Freeman Announces Parade Grand Marshals
November 18, 2021
Local Twin Brothers Are National Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Champions
JOPLIN, Mo. – Freeman Health System is proud to announce its parade grand marshals – Isaac and Easton Howard. The seven-year-old twins were recently named National Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals® Champions. Freeman is one of 125 Children’s Miracle Network (CMN) Hospitals in the country, and the Howard boys now represent CMN hospitals nationwide.
“We’re honored to have CMN’s national champions as grand marshals of the Joplin Christmas Parade this year,” said Paula F. Baker, Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer. “It’s especially fitting because Isaac and Easton have received life-changing services right here at Freeman since they were infants. They’re part our CMN family, and we look forward to seeing them grow and thrive throughout their lives.”
Isaac and Easton have been helped by CMN with equipment, nutritional needs, travel expenses and two service dogs since 2014, when they were just five-days-old. Their first service dog, Murphy, recently retired and was replaced with Ace, who just finished his training. Isaac has also received services at the Bill and Virginia Leffen Center for Autism.
“Because the Joplin Christmas parade benefits our local Children’s Miracle Network, I can’t think of a more fitting connection than to have Isaac and Easton, along with their service dog Ace, as the Grand Marshals for this year’s parade,” said Ryan Melton, Freeman Interim Executive Director of Development.
Children’s Miracle Network Hospital at Freeman Health System raises funds for local children and families. These individuals receive assistance with medical needs, such as prescriptions, medical equipment and specialty care. Funds are also raised to support equipment, medical supplies, educational programs and more for Freeman pediatric and maternal/child departments, including Freeman Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), Freeman Maternity Center and pediatric departments. One hundred percent of every dollar raised locally stays local – donations help children and their families in 14 counties in Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas.
Parade coordinators and the boys’ mother LauRae Howard are available for interview at
4:30 pm on Monday, November 22.
Media interested should contact Lisa Olliges at 417.434.3458.
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 freemanhealth.com.