Day png

Mar 24, 2021

Take A Deep Breath and Learn More About TB

A breath of fresh air is a great thing, and on World TB (tuberculosis) Day, we’re reminded of the importance of breathing with confidence.

Each year on March 24, World TB Day raises public awareness and understanding about the disease. According to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, TB is a health threat that’s far from gone and still a major health risk around the globe. Approximately 15 million people in the U.S. are infected with the disease and without intervention, approximately 10% of those people will develop TB, and that can affect those of us living in the four-state region.

“Typically, babies and young children, people infected with HIV or chronic disease(s), the elderly, people with a compromised or weak immune system and those who spend long periods of time near others with TB are more at risk,” explained Grant Pierson, DO. “TB is a contagious infection that usually attaches to the lungs and can spread to other parts of the body such as the brain and spine. It’s transmitted from person to person in the air, often via coughing and sneezing, and people nearby may breathe in the bacteria and become infected.”

Those infected typically have had close, daily contact with someone who has the disease, such as a family member, friend or co-worker. You're not likely to get infected from someone coughing in line at the store or at a restaurant and items such as dishes, drinking glasses, clothing or sheets don’t spread TB. In most people who become infected, the body can fight the bacteria from growing. Then, the bacteria become inactive, although they remain alive in the body and can become active later. This is called latent TB infection (LTBI).

Many people who have latent TB infection never develop TB disease and the TB bacteria remain inactive for a lifetime without causing disease. In other people, especially those who have weak immune systems, the bacteria become active and cause TB disease. People with LTBI can take medicine so that they’ll never develop TB disease. Symptoms of TB commonly include coughing up phlegm or blood, having a consistent fever, night sweats, chest pain, unexplained weight loss and fatigue.

Breathing well is a blessing each and every day. If you think you are experiencing labored breathing or symptoms of TB, the Freeman Lung Institute can help you determine the healthiest options forward. The Lung Institute specializes in high-quality care and offers information on the latest treatment and therapy options to help their patients live a stronger life. Talk to your primary care physician about your lung health today or call our office at 417.347.8315 or visit

About the Author

Grant Pierson, DO, specializes in pulmonary and sleep medicine. He earned his medical degree from the Kansas City University of Medicine & Biosciences in Kansas City, Missouri; performed his residency at St. John Medical Center in Westlake, Ohio; and completed his pulmonary critical care medicine fellowship at Parkview Medical Center in Pueblo, Colorado. He completed his sleep medicine fellowship at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, Kansas. He is currently seeing patients at the Freeman Lung Institute.

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Kidney Care image

Mar 18, 2021

Managing Chronic Kidney Disease

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects 1 in 7 Americans and presents without any noticeable symptoms in the vast majority of patients upon initial diagnosis.

When referred to the clinic, many of my patients do not realize that their CKD is something they may have already had or have been at risk for quite some time.

Our kidneys are responsible for a number of functions: filtering blood for toxins, removing waste and excess fluids from our body, regulating blood pressure, balancing important electrolytes and minerals, keeping acids in balance, and stimulating red blood cell production, amongst many other processes. When our kidneys are compromised in their ability to carry out any of these tasks, the consequences can be debilitating and even life-threatening.

CKD progresses from stage 1 to stage 5, after which point patients require kidney replacement therapy in the form of dialysis or kidney transplant. Unfortunately, many patients are at risk to progress very quickly to kidney failure, whereas others can maintain stable kidney function or worsen only very gradually. Disease progression can often be slowed down when patients take an active role in making healthy lifestyle changes.

The most common causes of CKD in Americans are diabetes and high blood pressure. Roughly 37% of the US population have either diabetes or pre-diabetes, and 45% of US adults have high blood pressure. Both diseases are perpetuated by unhealthy lifestyle choices.

Making strides towards more disciplined food selections, portion-control, increasing physical activity, and eliminating smoking will help decrease the risk of CKD. These healthy lifestyle choices can also slow CKD progression.

While smoking is a well-known cause of cancer, it is important for patients to understand that it also leads to heart, lung and kidney disease as well. Smoking increases blood pressure and narrows blood vessels in various organs, decreasing oxygen and precious nutrients that are vital to normal body functioning.

Always let your doctor know if you are taking additional supplements or over-the-counter medications. Be sure to take medications only as prescribed. Many medications can be affected by CKD if the kidneys cannot process those substances as a result of being damaged. Likewise, some medications contribute to developing CKD such as antacid medications and the nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Examples of antacids that can affect CKD risk are pantoprazole, omeprazole and esomeprazole. Examples of NSAIDs are ibuprofen, naproxen, Advil®, Aleve®, Motrin®, Mobic® (also known as meloxicam) and Celebrex® (also known as celecoxib).

