President and Chief Executive Officer - Freeman Health System

Req Number: TZ1FTO
Location: Joplin, Missouri
Posted: 4/4/2024
Category: Life Sciences/Healthcare : Hospital/Health Systems
Job Type: Permanent

Position President and Chief Executive Officer
Company Freeman Health System
Location Joplin, Missouri
Reporting Relationship The President & CEO will report to the Board of Directors for overall operation of Freeman Health System (including Freeman Joplin, Freeman Neosho, Ozark Center, and the Freeman Foundation).

Organization Background
Recently, Freeman announced the retirement of their long-serving CEO, who has led the organization for over a decade through a period of prosperity and financial success. Locally owned not-for-profit and nationally recognized, Freeman Health System includes Freeman Hospital West, Freeman Hospital East, Freeman Neosho Hospital and Ozark Center – the area’s largest provider of behavioral health services – as well as two urgent care clinics, dozens of physician clinics in three states and a variety of specialty services. Freeman in Joplin, Missouri, is a 460-bed, three-hospital system providing comprehensive healthcare and behavioral health services to an area that includes more than 450,000 from Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas.

With more than 350 physicians on staff representing more than 90 specialties among 30 locations, Freeman provides cancer care, heart and vascular care, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopaedics, children’s services, and women’s services. Freeman is the largest employer and provider of healthcare services. Additionally, Freeman is the only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in a 70-mile radius.

Freeman health System is on a mission to improve rural healthcare accessibility by building a fully functional 50-bed hospital in Pittsburg, Kansas. While still in the development phase, the board is supportive of the expansion and will announce the specific location soon. Focusing on meeting the health and wellness needs of the communities served, Freeman continues to address access to high quality providers and specialists in the local market. Freeman’s caregivers, leadership and board of directors play an active role in identifying and addressing the region’s health needs.

In 2022, Freeman earned more than 90 individual awards for medical excellence and patient safety from CareChex®, a quality rating system that helps consumers evaluate healthcare providers. U.S. News & World Report ranked Freeman No 1 in Southwest Missouri.

Our Mission is to improve the health of the communities we serve through contemporary, innovative, quality healthcare solutions.

Freeman Health System is accredited by the Healthcare Facilities Accreditation Program (HFAP). HFAP has been providing medical facilities with an objective review of their services since 1945. The program is recognized nationally by the federal government, state governments, insurance carriers and managed care organizations.

In 1965, with the implementation of Medicare, the HFAP was granted "Deeming Authority" to conduct accreditation surveys of acute care hospitals by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS). HFAP was also granted "Deeming Authority" to survey hospital laboratories under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA) and has also been given authority to accredit Critical Access Hospitals, Ambulatory Surgical Centers, and Outpatient Surgical Facilities.

Quality of Care
As you consider healthcare services and providers, you need access to information to help you make the right choices. A number of independent agencies publish data that you can use to find out how hospitals rate in areas such as infection prevention, pneumonia, heart attack and heart failure.

Quality of Care Comparisons

Community Benefit and Economic Impact Comparisons

Community Health Needs Assessment
Freeman Health System is a founding stakeholder of the Ozarks Health Commission (OHC), which was formed in 2015. OHC partners include health systems and public health agencies who share a vision of using a systematic, data-driven processes to inform decisions and guide efforts to improve community health and wellness on a regional level.

Every three years, Freeman Health System collaborates with other health care partners to publish a comprehensive community health needs assessment (CHNA). The assessment provides an up-to-date picture with which to strategically address health concerns. The most pressing needs are prioritized, and a plan to improve health is developed.

Freeman Health System Accomplishments and Awards
Freeman Health System has won several awards from the American Heart Association, US News & World Report, CareChex®, Blue Cross Blue Shield and many more. Click here to see a list of the awards and recognitions received by Freeman.

U.S. News & World Report
Once again Freeman Health System has been named the Best Regional Hospital in Southwest Missouri by the U.S. News & World Report Best Hospitals report and ranks 14th in the state of Missouri in 2020. Freeman has also been ranked as high performing for three procedures and conditions by the Best Hospitals assessment, including heart failure care, colon cancer surgery and COPD treatment.

Position Summary
The President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) is responsible for overall leadership and strategic direction for Freeman Health System and is accountable for all strategy, operations, management, and financial performance of Freeman Health System including Freeman Joplin, Freeman Neosho, Ozark Center, and the Freeman Foundation.

Accountable to the Board of Directors, the CEO will hone, articulate, and implement a strategic vision aligned to the mission, vision, and values of Freeman Health System. S/he will work extensively in the community and region to foster external relationships, partnerships, and alliances along with legislative influence to support mission. The CEO will demonstrate agility, change leadership, and innovative thinking to lead change and transformation and achieve results in a competitive environment. The CEO will serve as a voting member of the FHS Board of Directors, Ozark Center Board of Directors and Freeman Neosho Board of Directors.

