Freeman News

Ozark Center Earns Accreditation from CARF International

June 21, 2017

Achievement recognizes commitment to behavioral health programs.

Ozark Center, an entity of Freeman Health System, has once again earned a three-year accreditation from Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF). CARF International is an independent, nonprofit accrediting body. Its mission is to promote the quality, value and optimal outcomes of services through a consultative accreditation process centered around enhancing the lives of the people served. Founded in 1966, CARF establishes consumer-focus standards to help organizations measure and improve the quality of their programs and standards.

“Staff at Ozark Center express a great deal of enthusiasm in their work and a desire to further improve services to meet clients’ needs,” said Mary Parrigon, Ozark Center Executive Director. “This achievement is a testament to their dedication to provide quality service day in and day out.”

The achievement represents the highest level of accreditation that can be awarded to an organization and shows Ozark Center’s substantial conformance to CARF standards. Ozark Center underwent a rigorous on-site survey to achieve the accreditation, during which its compliance with behavioral healthcare standards was evaluated. This included care, treatment, services, leadership and screening procedures.

During the site visit, 27 Ozark Center programs and services were reviewed, including Adult Community & Outpatient Services, Bill & Virginia Leffen Center for Autism, Crisis Services, Home Health Care, Individual Placement Services, New Directions, Turnaround Ranch and Will’s Place. All 27 received the three-year accreditation.

The rigorous CARF assessment complimented Ozark Center for “significant efforts to reduce stigma and to advocate for the needs of persons served.” Additionally, CARF noted that Ozark Center has an extensive outreach program, stating “and unique programs that are designed to remove treatment barriers and touch the heart of the community.”


For more information about the accreditation process, visit


About Ozark Center

An integral component of Freeman Health System based in Joplin, Mo., Ozark Center provides comprehensive behavioral health services to children, adults and families in an area that includes more than 450,000 residents from Missouri, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and Kansas. Ozark Center continually looks for innovative ways to address the mental health needs of the community and promote awareness of mental illness in an effort to eliminate the discrimination associated with it. For more information, visit or call 417.347.7600.


About Freeman Health System
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 and a variety of specialty services. In 2017, Freeman earned dozens of 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 one of the top Hospitals in Southwest Missouri more than five years in a row, and the Leapfrog Group awarded Freeman the highest grade possible in the Spring 2017 Hospital Patient Safety Score. With more than 300 physicians on staff representing more than 60 specialties, Freeman provides cancer care, heart and vascular care, neurology and neurosurgery, orthopaedics, children’s services and women’s services. Additionally, Freeman is the only Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in a 70-mile radius. For more information, visit, or follow Freeman at Follow Freeman President and Chief Executive Officer Paula Baker at