Freeman News

Freeman “Goes Red” to Call Attention to Women’s Heart Disease

February 08, 2021

February is American Heart Month

Joplin, MO – Cardiovascular disease is the number one killer of women, causing one in five deaths each year. But only 55% of women realize heart disease puts their life at risk. Freeman Health System held its annual Wear Red Day on Friday in conjunction with the American Heart Association’s Go Red For Women movement. Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer Paula Baker took photos with doctors and staff at the Freeman Heart & Vascular Institute to make women aware that their symptoms of heart disease can be very different from men’s.

“Every minute of every day, heart disease takes the life of someone’s mother, daughter, wife, sister or aunt – that’s why it’s so important to know how to spot the warning signs of a heart attack and get medical help right away,” said Baker. 

For women, the warning signs are different from those for men and can include angina (dull and heavy or sharp chest pain or discomfort); pain in the neck, jaw or throat; pain in the upper abdomen or back; nausea; vomiting and fatigue.

“When a heart attack strikes, every second counts,” Baker said. “Freeman has a proven track record of shaving minutes off the time it takes to restore blood flow and save precious heart muscle. In fact, our team beats national standards by more than 40%.”

In recent years, there have been many advances in heart care from improved stents to implants delivered with minimally invasive techniques. Among others those include:

  • Transcatheter aortic valve replacement (TAVR), a minimally invasive procedure for patients with a narrowing of the aortic-valve opening who are not well-suited for open-heart surgery.
  • The Watchman™ implant, a permanent device that reduces the risk of stroke in patients with atrial fibrillation.
  • The Medtronic Micra™ Transcatheter Pacing System, the world’s smallest pacemaker, about the size of a multivitamin, used to treat patients with a slow or irregular heart rhythm. Implanted during a minimally invasive procedure, it is completely self-contained, eliminating potential medical complications arising from wires that run a conventional pacemaker into the heart.




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 Freeman Heart & Vascular Institute

A regional center of excellence in heart care, Freeman Heart & Vascular Institute has the most experienced team of ten physicians, including 7 interventional cardiologists, one electrophysiologist and two cardiothoracic and vascular surgeons. Freeman has three state-of-the-art operating suites and four cardiovascular catheterization labs. Freeman is one of only 20 hospitals in Missouri to be designated as a Level I STEMI Center by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services and received the 2020 Mission: Lifeline NSTEMI Gold Recognition Award, which is the American Heart Association’s highest achievement for this program. Freeman is one of only 124 hospitals nationwide to receive the American College of Cardiology NCDR Chest Pain – MI Registry Silver Performance Achievement Award for 2020. Freeman is rated as top 100 in the nation for interventional carotid care and #1 in its market by CareChex® Patient Safety rating for heart attack treatment and vascular surgery. Freeman is the first in the area to offer Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR), Medtronic Micra™ Transcatheter Pacing System (TPS) and the Watchman™ Device.