Ozark Center Earns Accreditation from CARF International

Agency Monitors Quality in Delivery of Behavioral Health Services

Image Credit: Freeman Health System

(Joplin, MO)Ozark Center, an entity of Freeman Health System has been given another three-year accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). The accreditation comes after a rigorous review of Ozark Center programs and policies by CARF, an independent agency that monitors quality in the delivery of behavioral health services.

“Five CARF surveyors recently spent three days applying 2,700 different CARF standards during a comprehensive accreditation visit at Ozark Center,” said Vickey Mieseler, Ozark Center Chief Administrative Officer. “The lead surveyor commented that ‘the golden rule is evident throughout the system.’ In a rare occurrence, Ozark Center received zero recommendations for improvements at the conclusion of the accreditation visit and was awarded a three-year accreditation. I am incredibly proud of this accomplishment and each and every staff member!”

CARF International is an independent, nonprofit accreditor of health and human services providers in the areas of aging services, behavioral health, child and youth services, durable medical equipment, employment and community services, medical rehabilitation, opioid treatment programs, and vision rehabilitation services.

Programs and services that are CARF-accredited have demonstrated that they meet internationally recognized standards for service delivery. In this way, they have demonstrated their commitment to continuous quality improvement and a consumer-driven focus.

CARF survey team leader Donna Daley said that commitment is evident in Ozark Center staff.

“Staff skills are strong, and staff members are passionate about doing whatever it takes to meet the needs of clients and the community,” Daley said. She also commented that Ozark Center “received high praise from the Department of Mental Health in Missouri and is often asked to pilot projects and is one of the top few Certified Community Behavioral Health Organizations in the state.”

Individuals looking for services can look for CARF-accredited organizations, like Ozark Center, as a sign of quality. Accreditation is evidence that an organization has demonstrated its commitment to encouraging feedback, continuously improving services, enhancing performance, and managing risk. Both clients and the community can be confident that services will be focused on their unique needs.

Survey team member Donna Addison noted how the Ozark Center environment makes a difference. “With the purposeful design of buildings to create a safe, warm, inviting treatment space, it is obvious the organization is trauma-informed. Ozark Center showed it is dedicated to providing hope through the treatment process and ensuring clients feel something valuable happened at the end of every contact,” Addison said.

During Ozark Center’s CARF survey, interviews were conducted with people who use services, their families, Ozark Center staff, and others.

“Programs operate with the mentality that recovery is possible for all,” commented CARF survey team member Anju Verma. “Clients feel staff treat them with dignity and respect and feel an exceptional degree of community integration.”

Through accreditation, providers demonstrate their belief that all people have the right to be treated with dignity and respect, have access to needed services that achieve optimum outcomes, and be empowered to exercise informed choice. Ozark Center is pleased to join CARF in this mission.

For more information about CARF International, their standards, or the accreditation process, visit carf.org.

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

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.