The Missouri Council for Activity & Nutrition (MOCAN) is excited to announce their April Quarterly Conference on Thursday, April 20, 2023, from 9:00 to 11:00 am! This event is hosted by the MOCAN Food Systems Work Group and their SNAP For U team.

The conference will explore the problem of food insecurity, specifically within the college student population, as well as facilitators, barriers, and what we can do at all levels of influence. There will be a full Q&A panel, so come prepared with all your questions.

To learn more and see the full panel of speakers, click here. For the full conference agenda, click here.


Candace Rodman, Nutrition & Health Specialist
MOCAN Director

With the onset of the COVID-19 public health emergency in March 2020, states have been prohibited from removing individuals from Medicaid for not meeting the eligibility standards for coverage. The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 ends continuous Medicaid eligibility on Friday, March 31. Beginning Saturday, April 1, states will have 14 months to reverify the eligibility of all current Medicaid participants.

Currently, there are 1.4 million Missourians enrolled in MO HealthNet who must have their eligibility verified sometime during the next year. While it is certain that some current participants no longer qualify for coverage, the vast majority still do. For the first time in more than three years, the state now must document that participants, in fact, qualify for their coverage to continue.

Eligible participants who fail to complete the required verification of their eligibility will lose their coverage. Hospitals can reduce this risk by helping their Medicaid-covered patients complete the state’s review process.

The Missouri Hospital Association compiled resources and strategies that hospitals can use to help their patients prepare for and successfully verify their eligibility. This compendium, “PHE Unwinding: The Reverification of Medicaid Participant Eligibility,” is accessible on MHA’s website and will be updated frequently with news, policy updates and performance data as Medicaid reverification progresses. In addition, copies of public awareness flyers to display in patient waiting and contact areas will be mailed this week to your hospital’s public relations representative.

For questions about the state’s Medicaid reverification process or available MHA resources, please contact me at, or 573.893.3700, ext. 1338.


Brian Kinkade, Vice President
Children’s Health and Medicaid Advocacy

(Joplin, MO) – Medical professionals echo the call for more people to learn CPR after thousands watching a national football league game witnessed Damar Hamlin’s cardiac arrest on the field and how quickly CPR was administered to assist him through the medical crisis. Doctors have stated administering CPR outside the hospital can save thousands of lives annually, but about half of Americans say they don’t know how to do it.

The Joplin Health Department is offering two classes of cardiopulmonary resuscitation on Thursday, March 16 for the public. Classes will be held in Conference Room 1 of the Joplin Public Library, 1901 East 20th Street. The classes are a part of the American Heart Association’s training. Friends and Family® CPR will be held from 1:00 to 4:00 pm and will cover:

  • Adult hands-only CPR and with breaths
  • Child and infant CPR
  • Adult and child AED use
  • Mild and severe airway block
  • Hands-on practice of all techniques

This class is a great one for new parents, grandparents, babysitters, and others. Cost is $25 per person.

AHA HeartCode® BLS Skills Checkoff will be held from 10:00 to 11:00 am on March 16. The course is designed for those who have already completed the online portion of the HeartCode® BLS course. This is the hands-on skills session check-off to complete the certification for HeartCode® BLS. Cost is $20 per person.

Preregistration and pre-payment are required to attend either of these classes. Participants can complete these steps by going to the Joplin Parks registration website of their online catalog. Classes are listed under the Adult Programs division of the registration site. Citizens can also call the Health Department at 417.623.6122, ext. 1258 for more information.


Lynn Iliff Onstot, Public Information Officer
City of Joplin
417.624.0820, ext. 1204

Now is the perfect time to get your “little eagle” or other Joplin school kindergartener prepared for school!  Pre-Enrollment started on February 6 and Joplin Health Department staff are here to help.

