03:30 AM

Children's Mercy and Freeman Health System join forces to advance pediatric care in Southwest Missouri

Children's Mercy to provide pediatric specialty care at Freeman Health System

Children's Mercy announces today that it is affiliating with Freeman Health System to enhance care for children in southwest Missouri. As part of this collaboration, Children's Mercy is opening a permanent location, initially providing seven specialty clinics, on the Freeman campus. 

These new Joplin clinics, known as Children's Kansas City to help avoid market confusion, are an extension of Children's Mercy, a nationally ranked pediatric medical center in Kansas City, with full support of its 600 pediatric specialists.

Children's Mercy and Freeman share a commitment to providing area families with more access to high-quality pediatric specialty care. For more than 20 years, Children's Mercy specialists have traveled from Kansas City to southwest Missouri/southeast Kansas to provide convenient appointments to local children. In addition, each year hundreds of families from this area also traveled to Kansas City.

"We've heard from both families and physicians that their patients want access to our specialty services without having to travel to Kansas City," says Marshaun Butler, Vice President, Children's Mercy. "We are committed to meeting the needs of children in Joplin and southwest Missouri in partnership with Freeman. We value that partnership and know Children's Kansas City will complement the exceptional pediatric services already available in this area."

In addition to the permanent location and specialists, the institutions will collaborate on clinical practices, including: sharing of data, resources, protocols and guidelines; development and use of standardized pediatric measures and processes; sharing of expertise in particular specialties; and exchange of joint educational opportunities, all of which will contribute to quality care of our children and families.

"Freeman strives each and every day to seek new and innovative opportunities that will improve the health of our communities," said Paula Baker, Freeman president and chief executive officer. "By partnering with Children's Kansas City, we provide unprecedented specialized pediatric care to those we value most-our children. This affiliation brings with it a new era in healthcare, allowing families whose children are sick or injured to gain access locally to nationally recognized, award-winning pediatric care. It is an honor to partner with Children's Kansas City, but it is an even greater honor to touch the lives of local families in such a profound way."

Children's Kansas City, a 1,832 square foot location, will offer seven specialties, Cardiology, Endocrinology/Diabetes, Gastroenterology, Hematology/Oncology, Nephrology, Rheumatology, and Telemedicine. These clinics will now be offered at 3333 McIntosh Circle Drive, Suite 6, in Joplin on the Freeman campus. 

Cardiology is provided by Mark Gelatt, MD; Endocrinology/Diabetes is provided by Naim Mitre, MD, and Julia Broussard, MD; Gastroenterology is provided by Charles Hodge, MD and Ding-You Li, MD; Hematology/Oncology is provided by Gerald Woods, MD; Nephrology is provided by Judith Sebestyen, MD; and Rheumatology is provided by Elizabeth Kessler, MD.

The Joplin location would not be possible without the generous donation from the Coleman Family Foundation, who, as residents of Pittsburg, Kansas, are committed to supporting the Joplin community.

About Children's Mercy
Children's Mercy, located in Kansas City, Mo., is one of the nation's top pediatric medical centers. The 354-bed hospital provides care for children from birth through the age of 21, and has been ranked by U.S. News & World Report as one of "America's Best Children's Hospitals." For the third time in a row, Children's Mercy has achieved Magnet nursing designation, awarded to fewer than seven percent of all hospitals nationally, for excellence in quality care. Its faculty of 600 pediatricians and researchers across more than 40 subspecialties are actively involved in clinical care, pediatric research, and educating the next generation of pediatric subspecialists.

About Freeman Health System
Based in Joplin, Mo., and proudly recognized as the Best Hospital in southwest Missouri-as well as ranked #4 in the state-by US News & World Report, Freeman Health System provides comprehensive healthcare and behavioral health services, including cancer care, heart and vascular care, neurosciences, orthopaedics, and women's services. The area's only locally owned, not-for-profit health system, Freeman has more than 300 physicians representing 60 specialties serving southwest Missouri, southeast Kansas, northeast Oklahoma, and northwest Arkansas. For more information, visit freemanhealth.com or facebook.com/freemanhealthsystem, or follow Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer Paula Baker at twitter.com/freemance