Freeman News

Freeman Clinic of Anderson Adds Full-Time Family Practice Physician

February 28, 2022

Dr. Justin Dillingham Says Rural Clinic is Perfect Fit

JOPLIN, Mo. – Freeman Health System is bringing a full-time family practice physician to the Freeman Clinic of Anderson to meet the needs of the entire community.

“We know it’s very inconvenient traveling outside of your hometown to see a physician,” said Renee Denton, Freeman Neosho Hospital Chief Operating Officer. “We’re very excited to have Dr. Justin Dillingham, family practice physician, join Rebecca Bender, nurse practitioner, full-time at Freeman Clinic of Anderson to serve larger volumes of patients and care for the entire family from birth to end of life.”

Dr. Dillingham grew up in Haskell, Oklahoma, and said joining the Freeman Clinic of Anderson, Missouri, is a perfect fit for him.

“I’m a small-town person,” said Dr. Dillingham. “So, it is like getting back to my roots. It is a perfect spot for me to help people get as healthy as they can be.”

“Anderson is a growing community,” said Gary Wasson, Anderson resident. “With McDonald County High School located here, Anderson is like the hub of a 23,000-person community. Nurse Bender does a great job, but we are 20 – 25 minutes from a hospital, so having a full-time physician for more complex issues is a big benefit.”

“I think having a full-time doctor in Anderson will bring a level of comfort to residents,” said Jim Armstrong, Freeman Health System Board of Directors. “Rural and elderly residents in the community won’t have to go to multiple places to get care for whatever their needs might be.”

Dr. Dillingham attended medical school at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences and completed his residency at Genesys Family Medicine Residency in Grand Blanc, Michigan. He is certified by the Family Medicine Board and Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine Board. In medical school, he found family medicine to be the perfect niche.

“I like everything and taking care of everybody,” said Dr. Dillingham. “I like the variety. You go in everyday not knowing what you’re going to see.”

One medical issue close to his heart is obesity. Dr. Dillingham said he shares with patients his own lifelong struggle with weight.

“There is a stigma around it,” said Dr. Dillingham. “My own personal struggle gives me insight. I noticed when patients see my old pictures before I lost more than 100 pounds, they’re like, ‘This guy gets it and what he’s telling me might actually work.’ So, if a patient wants help to lose weight and get healthy, I will spend all the time in the world to help them.” 

Dr. Dillingham sees himself as a good example for patients, which informs his philosophy.

“I don’t eat perfectly, and I don’t exercise all the time,” said Dr. Dillingham. “I’m always working to maintain that weight loss. And we’re all human. Nobody’s perfect. Everyone’s got a different struggle. And if you can see through that light that we all mess up, no one is better than anyone else. I’m here to help people be as healthy as they can be and equip them on that path.”

Dr. Dillingham said telemedicine has been helpful in breaking down barriers to make sure people have access to healthcare, especially in family practice medicine. He is excited to bring that care to the community of Anderson as part of the Freeman team.

“I am glad to be in a spot to help people get healthy in the community,” said Dr. Dillingham. “Freeman is patient – and physician – centered and cares about wanting to help people, which is why we all go into medicine in the first place.”

Dr. Dillingham and his wife, Julie., live in Joplin with their three sons who are ages eight, six and three.

Dr. Dillingham is accepting new patients. To make an appointment, contact the Freeman Clinic of Anderson, 510 Park Street, at 417.845.0545.