In the kidney clinic, we are careful to make sure our patients are on the correct medications and doses for their kidney function. We work with you to make the necessary adjustments to ensure you have the information you need to understand what steps you can take to regain control of your health.

Meet regularly with your healthcare provider to screen for risk factors for kidney disease. You may benefit from a kidney consultation.



Patients who require dialysis management face several changes, and with those changes sometimes come unexpected challenges. Freeman Health System helps dialysis patients who are in financial need through the Freeman Kidney Fund, which has been used to help patients with transportation, acquiring medications and other aspects of treatment. The March O’ The Kidney Walk is an annual fundraising event for the Freeman Kidney Fund. We are excited to announce this will be held May 8, 2021. You can register at We look forward to seeing you there.

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Nutrition Month Blog Post 2021

Mar 10, 2021

Personalize Your Plate to Meet Nutrition Needs

When you think about healthy eating, what comes to mind?

Do you picture an endless parade of grilled chicken and bland salads? Or maybe you think of the seemingly boundless string of diets? Fat free, keto, plant-based, intermittent fasting and every other diet seem to have an expert who endorses it. All of this can become confusing and overwhelming.

To combat this barrage of conflicting information, each March is National Nutrition Month. This campaign is from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics and promotes nutrition education. This year’s theme is “Personalize Your Plate.” Healthful eating is not one-size-fits-all, but there are some common elements in healthy eating patterns. Below are four ideas to help you get started:

Eat a Variety of Foods from Many Different Food Groups

Look for a rainbow of vibrant colors in fruits and vegetables. Fresh, frozen, canned and dried all have their place in a healthy diet. Consider mixing it up with protein by adding nuts, seeds and beans. Variety in foods is a great way to add essential vitamins and minerals. For more ideas, visit

Take Time to Enjoy the Food You Eat

Limiting distractions by turning off the TV or computer is a great first step, but have you tried “setting the mood?” Try setting the table with your favorite dishes, sharing the meal with people you love or lighting some candles.

Select Foods that Make You Feel Good

Eating with food allergies, intolerances or with chronic disease can provide an extra challenge. Learning to eat in ways that support your underlying health conditions can take time and feel defeating, but when you listen to your body’s feedback, you can begin to personalize and enjoy your diet.

Plan Ahead

Keep a grocery list going on paper or in an app in your phone. Buy foods that are easy to grab for a quick snack or that can be packed easily. Create menus that use leftovers in new ways. For example, tonight’s roasted chicken can become tomorrow’s chicken and veggie noodles.

If you need help with setting individualized eating plans, please seek the advice of a registered dietitian nutritionist or your physician.


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bariatric surgery patient on scale

Jan 07, 2021

Transform Your Life In The New Year With The LAP-BAND ® System

You may want to be able to enjoy a morning stroll, go for a second honeymoon or chase your kids around the yard. Or you may just want to feel better, both physically and emotionally. But first you must lose the extra weight – safely and intelligently.

If you struggle with obesity, the adjustable gastric band (LAP-BAND) surgery at Freeman’s Bariatric Center is highly effective at helping patients lose significant weight and transforming their lives with weight loss that lasts.

The minimally-invasive procedure places the band around the stomach to reduce the amount of food a person can eat at one time. During the procedure, surgeons make small incisions in the upper abdomen before inserting a silicone ring with an expandable balloon around the upper section of the stomach. It creates a small stomach pouch, which helps the patient feel full sooner with a smaller amount of food.

The band can be adjusted to enable patients to increase or decrease the amount of food they can eat at any given time. The procedure can even be reversed by removing the band through additional surgery.

On average, patients can initially lose 65% of their excess body weight within the first year after undergoing lap-band surgery and 70% two years after surgery. Patients may also see an average loss of six inches off both their hips and waist. Results vary widely, depending on the motivation and compliance of the patient. For example, patients who follow the advice of their bariatric surgeon, maintain a balanced and healthy diet and exercise regularly will generally see better results than a patient who reverts to old habits.

Those who commit to making the correct lifestyle choices can expect to lose anywhere from two to three pounds every week on average. Over the long-term, this will drop to around one pound every week.

To be eligible for lap-band surgery, a patient must meet their specific insurance guidelines and requirements. Most plans require a body mass index (BMI) of 40 or higher, or a BMI minimum of 35, with qualifying health problems such as high blood pressure, diabetes or sleep apnea. Some plans will also recognize back or joint issues of the knees or hips.

Freeman Bariatric Center has been recognized as a Center of Excellence (COE) through the Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery Accreditation and Quality Improvement Program (MBSAQIP). With this accolade, the program was recently approved as a Blue Distinction Center for Bariatrics. These honorary designations are evidence that the Freeman Bariatric Center offers a quality, comprehensive bariatric program serving the Four State region with reputable professional staff to deliver the best possible care.