  • We will immunize children who attend school in the city of Joplin.
  • We can issue birth certificates for anyone born in Missouri.  Cost is $15 per certificate.
  • Our clinics for “Kindergarten Round-up” will be 9 AM to 11 AM and 1 PM to 4 PM on Tuesdays, February 14 and February 21.  We do encourage appointments to decrease wait time!
  • Student must bring a shot record to receive immunizations.  If they don’t have one, we recommend parent or guardian contact their pediatrician to obtain one before they come to our clinic.
  • Parent/guardian must bring a picture ID.  If someone other than the guardian is bringing the child, they must also bring a note, signed by the parent/guardian, giving us permission to treat without a parent present.
  • Costs for immunizations are as listed below:

Fees for Child and Adolescent Vaccinations

   Vaccine Charge Administration Charge
 VFC Eligible with Medicaid None Billed to Medicaid
VFC Eligible no Medicaid None $13.00 per child
Insured with Full Immunization Coverage Billed to Insurance through Vaxcare Billed to Insurance through Vaxcare


For more information, contact Misty Hammer, RN, Medical Services Coordinator, at 417-623-6122, ext. 1289.


The Joplin City Health Department/Women, Infants and Children (WIC) announces a contract continuance to provide WIC services for the federal fiscal year 2023 has been signed with the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services.

Women, Infants and Children (WIC) is a special supplemental nutrition program providing services to pregnant women, new mothers, infants and children up to their fifth birthday based on nutritional risk and income eligibility. The primary services provided are healthy, supplemental food, risk assessment, nutrition education and counseling, breastfeeding promotion and support, health screening and referrals to health care. To be eligible for WIC, applicants must have an income of less than or equal to 185% of the poverty level and be at nutritional risk. Migrant families are also eligible.

WIC supplemental food packages are specially chosen to provide foods high in protein, iron, calcium, and vitamins A and C. Eligible women and children receive fortified milk and cheese, eggs, whole grain bread products, hot or cold cereals, 100% fruit juices, and fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables. The WIC program recommends breastfeeding and provides breastfeeding support, baby foods, and infant cereal. For women who cannot or choose not to breastfeed, infants may receive supplemental, iron-fortified formula. WIC participants obtain their food by using their eWIC cards for specific items at participating local grocery stores and pharmacies.

Studies confirm that pregnant women who enroll in WIC during the early months of pregnancy have fewer low birth weight babies, experience fewer infant deaths, see the doctor earlier in pregnancy, and eat healthier.

WIC is administered in Jasper County by the Joplin City Health Department/WIC program. Persons interested in applying or who are in need of more information should contact the Joplin City WIC office at 417.623.1928, option three and leave a message. WIC clinics are offered at 321 E. 4th Street, Joplin Missouri 8:00 am to 12:00 pm and 1:00 to 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.

In accordance with federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, this institution is prohibited from discriminating on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex (including gender identity and sexual orientation), disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity.

Program information may be made available in languages other than English. Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication to obtain program information (e.g., Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language), should contact the responsible state or local agency that administers the program or USDA’s TARGET Center at 202.720.2600 (voice and TTY) or contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at 800.877.8339.

To file a program discrimination complaint, a Complainant should complete Form AD-3027, USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, which can be obtained online here, from any USDA office, by calling 866.632.9992, or by writing a letter addressed to USDA. The letter must contain the complainant’s name, address, telephone number, and a written description of the alleged discriminatory action in sufficient detail to inform the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights (ASCR) about the nature and date of an alleged civil rights violation. The completed AD-3027 form or letter must be submitted to USDA by mail.


Joplin Health Department
417.623.6122, ext. 1256

Learn about what’s new in local health care with Freeman Health System’s online newsletter, Freeman in a Flash. Read about new doctors at Freeman, Breast Cancer Awareness month, upcoming events, and much more below. 

New 3D Mammogram with Patient-Assisted Compression

Freeman Women’s Pavilion is equipped with the latest generation of 3D mammography equipment with patient-assisted compression. Freeman is thefirst and only in region to invest in GE’s Senographe Pristina™ Dueta, a 3-D mammography system that enables women to determine the pressure applied for compression, improving women’s experience and delivering better images. This self-compression tool helps give women a sense of control by enabling them to manually adjust the degree of breast compression.

