Freeman Health System Celebrates 400th MONARCH® Completed Procedure

Dr. Grant Pierson Performs Most Robotic Bronchoscopy Procedures Nationwide

(Joplin, MO)Freeman Health System Pulmonologist Dr. Grant Pierson performed the 400th MONARCH® procedure, an innovative machine that continues to push the boundaries in the fight against lung cancer.

Used to view the inside of the lungs and obtain a tissue sample for biopsy, the goal of Auris Health’s MONARCH® platform enables physicians to reach tiny, hard-to-reach peripheral lung nodules with greater precision than ever before — detecting lung cancers at the earliest possible stages. The machine does this by combining robotics, micro-instrumentation, and small cameras and tools into a single, integrated system that in some ways resembles a video game system, complete with controllers and monitors.

Freeman is the first and only health system in Missouri, southeast Kansas, and northeast Oklahoma to offer the MONARCH® program to its patients.

More than 90 percent of people diagnosed with lung cancer do not survive the disease, in part because it is often found at an advanced age. However, if diagnosed and treated early, survival rates increase dramatically.

“We are excited about the promise of this technology to offer a more hopeful future for our patients with lung cancer,” said Dr. Pierson, Freeman pulmonologist. “I foresee being able to biopsy a nodule for diagnosis and then initiate treatment even before a patient walks out the door.”

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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