More medical enhancements on the way for Neosho


By Mike Elswick

Daily News Managing Editor

There’s plenty of activity going on behind the scenes of the local health care community to compliment the more visible signs of progress — like the arrival of two new physicians in Neosho.

Renee Denton, Freeman Neosho Hospital Chief Operating Officer, said construction should start soon on a major enhancement at the medical center while even more physicians are on the horizon to join Neosho’s medical community.

This past week Freeman, along with the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce, hosted a reception for physicians Dr. Erin Kern and Dr. Lindsey McClintick. Kern is an internal medicine specialist while McClintick practices pediatric medicine.

“By next summer we’ll have two additional doctors,” Denton told a recent meeting of the economic development committee of the chamber of commence. One of the two new physicians due in mid-2017 will be a family practitioner and the other will specialize in internal medicine.

“In early October we’ll be having a ground breaking for our new MRI/CT suite. The facility will be named in honor the late Larry Neff, civic leader and strong supporter of Freeman.

“That will allow additional and faster testing,” Denton said. “We’ll go from being able to do one MRI per hour to doing two and we be adding two full-time employees.”

Completion of the new imaging facility could happen by late 2017.

“The mobile unit should be gone in between 12 and 16 months,” she said.

Neosho should also benefit from the new Kansas City University Medical School slated to open in Joplin in the fall of 2017, Denton said.

“Freeman Hospital has agreed to take on new (medical) residents and we may have some here,” she said. Other recent enhancements Freeman Health System has been involved in locally include new school clinical programs being done in conjunction with area school districts.

“We’re in our second year in Neosho and started both Seneca and McDonald County this year,” she said.

“These are true collaborations between Freeman and the school districts with the goal of keeping students and staff healthier with earlier intervention to get students well and back to class sooner.” In July, Freeman Neosho Hospital celebrated the renovation of two enhanced area of the local facility when ribbon cutting ceremonies were held for a new waiting area and a new location for the hospital’s chapel.

The chapel was rededicated after a recent renovation project to make it more centrally located on the second floor closer to patient rooms. Moving the chapel allowed expansion of the patient waiting area on the first floor, enhancing confidentially for patients and being more attractive.

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