Fear of pain is one of the most common reasons why women do not schedule a mammogram. A recent study conducted found that painful exams explain why 25% to 46% of women failed to return for further breast imaging. The Pristina approaches this problem in two ways: by making the paddles that compress the breast more flexible and by putting compression control in the hands of the patient.

Call 417.347.7777 to schedule your mammogram today and learn more here.

Interventional Cardiologist Added to the Freeman Team

Freeman Health System is pleased to welcome rheumatologist Dr. Justin Reed to its medical staff. Dr. Reed brings with him his expertise in a new specialty at Freeman. Freeman is expanding its services with Freeman Rheumatology, located at 931 E. 32nd Street, Joplin, in the Freeman Center for Geriatric Medicine.

Rheumatologists diagnosis and treat diseases that affect the muscles, joints, ligaments, tendons and bones. They also treat systemic autoimmune diseases, such as lupus and scleroderma.

Dr. Reed said he is excited to be able to bring a limited but much-needed service to the community.

“Rheumatologists deal with very complex diverse set of diseases,” Dr. Reed said. “It’s challenging because a lot of our diseases present insidiously. They can masquerade as other diseases before they fully present themselves in the textbook fashion. So, it takes some patience and diligence and getting to know your patients on a personal level.”

Dr. Reed is currently accepting patients by referral only. Learn more here.

Be a Flu Fighter with Worksite Clinics

It isn’t too late! Maintaining your annual flu vaccination is important because flu viruses evolve quickly and immunity can decline over time.

Freeman offers employers the option to be billed directly or to file insurance, if this is a covered benefit of your plan. On-site flu clinics offer:

  • Convenience – clinics visit your work site
  • Flexible scheduling – appointments available for all shifts, including nights and weekends
  • Efficiency – ability to vaccinate about 45 people per hour

To schedule an on-site flu clinic, please contact Raenna Diaz, Freeman OccuMed On-Site Coordinator, at 417.347.6934. For more information on billing your group health insurance, please contact Shelby Allen, Freeman Prevention & Wellness Supervisor, at 417.347.5646.

National Health Observances

As you plan your Employee Wellness programs and communication, you can find resources at the Department of Health and Human Services Monthly Observances Calendar. Each month focuses on approximately three to six topics of interest. Here are just a few resources for September:

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Did you know that 1 in 8 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in her lifetime? Early diagnosis is critical to survival. Check with your primary care provider to see if you need to schedule a mammogram, and visit to learn more about Freeman’s breast cancer services.

Freeman also sponsors the Espresso Yourself Breast Cancer Support Group on the first Tuesday of each month at Joplin Avenue Coffee Shop. To RSVP, to Marcella at 417.347.2662.

Early Detection Screenings Save Lives

Freeman Screen Team offers four screenings for just $100.

  • Stroke Screening/Carotid Artery
  •  Abdominal Aortic Aneurysm Screening
  • Peripheral Artery Disease (PAD) Screening
  • Osteoporosis Risk Screening

If you’re interested in learning more about these screenings, check out the poster below or call the Screen Team at 417.347.6555.

Want to Stay in the Loop?

Subscribe to Freeman in a Flash and the newsletter will be shared with you each month via email. Sign up today!

Learn about what’s new in local healthcare with Freeman Health System’s online newsletter, Freeman in a Flash. Read about primary care in Neosho, flu shot clinics, upcoming events, and much more below. 

Electronic Authorization Form Simplifies Approval for Freeman OccuMed Services

Employer authorization is required before services can be provided at Freeman OccuMed (with the exception of emergencies falling under EMTALA guidelines). Employers can provide authorization by email, phone, fax, or an authorization form carried in by the patient.

Freeman OccuMed provides an editable PDF authorization form, which is free to download. Freeman OccuMed also provides an after hours authorization form for Freeman Urgent Care and Emergency Rooms. Employer authorization is required to obtain after hours drug and alcohol testing. You can submit an authorization form for each patient, or put a pre-approved protocol on file.

