Learn about what’s new in local healthcare with Freeman Health System’s newsletter, Freeman in a Flash. Learn about two new primary care physicians, drug screening upgrades, and much more below. 

Two New Primary Care Physicians Meeting Community Needs in Joplin and Anderson

Freeman Health System welcomes Justin Dillingham, DO, and Namrata Susarla, MD, who help fill a void in the number of primary care doctors in our community.

Meet Dr. Justin Dillingham

510 Park Street, Anderson, MO

A family medicine doctor, Dr. Dillingham attended medical school at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences and completed his residency at Genesys Family Medicine Residency in Grand Blanc, Michigan.

One medical issue close to his heart is obesity, and he shares his own lifelong struggle with weight with patients.

“There is a stigma around it,” said Dr. Dillingham. “My own personal struggle gives me insight. I noticed when patients see my old pictures before I lost more than 100 pounds, they’re like, ‘This guy gets it and what he’s telling me might actually work.’ So, if a patient wants help to lose weight and get healthy, I will spend all the time in the world to help them.”

To make an appointment with Dr. Dillingham, call 417.845.0545.

Meet Dr. Namrata Susarla

702 East 34th Street, Joplin

Dr. Susarla comes from a family of physicians and said she was inspired by her mother, who has a family care practice in India. Dr. Susarla completed her training at Freeman Internal Medicine Residency Program, and she is married to Dr. Rama Challapalli Sri, a Freeman nephrologist.

Dr. Susarla said empathy is her strong point and that “Shared-decision making is the key to build a good relationship in a clinical encounter.”

“I like to win my patients’ confidence by first listening to them and then having conversation about the best available options to maintain their health,” said Dr. Susarla. “In this way patients can explore their preferences while making health-based decisions.”

Dr. Susarla treats adults ages 18 and up. Call 417.347.2526 to schedule an appointment.

Express Drug Screen Receives Upgrade to Test for Methamphetamine

Effective April 4 at Freeman OccuMed, the non-federal express five-panel urine drug screen will be automatically upgraded to a non-federal express six-panel drug screen, which includes methamphetamine in the screening. Companies using this test may see an increase in positivity rates with the addition of the new drug detection. No other drug tests are affected.

Freeman Presents Major Donation to One Joplin

Freeman Health System is proud to extend $225,000 in financial support for One Joplin as it addresses access to healthcare in 2022.

“Freeman’s mission is to improve the health of the communities we serve through contemporary, innovative quality healthcare solutions,” said Paula Baker, Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer, “and One Joplin will enhance our efforts to do just that.”

Freeman is pledging three yearly installments of $75,000 to One Joplin as it works to meet critical community needs, such as health and wellness, opioid education, smoking cessation, domestic violence response, homelessness prevention and many other endeavors that directly intersect with the services Freeman provides to the community.

Allergy Presentation from Dr. Nathan Box

Did you miss our virtual Business Appreciation Event? We’ve got you covered!

Watch the recording from Dr. Nathan Box, Freeman Ear, Nose and Throat physician, to learn more about allergies – the sixth leading cause of chronic disease in the US. More than 50 million Americans experience various types of allergies each year, your employees among them. In his presentation, Dr. Box shared strategies available to patients through Freeman Allergy Clinic.

You can watch the full presentation here.

Freeman 5K and Walk for Autism

Join us for the annual Freeman 5K and Walk for Autism! Superhero costumes encouraged. All proceeds benefit program development and scholarship assistance at Bill & Virginia Leffen Center for Autism.

This event will take place on Saturday, April 24 at 8:00 am at the Center for Autism. Sign up here.

Wellness for Business Series: Part 1

Discover how the WorkWell Missouri Initiative encourages employers to create environmental changes and worksite policies that make it easy for employees to initiate and follow through with voluntary health behavior changes.

During this free presentation on April 27, Freeman representatives will discuss:

  • Why you should establish a worksite wellness program in your organization.
  • How worksite wellness programs benefit both the employee and employer.
  • The importance of having senior leadership support and an active wellness committee to drive your program.
  • Why it’s important to utilize evidence-based wellness resources at the local, state and national level.
  • How to create a wellness plan starting with the CDC Worksite Health ScoreCard.

Interested individuals can register to participate in-person at the Freeman Business Center, here, or register here to attend virtually.

Work@Health Training for Missouri Employers

Developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Work@Health training enhances employer knowledge of tools for the planning, implementation and evaluation of workplace health interventions. The curriculum provides employers with the skills to create a worksite wellness program using strategies to address chronic health conditions.

Cost is $25 per participant. Learn more and register here.


Healthy Joplin, a combined effort of One Joplin and the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce, is working on a group walking initiative in the community. If you or your organization is interested in hosting a walking group (it’s easy, we promise), you’ll find information about how to participate on the Walking Leaders Facebook group.

The pinned post is a video PSA about the health benefits of walking in groups. Check it out — you might recognize someone it in!

Caregiver 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 kdmason@freemanhealth.com. To see the full list of upcoming events offered by Freeman, click here.

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