Freeman News

Ozark Center Breaks Ground on New Cottage at Turnaround Ranch

May 12, 2022

Construction to Begin on First of Three New Cottages

Joplin, Mo – Wearing hard hats and holding shovels, leaders from Ozark Center and Freeman Health System broke ground Thursday for the first of three new cottages at Turnaround Ranch.

“Over the next three years, we plan to raze and rebuild one cottage per year,” said Paula F. Baker, Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer. “Today, we are breaking ground on the first of the new cottages. We hope to match our staff’s extraordinary compassion, commitment and enthusiasm with an equally impressive physical environment that emphasizes principles such as safety, trustworthiness, choice, collaboration and empowerment.” 

Turnaround Ranch is Transitional Youth Housing in a 36-bed residential treatment facility for adolescents ages 13 – 18. The campus is a trauma-sensitive environment that provides safety from physical harm and further trauma. Turnaround Ranch programs focus on the individual needs of each person – helping them learn to cope and resolve what has happened to them. 

“Our trauma-informed journey began in 2009,” said Vicky Mieseler. “Since that time, we’ve learned that trauma-impacted individuals need safe, trusting relationships and facilities for optimal treatment outcomes.”

Ozark Center has created trauma-informed training for staff and added evidenced-based care options to its treatment continuum. Mieseler said Ozark Center officials also evaluated whether facility environments were trauma sensitive.

“Since then, Ozark Center has upgraded, renovated, and created trauma sensitive facilities throughout Jasper, Newton, Barton and McDonald counties,” Mieseler added. “We even won an award for our efforts in trauma sensitive environments from the National Council for Behavioral Health in 2020!”

South Cottage, which is the first to be replaced, currently serves girls. The program assists adolescent girls with common struggles they face on an individualized and a group basis. The focus of treatment in this cottage is dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), which is a form of psychological counseling that treats behavioral problems within a setting of acceptance and compassion and helps teach residents how to regulate their emotions. The girls currently living in this cottage will move to the new cottage upon its completion.

Turnaround Ranch provides 24-hour care for youths experiencing emotional and behavioral challenges. Located on 20 acres west of Joplin, the main campus includes six cottages, a school, a gymnasium, a family life center and outdoor recreation areas.