Freeman News

AT&T Presents $5,000 Check to Bill & Virginia Leffen Center for Autism

April 09, 2021

Presenting Sponsor for 14th Annual Walk for Autism Awareness

Joplin, MO – AT&T is contributing $5,000 to the Bill & Virginia Leffen Center 14th Annual Walk for Autism Awareness. The contribution will benefit program development and scholarship assistance at Bill & Virginia Leffen Center for Autism. 

This year, the Freeman 5K is joining forces with Leffen Center for the annual Autism Awareness Walk.

“Autism spectrum disorders impact and affect families from all walks of life,” said Paula Baker, President and CEO of Freeman Health System. “We’re thankful that AT&T has partnered with us to ensure that financial need is not an obstacle to receiving diagnostic, treatment and therapeutic services.”

Bill & Virginia Leffen Center offers gold-standard diagnostic, treatment and education services for individuals with autism spectrum disorders. Developed in consultation with the Cleveland Clinic Autism Consulting Group, Bill & Virginia Leffen Center for Autism is one of only a few treatment centers of its caliber. The center consistently demonstrates excellent outcomes regarding progress in communication, learning and social development and meaningful behavior. The highly trained staff uses Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), an evidenced-based practice proven to be effective in the treatment of autism.

“AT&T is pleased for this opportunity to contribute to the good work done by the Leffen Center,” said Craig Unruh, President of AT&T Missouri. “We’re thankful for the continued care provided by the professionals who are devoted to making a difference in these families lives.”

“There is a wealth of excellent research and work being done to improve the diagnosis and early treatment of the wide spectrum of autism disorders,” said Sen. Bill White. “I’m grateful to the healthcare professionals devoted to this effort and companies like AT&T for recognizing the value this type of care brings to our community.”

The Freeman 5K and Walk for Autism Awareness is Saturday, April 24 at Leffen Center (2808 S. Picher Ave). You can register online at or call 417.347.7850 for more information.




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 2020, 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 named Freeman Health System the Best Hospital in Southwest Missouri for 2020-2021. With more than 320 physicians on staff representing more than 80 specialties, Freeman provides cancer care, heart 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

About Philanthropy & Social Innovation at AT&T

AT&T Inc. is committed to advancing education, strengthening communities and improving lives. Through its community initiatives, AT&T has a long history of investing in projects that create learning opportunities; promote academic and economic achievement; or address community needs. The company’s signature philanthropic initiative, AT&T Aspire, drives innovation in education to promote student success in school and beyond. With a financial commitment of $500 million since 2008, AT&T is leveraging technology, relationships and social innovation to help all students make their biggest dreams a reality.