Freeman News

Freeman Honors Organ Donation on Donate Life Rose Parade Float

December 28, 2018

Handwritten Note from President and Chief Executive Officer Applauds Selfless Gift

On New Year’s Day 2019, the Donate Life Rose Parade float titled “Rhythm of the Heart” will include a dedication garden made of roses with handwritten dedications by hospital chief executive officers across the country.

Paula F. Baker, Freeman Health System President and Chief Executive Officer, signed a flower vial that will be part of the float that honors and remembers those who gave the gift of life. The note reads: “Freeman Health System honors the patients, families and staff whose commitment to others makes the gift of life possible.”

Debuting in 2004, the Donate Life Rose Parade Float has become the world’s most visible campaign to encourage organ and tissue donation. According to Donate Life America, one person can save up to eight lives through organ donation and 50 lives through tissue donation. More than 6,000 lives are saved annually through living kidney and liver donation.

“Donation is powerful and important,” said Baker. “We want to honor all organ, eye and tissue donors, the families and their recipients whose lives were forever changed thanks to the gift of life.”

Thousands of vials will be attached to the Donate Life Rose Parade Float, which will feature a colorful caravan with 44 portrait floragraphs that honor deceased organ donors. Transplant recipients and living donors will walk alongside. The 2019 Rose Parade airs live at 10:00 am Tuesday, January 1, on a number of broadcast and cable channels.

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. For 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. The Leapfrog Group awarded Freeman the highest grade possible in the Fall 2018 Hospital Patient Safety Score. 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