Freeman News

Working Together to Stop the Spread of COVID-19

March 17, 2020

Hospital Changing Visitation Policy to Protect Patients and Employees

Joplin, Mo – “Freeman Health System and Ozark Center are doing everything possible to reduce the risks of COVID-19 and keep everyone safe and healthy,” says President and Chief Executive Officer Paula Baker. With that in mind, Freeman Health System is changing its visitation policies and limiting access to its medical facilities.

Beginning Wednesday, March 18, 2020, these changes will be implemented:

  • Visiting hours are restricted to 7:00 am – 7:00 pm. (excluding Birthing Center and Pediatrics)
  • Only one visitor per patient per day will be allowed into any Freeman Health System hospital.
  • No visitor will be allowed to visit patients with suspected COVID-19.
  • No one under the age of 18, with the exception of those seeking medical care, will be permitted into Freeman facilities. This age restriction includes all Freeman hospitals and clinics.
  • Each building will be restricted to a main entrance.  

Freeman Health System is also working side by side with local health departments and Mercy Hospital Joplin officials to create a plan for ensuring that testing will be available for those pre-approved and identified as meeting the criteria. 

We understand many of you have concerns about the spread of COVID-19.  Please be assured that the health and well-being of our patients, staff, volunteers and guests is our highest priority.  As a matter of course, we are following guidance provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

“The entire region benefits from Freeman Health System’s compassionate and committed nurses, physicians and support staff,” Baker says. “They are here day and night, particularly during times of challenge and uncertainty.”

To keep you informed, Freeman will continue communicating regularly about COVID-related matters. For more information about COVID-19, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website at


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 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.  U.S. News & World Report named Freeman Health System the Best Hospital in Southwest Missouri for 2019.  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