Hospital Social Services Coordinated Voting with Local County Clerks
Joplin, MO – Thanks to Freeman Health System, Social Service workers and volunteers from the Jasper County Clerk’s office, a dozen patients were able to cast ballots despite being in the hospital.
“I’m so excited because voting is so important to me,” said 81-year-old Elizabeth Edwards of Joplin. “I was very concerned I wouldn’t get to vote,” Edwards said “It would be the first time I’ve missed an election. I’ve always thought if you don’t vote, you can’t complain.”
Patient Debbie Reed from Carthage shared Edward’s concern. Both have voted since they turned 18, and now at 72 years old, Reed said it’s a personal privilege that she appreciates. Neither woman expected to be in the hospital on election day.
Becky Keeler with Freeman Social Services says the staff also arranged for Newton County voters to be able to vote while in the hospital and created packets with appropriate paperwork for affidavits to allow families of patients from Oklahoma and Kansas to get ballots for their loved ones to be able to vote, as well.
“It’s so important to many of these patients,” says Keeler. “And it’s important to Freeman to make sure they get that opportunity when possible.”
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 freemanhealth.com.