Freeman Nurse Recognized by McDonald’s of Joplin

Heather Cowan, LPN, First Recipient of McDonald’s Outstanding Nurse Award

(Joplin, MO)Freeman Health System congratulates licensed practical nurse Heather Cowan, who was named the 2022 McDonald’s of Joplin Outstanding Nurse.

“Heather Cowan embodies the spirit of nursing excellence, and we’re lucky to have her on Team Freeman,” said Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer Paula F. Baker. “We’re proud of Heather for earning the first-ever McDonald’s Outstanding Nurse award, but we’re not surprised. Heather consistently demonstrates compassion, expertise and grit, and we appreciate the attitude of kindness and strength of character she shows, even in the most difficult situations. Heather puts her whole heart into caring for her patients, her coworkers and her community. We congratulate her on this prestigious honor.”

The award, from local McDonald’s owner/operators Thomas Nichols and Alex Maffei, honors nurses who exhibit the ultimate dedication to their patients and go above and beyond to ensure our community is taken care of in our most challenging times.

“Our local nurses are the definition of perseverance and loyalty. They show up and give their all, day after day, to help take care of our community members,” said Maffei.

Freeman Chief Nursing Officer Jeanee’ Kennedy said Cowan stepped up throughout the pandemic showing over and over her commitment to providing the very best patient care and service.

“She consistently goes above and beyond to meet the needs of our community, wherever that may be at the time,” said Kennedy. “Heather has often worked in our COVID units and anywhere else she is needed as a member of our float pool. She has remained dedicated to the nursing profession and is certainly deserving of this award! We are so proud to have her on our team!”

Cowan will receive a $200 Visa Gift card and a certificate for being selected as McDonald’s of Joplin 2022 Outstanding Nurse.

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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