Paula Baker, president and CEO of Freeman Health System

Paula Baker is president and CEO of Freeman Health System, a 485-bed health system headquartered in Joplin, Mo. From 2003 to 2008, Ms. Baker served as CEO of Ozark Center in Joplin, where she directed the development of Ozark Center for Autism, now known as the Bill & Virginia Leffen Center for Autism. She continues to provide executive leadership to the center while fulfilling her current role.

Ms. Baker was appointed to the Missouri Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorders in 2008. She also currently serves on the Pittsburg State University Foundation Board of Trustees, boards of Ronald McDonald House, Arvest Bank, Connect-2-Culture, Missouri Hospital Association, Healthcare Services Group, VHA Mid-America and Mid-America Service Solutions and Joplin Regional Initiative Advisory Council.

A recipient of many honors, Ms. Baker has been awarded the Missouri Hospital Association Visionary Leadership Award, Joplin Citizen of the Year, Pittsburg State University Outstanding Alumni, Pittsburg State University Meritorious Achievement Award, Making a Difference to Women Award, 2008 Women of Distinction, Hero in Healthcare Award, Ten Most Influential Women and recognition by the Missouri House of Representatives for distinguished leadership in behavioral healthcare.

Ms. Baker holds a master's degree in clinical psychology from Pittsburg (Kan.) State University.

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