Access the Freeman OccuMed Authorization Form here, and the after hours form here. Register your company’s after hours protocol here.

New Internal Medicine Physician in Neosho

Freeman Neosho Physician Group is pleased to welcome Dr. Shelby Tinney-Edge, an internal medicine physician, to its staff. A native of the Joplin area, Dr. Tinney-Edge considers Freeman home.

“I always knew I was going to come back home and help the people in my community,” Dr. Tinney-Edge said. “I felt like the physicians at Freeman Neosho Physician Group were very close knit. I liked the small town feel of Neosho, and there is a great need for primary care.”

Dr. Tinney-Edge is accepting new patients at Freeman Neosho Physician Group, 336 S. Jefferson St., Neosho. To schedule an appointment call 417.455.4200.

Interventional Cardiologist Added to the Freeman Team

Freeman Heart & Vascular Institute is pleased to welcome Dr. Vigyan Bang, a board-certified interventional cardiologist, to its staff. Interventional cardiologists perform many interventional procedures, including cardiac catheterization to diagnose and treat heart disease, stenting, angiogram, angioplasty and intravascular ultrasound. They also provide general and preventive cardiology care.

Dr. Bang, the son of two physicians, said he is looking forward to working with Freeman and the community.

“This health system is very intertwined in the community,” Dr. Bang said. “The cardiology group are well-trained physicians who work well together to take care of complex patients. Freeman gives me the opportunity to hone my sub-specialty training, which is structural cardiology.”

Dr. Bang’s clinic is located at Freeman Heart & Vascular Institute, 1102 W. 32nd St., Suite 300. To schedule an appointment, call 417.347.5000.

Be a Flu Fighter with Worksite Clinics

Maintaining your annual flu vaccination is important because flu viruses evolve quickly and immunity can decline over time.

Freeman offers employers the option to be billed directly or to file insurance, if this is a covered benefit of your plan. On-site flu clinics offer:

  •  Convenience – clinics visit your work site
  • Flexible scheduling – appointments available for all shifts, including nights and weekends
  • Efficiency – ability to vaccinate about 45 people per hour

To schedule an on-site flu clinic, please contact Raenna Diaz, Freeman OccuMed On-Site Coordinator, at 417.347.6934.

For more information on billing your group health insurance, please contact Shelby Allen, Freeman Prevention & Wellness Supervisor, at 417.347.5646.

September National Health Observances

As you plan your Employee Wellness programs and communication, you can find resources at the Department of Health and Human Services Monthly Observances Calendar. Each month focuses on approximately three to six topics of interest. Here are just a few resources for September:

The 988 Suicide and Crisis Line Network is Now Active

Crisis staff at Ozark Center, an entity of Freeman Health System, will answer the new 988 dialing code for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

“Ozark Center is one of 200 crisis centers nationwide to join this new 988 network,” said Paula F. Baker, Freeman Health System President and Chief Executive Officer. “Staffed by specialists with extensive training in supportive counseling and self-harm risk reduction, the Ozark Center 988 line will receive calls from Barton, Jasper, Newton and McDonald counties. Suicide is the most preventable, leading cause of death in the country, and we encourage anyone having an emotional or mental crisis to call 988 for help, day or night.”

Ozark Center will also continue to operate other crisis lines for those in distress, including a local number for Joplin 417.347.7720 or toll free at 800.247.0661.

Read more here.

Free Trauma-Informed Workplaces Workshop

Trauma-informed care is helpful in everyday life. Incorporating trauma-informed care principles and practices can help with how you do business, engage employees and interact with family.

Trauma-informed care promotes a culture of safety, empowerment and healing. During the presentation, you will hear from Kaley Routledge, Trauma Informed Care Specialist at Ozark Center, an entity of Freeman Health System. She will guide us through:

  • Defining trauma-informed care
  • Discussing major principles
  • Examining best practices

Most importantly, you’ll take away ideas and resources for workplace implementation.

Learn more and register to attend virtually or in-person here.

Support Group

The Freeman Caregiver Support Group will meet on Thursday, January 20 at 10:30 am in the Freeman East Conference Rooms.

