Ozark Center Recovery Up Program Open for Business

Grant Funded Program with Treatment Courts Helps Those with Co-Occurring Disorders

(Joplin, MO) Recovery Up is an assisted outpatient treatment program designed to help participants in treatment courts or those who have been released from a mental health facility to outpatient commitment in Jasper County.

Ozark Center, an entity of Freeman Health System, received a federal $4 million grant from the Substance Use and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) to fund the program for four years.

“We’re grateful for the opportunity to launch Recovery Up because it enables Ozark Center to provide mental health services to individuals who have entered the criminal justice system and require mandatory outpatient treatment,” said Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer Paula F. Baker. “Coordinating with the Jasper County Courts, we will treat those with serious mental illnesses and help them continue living at home during treatment. The goals of Recovery Up are to reduce psychiatric hospitalizations, incarcerations and homelessness, and to improve the health and social state of those served by the program.”

Recovery Up is a partnership between Ozark Center, Jasper County Courts and University of Missouri-St. Louis Missouri Institute of Mental Health.

“The program will serve up to 25 individuals each year ages 18 and above who have serious mental illness or co-occurring disorders and are at high risk for recidivism in the criminal justice system,” said Lisa Francis, Ozark Center Director of Community Care.

“The four-year grant will double our existing treatment capacity,” Francis said. “Participants will be screened and assessed for trauma and psychiatric medication management, while efforts will also focus on housing, employment and education status.”

Jasper County Court Administrator Erik Theis said a goal of treatment courts is to help participants become reliable citizens who contribute to the community.

“Outpatient programs like Recovery Up are a vital component of recovery and reintegration for those involved in treatment courts,” said Theis. “The accountability required with Recovery Up, as well as therapy and medication management, are all key factors to an individual’s success in the community.”

SAMHSA provides federal grant support to improve the quality and delivery of behavioral health services across the nation. The grant program is a four-year program intended to identify evidence-based practices that can reduce the incidence and duration of psychiatric hospitalization, homelessness, incarcerations and interactions with the criminal justice system. Likewise, the health and social outcomes of individuals with a serious mental illness would be improved.

About Ozark Center

An integral component of Freeman Health System based in Joplin, Mo., Ozark Center provides comprehensive behavioral health services to children, adults and families in an area that includes more than 450,000 residents from Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma and Kansas. Ozark Center continually looks for innovative ways to address the mental health needs of the community and promote awareness of mental illness in an effort to eliminate the discrimination associated with it. For more information, visit ozarkcenter.com or call 417.347.7600.

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 freemanhealth.com.


Lisa Olliges, Marketing and Media Relations Coordinator
Freeman Health System

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