Freeman Health System Welcomes New Cardiothoracic Surgeon, Dr. Anne Cahill

(Joplin, MO) – There’s a very simple reason why Dr. Anne Cahill chose a career in medicine.

“I needed more intellectual challenge,” the board-certified cardiothoracic surgeon said.

Simply put, she wasn’t finding the required stimulus with her previous career in design. So she pivoted without hesitation to focus on a new career centered around the human heart.

“The heart controls the blood flow and delivery of oxygen to the entire body,” Dr. Cahill said. “The care is exciting, rewarding and critical.”

As Freeman Health System’s newest cardiothoracic surgeon, Dr. Cahill performs surgery on the organs inside the chest cavity, such as the heart and lungs. They are some of the body’s most vital organs, providing blood and oxygen to the rest of the body.

Dr. Cahill graduated from medical school at Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wis. She served her internal medicine residency at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington D.C. and cardiothoracic surgery residency at UCLA Medical Center in Los Angeles, Calif. At UCLA she completed her fellowship in cardiovascular surgery, as well. Dr. Cahill is both a board-certified general and cardiothoracic surgeon.

“I then started in a private practice in California, but it didn’t feel like ‘home’ to me,” Dr. Cahill said. “I relocated east to raise my two girls. Travels and professional opportunity brought me to St. Louis University Hospital, where I further developed my practice in heart and lung failure surgery, facilitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. We saved many lives.”

She served as Interim Chief of Cardiac Surgery at the St. Louis-based hospital before moving to Southwest Missouri.

“I had a brief tenure at Freeman Health System in 2018,” Dr. Cahill said. “That introduced me to the fantastic staff and opportunity here at Freeman. I am privileged to be able to serve the community.”

Including 14 years of post-graduate school training, Dr. Cahill brings 20 years of experience to the Joplin region. That experience includes advanced cardiac surgical procedures and knowledge how to properly support a failing heart; it’s a skill that has never been offered to Joplin area residents in the past.

“My strengths include patient care and inclusion of the patient and family in their care, despite its complexity,” she said. “I am optimistic with incredible energy and drive.”

In her professional pictures she proudly wears a necklace. The jewelry is a symbol of sorts, of a skilled woman surgeon working in a traditionally male-dominated industry.

“I am proud to be a woman,” she said. “My femininity is important to me.”

Dr. Cahill is a mother of two daughters, Lydia, a successful oil painter, and McKenna, a freshman university student. Outside of work she shares a love of hiking, biking and fishing with her life partner, Rick, an ice hockey player. She also shares space at her Joplin home with her dog Benny.

“I am so excited to join the Freeman team,” she said.

Dr. Cahill is accepting new patients at Freeman Heart & Vascular Institute, 1102 West 32nd Street, Joplin. To schedule an appointment call 417.347.5000.

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, Media Relations Coordinator
Freeman Health System

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