Join fellow caregivers for this support group meeting to gain advice on what lies ahead, make new friends and learn how to better take care of family members. Door prizes will be given out.

RSVP to Kathy Mason at 417.347.8463 or To see the full list of upcoming events offered by Freeman, click here.

Want to Stay in the Loop?

Subscribe to Freeman in a Flash and the newsletter will be shared with you each month via email. Sign up today!

The Joplin Health Department is now offering cardio-pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) classes for the community, with the first classes offered on Thursday, September 8. Three different courses, including Friends and Family, Heart Saver, and Heart Code Basic Life Support, follow American Heart Association’s criteria with two of the three classes offered each month. The first sessions include HeartCode BLS Skills Checkoff from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Friends and Family offered from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on September 8. All classes will be held in a meeting room of the Joplin Public Library. To determine which class fits specific needs, please see descriptions below.

Friends and Family CPR AED  – The Family & Friends CPR Course teaches the lifesaving skills of adult Hands-Only CPR, adult CPR with breaths, child CPR with breaths, adult and child AED use, infant CPR, and mild and severe airway block for adults, children, and infants. Skills are taught in a dynamic group environment using the AHA’s research-proven practice-while-watching technique, which provides students with the most hands-on CPR practice time possible.

Heartsaver CPR AED – This course is for anyone with little or no medical training who needs a course completion card for their job, regulatory (e.g., OSHA), or other requirements or anyone who wants to be prepared for an emergency in any setting. Upon successful course completion, students receive a course completion card, valid for two years.

HeartCode® BLS Skills Checkoff –HeartCode® BLS Online is a self-directed, comprehensive eLearning program that uses adaptive learning technology to allow learners to acquire and demonstrate Basic Life Support skills using a personalized learning path that adapts in real-time to a learner’s performance. The program is designed for healthcare professionals who need Basic Life Support training for their clinical duties. Utilizing a variety of eLearning assets such as dramatizations, Cognitive Assessment Activities, illustrations, knowledge checks, and interactive activities, this program teaches BLS knowledge and skills. This method of learning provides training consistency and adaptability to different learning styles. Students can work at their own pace applying their knowledge to real-time decision-making. Debriefings and coaching are provided immediately after each knowledge check and each Cognitive Assessment Activity. Students who successfully complete the cognitive portion and the hands-on session (skills) will receive an AHA BLS Provider course completion card (eCard), valid for two years.

Fees for the classes are Friends and Family is $25, HeartSaver is $50 (full in class setting), and Heart Code Basic Life Support is $20 for the skills check-off.  Participants can register and pay for any of the classes on the Joplin Parks registration website of their online catalog. Classes are listed under the Adult Programs division of the registration site. Citizens can also call the Health Department at 417-623-6122, ext. 1256.

The remaining schedule for upcoming months includes:

September 8, 2022 Conference Room 1 4:00pm-7:00pm X 2:30pm-3:30pm
October 18, 2022 Conference Room 1 9:30am – 12:00pm 1:30pm-4:30pm X
November 10, 2022 Community Room East X 12:00pm-4:00pm 9:30am-10:30am
December 13, 2022 Conference Room 1 4:00pm-7:00pm X 2:30pm-3:30pm

Submitted By:      Lynn Onstot, Public Information Officer, 417-624-0820, ext. 1204


One person giving a pint of blood can save as many as three lives. In fact, someone just like you donated the blood Sid McConnell needed to recover from a quadruple bypass, giving him the chance to have more adventures with his daughters.

Currently blood usage is up while donations are down due to cancelled blood drives. Freeman Health System hopes to help by holding a blood drive with Community Blood Center of the Ozarks (CBCO) on Tuesday, March 22.

CBCO is the sole provider of blood and plasma products to Freeman, as well as more than 44 other hospitals in its 40-county service area. Many patients depend on blood transfusions, and Freeman Health System uses more than 500 pints of blood each month.

