The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

May 2011 Joplin tornado

October 16, 2012

Gov. Nixon among first to tour new Freeman floor

— Gov. Jay Nixon was among the first on Tuesday morning to get a look at the new sixth floor at Freeman Hospital West, built in response to the increased health care needs of the region after the 2011 tornado.

It is an $8 million space in the Gary and Donna Hall Tower that will house the intensive care unit and the transitional care unit. It will begin accepting patients later this month.

The floor will employ 90 additional nursing staff members, and numerous support personnel in housekeeping and nutrition. Nixon called the hospital’s recent expansions “a significant driver of the economy in Southwest Missouri.”

“This is a place that serves the Four-State region, and many of the patients that are served here come from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Kansas, because they know they can get the quality of care and the specialty care they need,” he said.

Plans for expanding the intensive care unit had been considered before the May 22, 2011, tornado, but they were accelerated three days after the twister wrecked St. John’s Regional Medical Center.

Paula Baker, Freeman Health System president and chief executive officer, who conducted the tour for Nixon, said the sixth-floor project was completed in a record-breaking 165 days.

Composed of 24,000 square feet, it includes a 13-bed surgical intensive care unit and a 16-bed transitional care unit for patients who are not sick enough to stay in intensive care but are too sick to return to a regular medical floor.

The floor is equipped with the latest technology the medical field has to offer, Baker said. Staff members demonstrated during the tour a new touch screen call system for nurses in each patient room, and a negative pressure room designed for infection control. Each patient room is equipped with a sleeping area for guests, and with mobile patient monitors that can accompany them to testing in other areas.

April Bennett, director of the cardiac medical unit, transitional care unit and surgical intensive care unit, said the amenities will not only make patients more comfortable, but also will mean faster diagnosis and treatment.

Nixon praised the hospital for its leadership, investment and vision during a time in which it was simultaneously responding to increased health care needs and dealing with the loss of several Freeman satellite operations.

“There’s no facility anywhere in America that has any more amenities, no place that is going to be safer, no place with less potential for infection,” Nixon said. “And when you see state of the art as good as anywhere in the world right here in Joplin, Mo., it continues to add to that strength of Freeman.”

Earlier Tuesday morning, Nixon was on hand for a groundbreaking for a new pet food manufacturing and distribution center that is expected to create up to 150 jobs.

“You feel like we’re turning that corner,” he said of Joplin’s progress.



Another session

AN INVITATION-ONLY EVENT was held Tuesday afternoon to introduce people to Freeman Health System’s latest construction effort.

1
Text Only
May 2011 Joplin tornado
  • r041414wildwood.jpg Opening of nursing home another recovery milestone

    Gladys Dutton has done a lot of things in her life, but Monday’s dedication of the Communities at Wildwood Ranch nursing home marked a first. “I’ve never cut a ribbon before,” she said. “I hope I do a good job.” Dutton was one of four residents to participate in the opening of the $8.5 million nursing center that eventually will be home to 120 people.

    April 14, 2014 1 Photo

  • 052212 unity walk1_72.jpg SLIDESHOW: One year later, One day of unity, updated Photos from a day of events commemorating the May 22, 2011 tornado anniversary

    May 22, 2012 1 Photo

  • Joplin Redevelopment Corp. preparing for first property sale

    The first sale of property from the Joplin Redevelopment Corp. to Wallace Bajjali Development Partners is scheduled for May 16. The city staff will be working to prepare for that sale, it was discussed on Tuesday at a meeting of the JRC.

    April 9, 2014

  • Issues prompt pair to seek help from city; allocations approved for repairs in tornado zone

    Two people spoke to the Joplin City Council on Monday night about issues they would like the city government to address. Elizabeth Clement, a Neosho resident who works in Joplin, asked the city to operate more surveillance in parking lots because of the number of cars stolen. She said her car was stolen from the parking lot at Northpark Mall and used in robberies.

    April 7, 2014

  • National institute releases final report on Joplin tornado

    The National Institute of Standards and Technology on Friday released a final report into the technical investigation of the May 22, 2011, tornado that struck Joplin — the deadliest tornado in the United States in the 64 years that official records have been kept.

    March 28, 2014

  • r031814tornadofunds2.jpg Local tornado fund board cites appreciation, accomplishments

    The 991 donations ranged from $1 to $119,000. They came from all over the world. On Tuesday, the managers of the Joplin Tornado First Response Fund gave an accounting of how those donations, which totaled about $995,950 with interest, were given in 41 grants, recipients of which included 27 local agencies.

    March 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • Dan Riddell 0604013.jpg Farmers Insurance extends tornado recovery commitment

    After investments that included stationing a company executive in Joplin for eight months last year, officials with Farmers Insurance said the company will continue its post-tornado commitment to Joplin in 2014. “We’re going to stay until the end,” said Doris Dunn, director of community relations for the company, on Wednesday. “That includes sending in another 100-plus volunteers and making some additional financial investments.”

    February 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • r021714rescuedog.jpg Author prepares for release of children’s book featuring heroic Joplin rescue dog

    Carolyn Mueller is both a dog lover and a storyteller. So when she got the opportunity to write a story about a Joplin dog named Lily who helped search for survivors after the May 2011 tornado, she jumped on it. “Dogs like Lily can be heroes, too,” she said.

    February 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • VIDEO: Lost photos claim day to be held at museum

    National Disaster Photo Rescue and the Joplin Museum Complex have scheduled a public viewing and photo claim day for 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 22, at the museum complex in Schifferdecker Park. The project, originally known as Lost Photos of Joplin, was organized in the weeks after the May 22, 2011, Joplin tornado to reunite storm victims with photos displaced by the storm.

    February 4, 2014

  • Building-permit total since tornado nears $1 billion

    The building of new homes in Joplin continues at an average pace of 16 to 18 per month, according to a building permit report released for December by the city of Joplin. Eighteen building permits for new homes were issued in both November and December. In fiscal year 2013, permits for new homes averaged more than 16 per month.

    January 31, 2014

Purchase Globe Photos


Featured Ads
Facebook
Tornado: Multimedia coverage
Tornado: Obituaries
Tornado: Columns
Tornado: Mike Pound
Tornado: Lists of missing, fatalities & relief
Tornado: Donate & volunteer
Tornado: Resources & relief