About the Author

Janice Drake, a registered nurse and Freeman Bariatric Program Coordinator, assists weight loss surgery patients from start to finish. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Oklahoma Wesleyan University in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. Working in the operating room for 30 years, Janice served as a surgical technician, a circulating nurse and a charge nurse. Then, she transitioned to bariatric surgery at the inception of the program.

The Freeman Bariatric Center specializes in performing safe and proven weight-loss procedures, using the most minimally invasive techniques possible. Additionally, the group offers educational information on the latest bariatric treatments and surgery options to help patients live a healthier life and achieve their goals. Talk to your primary care physician about bariatric surgery options,  call Janice at 417.347.1266 or visit

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Doctor holding patients hand

Nov 06, 2020

Providing The Highest Quality Care For Our Loved Ones With Hospice And Palliative Care

November is National Hospice and Palliative Care Month

Every November, we recognize National Hospice and Palliative Care Month helping our community understand how important hospice and palliative care can be before you or a loved one are facing a medical crisis.

Hospice and palliative care combine high-quality medical care with the emotional and spiritual support families need most when facing a serious or terminal illness. Palliative care offers comfort and support earlier in the course of a serious illness. Hospice brings patients and family caregivers high-quality, compassionate care and support when a cure is not possible. Together, palliative care and hospice can help people live each moment of life to the fullest!

As we raise awareness and reflect about hospice and palliative care, here are five useful facts about hospice and palliative care and how they can improve the last stages of life for patients and loved ones.

1. Hospice care and palliative care are not the same.

Palliative care is specialized medical care for those living with a serious illness, such as advanced heart failure, cancer, dementia, chronic liver disease, COPD or severe kidney disease.  Palliative care works to improve quality of life through symptom management and can be provided alongside curative treatments. Quality of life has different meanings to different people. The Freeman palliative care team will discuss what quality of life means to the patient and help the patient sort through different treatment options to find the one that best suits their goals of care. 

Hospice is a program funded through Medicare, and most insurances, for people who have a prognosis that could be less than six months and aggressive life-prolonging treatments are no longer benefiting the patient. The main goal is focused on comfort and quality of life and is achieved through a holistic team approach that includes a registered nurse, nurse aid, social worker, chaplain and volunteers overseen by a physician. Different team members visit throughout the week to ensure the patient’s needs are met, whether they are at home, a nursing facility or hospital. 

2. Medicare covers hospice and might cover palliative care.

Hospice is a Medicare benefit and is covered 100%. Most private insurances and Medicaid programs cover hospice services as well. This includes all team members, medications required for symptom management and equipment. A person must have a prognosis of six months to qualify for hospice, although, some people may live longer and will still qualify for hospice services. 

In-home palliative care services may be categorized as palliative care or home health services.  Coverage is based on individual insurance plans.  Some home health or hospice teams may provide in-home palliative care services for those who are not yet appropriate for hospice. 

Freeman Health System offers an embedded palliative care program within the main hospital and an outpatient clinic. Both the inpatient program and the outpatient clinic file with Medicare, Medicaid and insurances. 

3. Hospice and palliative care are not just for people with cancer.

We often think of cancer patients as the ones in need of hospice and palliative care, but anyone with a chronic condition can benefit from this personalized attention. The goal with each is to improve the quality of life, which in turn, can help maintain or improve those with chronic/debilitating diseases such as dementia, Alzheimer’s, stroke, neurological disorders and end-stage heart, lung or kidney disease.

4. Hospice is for the entire family.

Hospice not only supports the patient but supports the entire family. Family members appreciate having a hospice team available 24 hours a day by phone in case there is a medical emergency. Once the patient passes, the hospice bereavement coordinator follows up with family for support. 

5. Hospice care is offered in the home.

When treatments are no longer effective or causing more harm than good, many patients can return to their daily activities in the comfort of their own home. This way, they can be surrounded by the people and things they love. All equipment and medical supplies brought into the home are covered by the Medicare hospice benefit. Respite services, up to five days a month, are available for caregiver breaks as needed.

Freeman’s highly trained palliative care professionals ensure patients and families find dignity, respect and love during life’s most difficult journey. They encourage patients and their families to complete an advance directive to document and share end of life wishes. The Freeman palliative care team is available to discuss and assist in filling out these documents for those who need assistance. Advance care planning involves talking about the care you would and would not want. 

The Freeman palliative care program assists with pain management, symptom control, psychosocial support and spiritual care to patients and their families at all stages of illnesses. These programs combine the highest level of quality medical care with the emotional and spiritual support that families need most when facing a serious illness or the end of life. For more information regarding Freeman’s palliative care services, call 417.347.4094.

