Freeman Celebrates 100th MONARCH® Robotic Bronchoscopy

Patients Say Early Detection Resulted in Successful Lung Cancer Treatment

(Joplin, MO)Freeman Health System patient John Turley and his wife Loretta are praising the MONARCH® robotic bronchoscopy procedure for finding Turley’s lung cancer at stage one.

“He’s had all five radiation treatments required to get rid of the cancer and had no side effects,” said Loretta Turley. “It was wonderful that they found it at stage one because he didn’t have any symptoms. We feel very fortunate that they found it that soon. Now, he will have more time to live.”

The Turleys shared their story of John’s cancer journey at a celebration marking Freeman’s 100th MONARCH procedure.

“Less than a year ago, Freeman Health System announced the acquisition of transformative new robotic technology that helps our doctors find lung cancer in its earliest stages,” said Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer Paula Baker. “We’re excited about this novel technology and are grateful that Freeman is able to save so many lives through MONARCH robotic-assisted bronchoscopy and the early detection of lung cancer.”

Lung cancer can be particularly difficult to diagnose because the airways are full of twists and turns that reach deep into the lungs. The MONARCH platform integrates the latest advancements in robotics, software, data science, and endoscopy. Turley’s cancer was diagnosed by Freeman Lung Institute Pulmonologist Dr. Grant Pierson using the MONARCH Platform Robotic Bronchoscopy procedure.

“With a traditional bronchoscope, trying to look at an eight-millimeter nodule in multiple airways of the lung, I would have to guess where to make turns,” said Dr. Pierson. “MONARCH takes the guesswork out of bronchoscopy because I never lose sight.”

Patient Kenneth Farr was recognized as the 100th patient to benefit from the MONARCH robotic bronchoscopy. Farr’s biopsy showed no evidence of malignancy. Albert Landes was the first Freeman patient to benefit from the MONARCH system.

“It was a tough year,” said Rosemary Landes, whose husband Albert was treated for lung cancer. “But by the grace of God and great doctors, we’ve come through it to the other side. Finding the lung cancer early gave Albert a fighting chance.”

At the celebration, representatives from Auris Health, the company that introduced the MONARCH platform, presented Freeman with a special banner to commemorate the 100th procedure.

“We’re proud that MONARCH brings engineering and intelligent innovation to healthcare,” said Jake Buchanan, Auris Territory Manager. “MONARCH enhances the physicians’ capability to improve outcomes in safer procedures and change patients’ lives.”

For more information about MONARCH or pulmonology services at Freeman, please call 417.347.8315 or visit

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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