Freeman Earns Stroke Care Award

(Joplin, MO)Freeman Health System received the prestigious Get with the Guidelines® – Stroke Gold Plus Award from the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. The award recognizes Freeman’s successful commitment to implementing excellent care and treatment for stroke patients according to evidence-based guidelines.

“During a stroke, time lost is brain lost, and this award demonstrates our commitment to ensuring our care for stroke patients follows nationally respected clinical guidelines,” said Paula F. Baker, Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer. “Freeman is dedicated to continually improving the quality of stroke care, and the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Get with the Guidelines – Stroke program helps us achieve that goal.”

Freeman earned the award by meeting specific quality achievement measures for the diagnosis and treatment of stroke patients at a set level for a designated period. These measures include evaluation of the proper use of medications and other stroke treatments aligned with the most up-to-date, evidence-based guidelines with the goal of speeding recovery and reducing death and disability for stroke patients. Before discharge, patients should also receive education on managing their health, schedule a follow-up and receive other care transition interventions. American Heart Association studies point to improved patient recoveries when providers consistently follow treatment guidelines.

“This award exemplifies the wonderful stroke team we have at Freeman Health System with smooth interprofessional teamwork, strong administrative support and great work environment which ultimately leads to excellent patient care,” said Freeman Neurologist Dr. Gulshan Uppal.

According to the American Stroke Association, stroke is the fifth-leading cause of death and a leading cause of disability in the United States. A stroke occurs when a blood vessel carrying all-important oxygen and nutrients to the brain is blocked by a clot or bursts under pressure. When that happens, brain cells die. On average, someone suffers a stroke every 40 seconds while someone dies from a stroke every four minutes. In all, 795,000 people suffer a new or recurrent stroke each year. Early stroke detection and treatment are key to improving survival, minimizing disability and accelerating recovery time.

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


Kevin McClintock
Freeman Health System

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