Freeman News

Freeman Announces Winners of Nursing Spirit Awards

October 01, 2020

Red Carpet Reception Supports Nursing Education Fund

Joplin, MO – Nursing Spirit Awards nominees are nominated by their peers and represent the best of the best in nursing. Freeman Health System presented six nurses with Spirit Awards at a red-carpet reception Thursday, October 1. Winners were named in four categories: Spirit of Excellence, Spirit of Leadership, Spirit of Quality and Safety, or Spirit of Service.

“It means a lot because I stand shoulder to shoulder with those who nominated me,” says Crystal Witherspoon, Spirit of Service award winner. “It is simply an honor to be able to do this job because I have a heart for it.”

More than sixty Freeman nurses were nominated. The winners are:

  • Spirit of Service – Crystal Witherspoon
  • Spirit of Quality & Safety – Janay Jones
  • Spirit of Leadership – Nathan Cantwell
  • Spirit of Excellence LPN – Kimberly Vanmeter
  • Spirit of Excellence RN – Megan Noah
  • Spirit of Excellence APRN – Darla Easter


Three nominees were given the Spirit of Excellence award, which recognizes nurses who embody the essence of the nursing profession and is the highest achievement within the Spirit Awards. These individuals consistently demonstrate the Freeman 5-Star Promise – ownership, professionalism, teamwork, compassion and communication – in all they do.

A group photo of the winners is attached.

Photo information: Jeanee Kennedy, Vice President Nursing Services, Darla Easter, Janay Jones, Nathan Cantwell, Megan Noah, Crystal Witherspoon, Kimberly Vanmeter, Dr. Dennis Estep, Chief Medical Officer




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. 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