Freeman Health System Now Offering Therapy for Obstructive Sleep Apnea

Breakthrough Treatment Option with No Mask Required

(Joplin, MO)Freeman Health System is now offering Inspire Therapy, an innovative method obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) treatment option for those who cannot use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy. Freeman is the first and only system within a 70-mile radius of Joplin to offer Inspire.

OSA affects 22 million Americans. When left untreated, OSA can cause vehicle and workplace accidents, worsening mood and memory, risk for obesity, stroke, heart attack, and even death. It occurs when the airway collapses during sleep and blocks the flow of oxygen to the brain. The brain senses a lack of oxygen and wakes the body up just long enough to take a breath, then falls back to sleep. This cycle repeats throughout the night and causes poor, disruptive sleep.

The Inspire team at Freeman includes Dr. Grant Pierson (pulmonology specialist) and Dr. Jason Maxfield (sleep medicine specialist) referring patients to Dr. Kent McIntire (ear, nose, and throat specialist). The team works together to evaluate and treat a patient’s OSA. Implantation of the device is done by a surgeon while clinic management is done by Drs. Pierson and/or Maxfield.

“Freeman is fortunate to have three excellent physicians collaborating in a comprehensive, multi-disciplinary approach to treat poor sleep for the best therapy outcomes,” said Paula Baker, Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer. “Good sleep improves cognition, concentration, productivity and performance.  It can also maximize problem-solving skills and enhance memory. If you’ve ever missed a few of hours sleep, you know it can make you feel like you’re running on empty. This is why Freeman invested in this breakthrough sleep therapy called Inspire.”

Inspire works inside the body with a patient’s natural breathing process to treat sleep apnea. Mild stimulation opens the airway during sleep, enabling oxygen to flow naturally. The patient uses a small handheld remote to turn Inspire on before bed and off when they wake up.

The safety and efficacy of Inspire was evaluated during the STAR clinical trial. Five-year STAR trial outcomes show patients using Inspire experience significant reductions in sleep apnea events and significant improvements in quality-of-life measures. There have been over 150 peer-reviewed publications on Inspire.  These publications show results consistent with those seen in the STAR trial. Inspire was also approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 2013.

Inspire works within the body while sleeping. Benefits include:

  • It is a simple outpatient procedure
  • There is fast recovery time
  • It has proven results
  • There’s control with a hand-held remote
  • It is broadly covered by insurance

“In our practice, we see many patients who have stopped using or are unable to tolerate CPAP,” said Dr. Grant Pierson, Freeman pulmonologist. “Inspire represents a significant advancement in treating sleep apnea, and puts Freeman in the forefront of sleep therapy and technology.”

Dr. Jason Maxfield adds, “We are excited to offer this promising therapy to our patients with obstructive sleep apnea who are unable to use CPAP treatment.”

To learn more about Freeman Ear, Nose and Throat or Freeman Pulmonology or Freeman Sleep Center, visit To get started, schedule an appointment today by calling Dr. Kent McIntire at 417.347.6767. To learn more about the Inspire therapy at Freeman, also visit and

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


Liz Syer, Director of Marketing
Freeman Health System

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