Ozark Center Breaks Ground for New Turnaround Ranch Cottage

Construction to Begin on First of Three New Cottages

(Joplin, MO) – Wearing hard hats and holding shovels, leaders from Ozark Center and Freeman Health System broke ground Thursday for the first of three new cottages at Turnaround Ranch.

“Over the next three years, we plan to raze and rebuild one cottage per year,” said Paula F. Baker, Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer. “Today, we are breaking ground on the first of the new cottages. We hope to match our staff’s extraordinary compassion, commitment and enthusiasm with an equally impressive physical environment that emphasizes principles such as safety, trustworthiness, choice, collaboration and empowerment.”

Turnaround Ranch is Transitional Youth Housing in a 36-bed residential treatment facility for adolescents ages 13 – 18. The campus is a trauma-sensitive environment that provides safety from physical harm and further trauma. Turnaround Ranch programs focus on the individual needs of each person — helping them learn to cope and resolve what has happened to them.

“Our trauma-informed journey began in 2009,” said Vicky Mieseler. “Since that time, we’ve learned that trauma-impacted individuals need safe, trusting relationships and facilities for optimal treatment outcomes.”

Ozark Center has created trauma-informed training for staff and added evidenced-based care options to its treatment continuum. Mieseler said Ozark Center officials also evaluated whether facility environments were trauma sensitive.

“Since then, Ozark Center has upgraded, renovated, and created trauma sensitive facilities throughout Jasper, Newton, Barton and McDonald counties,” Mieseler added. “We even won an award for our efforts in trauma sensitive environments from the National Council for Behavioral Health in 2020!”

South Cottage, which is the first to be replaced, currently serves girls. The program assists adolescent girls with common struggles they face on an individualized and a group basis. The focus of treatment in this cottage is dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), which is a form of psychological counseling that treats behavioral problems within a setting of acceptance and compassion and helps teach residents how to regulate their emotions. The girls currently living in this cottage will move to the new cottage upon its completion.

Turnaround Ranch provides 24-hour care for youths experiencing emotional and behavioral challenges. Located on 20 acres west of Joplin, the main campus includes six cottages, a school, a gymnasium, a family life center and outdoor recreation areas.

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 2020-2021. 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 freemanhealth.com.

About Ozark Center: 

Ozark Center is based in Joplin, Missouri and has been an entity of Freeman Health System since 1996. It has been providing comprehensive behavioral health services to children, adults and families since 1965 in an area that includes more than 450,000 residents from the Four States. Ozark Center continually looks for innovative ways to address the behavioral health needs of the community and promote awareness of behavioral health issues in an effort to eliminate the discrimination associated with it. For more information, visit ozarkcenter.com or call 417.347.7600.


Lisa Olliges, Freeman Health System
Marketing and Media Relations Coordinator

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