Key Responsibilities
The President & CEO is responsible for the following:
  • Provides strategic, business, operational and cultural leadership to deliver high-value care and ensure viability of Freeman Health System in an ever-changing industry.
  • Develops and oversees execution of strategic and business plan development and partnerships to ensure delivery of value-based services to the communities served.
  • Oversees business operations, financial position, and development and execution of strategic response in a competitive market.
  • Fosters external stakeholder relationships at the local, state, and federal levels including influencing legislative policy and coalition building to influence effective business and clinical delivery of care.
  • Provides administrative expertise to ensure the provision of safe, reliable, quality care, and service in all locations.
  • Provides leadership to ensure Freeman Health System meets all local, state, and federal legislation and regulations. Sets the tone for a culture of inclusion, engagement, and service among all employees and physicians while aligning to the direction of the organization.
  • Cultivates stakeholder relationships to strengthen market position and cultivates community engagement.
  • Oversees operational and performance improvement embracing the lean management model, fostering the adoption of lean, evidenced-based leadership and high reliability.
  • Develops and implements long-range strategies that enhance patient care and supports strong relational management and engages in the direction and leadership of the organization.
  • Establishes long-range plans and goals for growth and development of programs, products, and services, strategically aligning innovative opportunities for world class care.
  • Monitors trends in healthcare regionally and nationally to keep Freeman Health System current.
  • Ensures transparency and clarity in all actions and communications to key stakeholders i.e., physicians, employees, Board of Directors, community, and government agencies. Builds strong productive relationships with stakeholders to accomplish the stated strategic goals.
  • Understands stakeholder needs and concerns and leverages this to influence and gain support for organizational priorities.
  • Sets standards for operational performance for the organization and fiscal accountability.
  • Develops and achieves annual financial targets and holds leaders and employees accountable.
  • Builds consensus with Leadership and Medical Staff working in cooperation on related strategy and program initiatives. Ensures that the Medical Staff Bylaws, Rules, and Regulations are enforced to ensure quality physician practice and outcomes.
  • Recruits, develops, retains, and leads a talented team of committed executives to cascade and accomplish the goals of Freeman Health System.
  • Builds an environment of shared commitment to organizational goals and fosters an environment conducive to maximizing individual and collective productivity, emphasizing performance, and collaboration.

Professional Experience/Qualifications/Traits
Successful candidates for the President & CEO role will possess the following:
  • A minimum of ten years of experience managing operations and administrative capacities within a large, complex healthcare organization; five years of senior level leadership experience in healthcare, with the knowledge, sophistication, and savvy to effectively manage operations of a health system. Must have P&L responsibility at scale with demonstrated business and financial acumen to lead a growing health system.
  • Broad experience across a variety of key functional areas of health care administration is ideal to include the following: strategic planning, patient care, quality & safety, finance, service line development, operations excellence, physician relations, joint-venture development, information technology, human resources, legal /risk management, public relations, marketing, and government relations.
  • A proven track record of leading consistent, successful financial and operational performance.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop a strategic plan and then effectively implement the plan across a complex health care organization to achieve long-term success.
  • Proven experience in successfully partnering with Boards to effect positive change to move an organization forward to higher performance.
  • Proven expertise in leading systems integration efforts and in performing a cultural transformation in a complex and changing health care setting.
  • Demonstrated knowledge of accountable care strategies and initiatives. Has played a key role in advancing these agendas in current organization.
  • Proven record of building consensus, trust, open communication, promotion of diverse perspectives, mutual support, and empowerment.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively lead and manage an organization through change; a successful change agent.
  • Leadership capabilities that accommodate a complex organization with multiple matrix relationships, and which values strong decisive leadership while also encouraging timely consensus building as a preferred style.
  • Outstanding relationship building skills; must be highly collaborative and someone who relates well with diverse constituents.
  • Superb communication skills (written, verbal, and listening) that are equally effective with large and small audiences and on a one-on-one level.
  • Very visible, approachable, and involved in not only the health system, but also in the local communities it serves.
  • A style that supports change and innovation, an ability to delegate yet keep control, set high standards, hold people accountable, and make tough decisions.
  • Capable of perceiving situations as they really are; politically astute/savvy.
  • Excellent executive presence with the ability to inspire and motivate.
  • Positive, can-do attitude. The ultimate team player who leads by example. A role model for all in the organization to follow.
  • Highly ethical; unwavering integrity.

  • Master’s Degree in hospital or health care administration, business administration or related field and/or MD or other relevant clinical degree is highly preferred.

Salary will be competitive and commensurate with the skills and experience of the selected candidate.


Korn Ferry shall provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified candidates, and will refer candidates without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, veteran status or any other legally protected basis.