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Physical Rehabilitation

Oct 07, 2020

Move Better And Feel Better With Freeman Physical Rehabilitation

Every October, Freeman celebrates National Physical Therapy Month (NPTM).

Every October, Freeman celebrates National Physical Therapy Month (NPTM) – a time when we recognize our dedicated Freeman physical therapists (PTs) and physical therapist assistants (PTAs) who help transform people’s lives by restoring and improving their motion.

Movement and exercise are fundamental to leading a healthy and happy life! Freeman PTs and PTAs can identify factors that prevent patients from being as active as possible and find ways to help them overcome obstacles so they can be well, mobile and self-sufficient. Freeman PTs and PTAs play an integral role in helping our patients be healthy and encourage everyone to choose physical therapy in their battles against pain, limited mobility and other ailments. Physical therapy can also help individuals combat future injury and chronic disease.

It’s very rewarding to have the opportunity to make a positive impact in someone’s life,” explained Jeff Borum, Director of Rehabilitation Services at Freeman. “Whether it’s from an accident/injury, chronic condition or a planned procedure, we get to help patients regain their confidence, independence and freedom.”

While focusing on the physical ailments, Freeman therapists help patients with strengthening, balance and endurance and also serve as motivators to tackle the emotional and mental components for long-term success.

“Freeman has passionate physical therapists ready to treat patients in a variety of settings,” said Borum. “From Outpatient/Sports to patients in the hospital and pediatrics to work injury therapy, there are skilled clinicians available to meet our community’s needs!”

National Physical Therapy Month is an important time to raise awareness about the key role PTs and PTAs play in helping people find relief from pain, improve mobility and overall functional ability, and live healthier, more physically able lives. If you feel a physical therapist could benefit you, talk to your primary care provider for a referral. Freeman physical therapist professionals are ready to help you take that next step towards moving and feeling better!

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Urgent Behavioral Services Room

Sep 21, 2020

Pioneering Behavioral Solutions

As an urgent care for behavioral health issues, UBS is the first and only program of its kind in the area.

There is a significant gap in emergency behavioral health care in our community. Our community, like many others, has had good options for addressing behavioral health crises. Ozark Center maintains a Crisis Line (800.247.0661) that offers hotline counseling or in-person assessment. Local emergency rooms have always provided behavioral health assessment for urgent matters 24/7. However, people experiencing mental illness often have difficulties accessing timely ambulatory behavioral health care, contributing to an overreliance on emergency departments. Ozark Center Urgent Behavioral Services (UBS) will soon fill this gap, beginning October 1.

As an urgent care for behavioral health issues, UBS is the first and only program of its kind in the area. Behavioral health urgent cares like UBS enable better monitoring of patients and reduce risk of self-harm. The less-rushed environment allows for increased time to gain diagnostic clarity and develop alternatives to hospitalization, potentially avoiding a conventional psychiatric inpatient admission.

While the idea of behavioral health urgent care is trending across the United States, not many are operating yet. This makes Ozark Center a pioneer in the field and allows customization of the program to meet the unique needs of our community.

The environment at UBS is trauma-informed, meaning it emphasizes physical, psychological and emotional safety to help individuals rebuild a sense of control and empowerment. This difference in environment is apparent everywhere you look in our UBS facility – from spacious exam rooms with sofas and recliners to private waiting areas. Throughout the building, you’ll also find comforting color schemes and calming local art.

Additionally, UBS is an integrated medical care facility, so co-occurring physical issues can be addressed in tandem with behavioral health needs. The UBS team includes mental health professionals as well as primary care providers, case managers and certified peer specialists, enabling providers to treat the whole person.

UBS is a great option for those experiencing:

  • Increasing levels of depression, anxiety, psychosis and/or sleep disturbance
  • Urgent need(s) and unable to access same-day appointment
  • Substance use issues
  • Running out of psychiatric medication
  • Missed behavioral health appointments with providers


Located at 3230 Wisconsin Ave, Suite A, Joplin, MO, UBS will be open 11:00 am – 9:00 pm Monday – Friday and 1:00 pm – 9:00 pm Saturday and Sunday. Learn more about the program at


About the author

Vicky Mieseler, MS, BCCP, NCP, has been with Ozark Center since 1984. In that time, she has held the positions of substance use counselor, adult psychologist, crisis coordinator, director of community care, director of family preservation services, director of New Directions, director of crisis services and vice president of clinical services. In 2017, she was promoted to chief administrative officer of Ozark Center. Mieseler has been a licensed psychologist in Missouri since 1993 and a nationally certified psychologist since 1997.

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