Freeman OccuMed Recognizes Red Ribbon Week

Encourages Businesses to Participate as Drug Abuse Poses Significant Impact on Productivity

(Joplin, MO) – October 23 to 31 is Red Ribbon Week, the oldest and largest drug prevention campaign in the nation. The 2021 theme is Drug Free Looks Like Me – a reminder that Americans across the country make significant daily contributions to their communities by being the best they can be because they live drug-free.

Freeman OccuMed is inviting local businesses to join Freeman Health System in recognizing the importance of drug abuse prevention and advocacy in our workplaces and communities. Red Ribbon Week is observed in schools, and OccuMed is encouraging local businesses to participate so both parents and students have the opportunity to begin this important conversation.

According to the Red Ribbon Campaign, children of parents who talk to their teens regularly about drugs are 42% less likely to use drugs than those who don’t; yet, only a quarter of teens report having these conversations. From the business perspective, employee substance abuse costs employers time and money in lost productivity and increased medical and insurance costs. For every $1 invested in prevention, $7 is saved in drug-addiction treatment.

Freeman OccuMed is the area’s leading provider of comprehensive occupational health services, including drug testing. Each year, OccuMed completes more than 11,000 drug tests. To celebrate this week, OccuMed will host a Spirit Week and offer Red Ribbon stickers to patients. Ajinomoto Carthage has agreed to join the celebration as well. Webb City Schools and others in the region are also celebrating Red Ribbon Week.

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


Lisa Olliges, Marketing & Media Relations Coordinator
Freeman Health System

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