Freeman News

FEMA Show-Me Hope Grant Funds Pandemic Mental Healthcare

June 26, 2020

Ozark Center, Joplin and McDonald County Health Departments Unite in Effort

Joplin, Mo – “This program is proving vital to helping people deal with trauma from natural disasters. Now it also includes the COVID-19 pandemic,” says Debbie Fitzgerald, Ozark Center Director of Crisis Services and Show-Me Hope Program Manager.

The Show-Me Hope FEMA CCP grant 4490 expands funding for the team to provide psychological first aid, emotional support and referral services as part of a Community COVID response to the ongoing pandemic.  

At Ozark Center, eleven staff have been working on the Show-Me Hope Community Crisis Counseling grant, which funds services through August 18, 2020, for spring 2019 storm survivors. The new funding under grant 4490 expands the team to include services for the entire community and their response to the pandemic. 

Fitzgerald says, “The earlier grants allowed us to do face-to-face and recently telehealth outreach with victims of last year’s natural disasters, while the addition of this new grant works to help those struggling with anxiety, sleep issues, increasing frustration and irritation from our new way of life, which can include isolation, parenting struggles, relationship issues and other behavioral health issues exacerbated by state-at-home orders and quarantine due to the coronavirus.”

Ozark Center is working with the Joplin Health Department and McDonald County Health Department to help provide check-in calls and support for those in isolation and/or quarantine.



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 2019, 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 2019. With more than 300 physicians on staff representing more than 70 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