Giving blood is a safe, easy way to ensure our friends, family and neighbors will have the lifesaving blood they need. Donors 17 or older who weigh at least 110 pounds and have not given blood in the past eight weeks are encouraged to participate. Donors will receive a free quarter-zip pullover while supplies last.

Please eat well and drink plenty of water before your appointment. Photo identification is required. CBCO follows current CDC guidelines regarding masks. CBCO follows current CDC guidelines regarding masks.

Appointments are strongly encouraged to manage donor flow. To schedule your appointment, call 417.227.5006 or you can go to

What: Freeman Blood Drive

When: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm, Tuesday, March 22

Where: Freeman Hospital West, Conference Rooms 1W – 4W

Health is a lot more than how one looks and feels. Conversations about health should include all eight dimensions or areas of wellness—that is mental, social, emotional, spiritual, financial, occupational, environmental, and intellectual. That’s the focus of Living Well Month, a national event in March promoting overall wellness and the education provided by Family and Consumer Sciences (FCS) professionals to improve the lives of people, families, and communities.

“The Missouri Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences works through the University of Missouri Extension Service to offer information that will help families achieve a positive, healthy lifestyle,” says Lindsey Stevenson, nutrition and health specialist in Barton, Jasper, and Dade Counties. “Whether you are trying to manage your diabetes through meal planning and exercise, make decisions about health care and insurance, or get tips on effective parenting techniques, Extension FCS has a research-based answer.

To make every month a “Living Well Month,” consider these tips:

1. Engage children in at least 60 minutes of physical activity on most days of the week. Adults need at least 30 minutes of physical activity. Play sports or recreational games, turn on some music and dance, hula hoop, or make an obstacle course. Take a walk or a bike ride in your neighborhood. All movement counts.

2. Start planning a garden now to work in the spring and summer. Gardening is great physical activity. This activity could also nurture your mental and environmental wellness.

3. Rethink your drink. The average adult human body is approximately 60 percent water. Water regulates every living cell’s process and chemical reactions. It transports nutrients and oxygen. Water also helps to maintain normal bowel habits and prevent constipation. Reduce the amount of soda and fruit drinks consumed daily.

4. Eat a variety of healthful foods. Eat colorful fruits and vegetables every day. Most people need to increase their fruit and vegetable intake. Have a sliced banana on cereal for breakfast. Enjoy a sandwich loaded with vegetables at lunch. At dinner, steam some vegetables and prepare a fruit parfait with yogurt for dessert. Try new fruits and vegetables. If there’s a kind you don’t like, try preparing it in a different way. See for more information about nutrition for yourself and members of your family.

5. Read, read, read. Go to the library and check out books. Keep the mental stimulation flowing throughout the year regardless of your age. This will stimulate your intellectual health.

6. Talk to a friend or start a journal to get your thoughts and feelings off your chest. Staying in check with emotional health can be tough, but it’s important.

7. Check out parenting, finance, nutrition and/or food preparation classes offered by your Extension office. Scan the QR code for more information about upcoming offerings.

8. Maintain a healthy home. Check that your smoke detector is working correctly and test for the presence of Radon. Help manage allergies and/or asthma by cleaning and vacuuming regularly to reduce allergy triggers in the home. Avoid accidental poisonings by keeping medications locked up, and cleaning agents and other poisons out of reach of children.

9. Keep your family finances in check. Track your expenses and update your budget regularly. Eat at home often because meals outside of home usually cost more. Plan your menus and use coupons as a planning tool. Creating and sticking to a budget, along with paying of debt are great first steps to financial wellness.

All eight of the dimensions or areas of wellness are connected and support each other. Evaluate your overall wellness and take small steps to improve your health during Living Well Month and all year long.

March 2022 Living Well Calendar

Extension Family and Consumer Science professionals are part of a nationwide educational organization funded through the Land Grant University System and United States Department of Agriculture. Local Extension Family and Consumer Sciences professionals provide practical,
relevant, non-biased, research-based information.

Submitted by:
Lindsey Stevenson, County Engagement Specialist in nutrition and health
University of Missouri Extension