The latest addition to Freeman Neosho Hospital garnered a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday by the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce.

Chamber ambassadors assembled en masse to celebrate the new La-Z-Boy Therapeutic Services Center located near the main entrance to the 113 W. Hickory St. hospital.

“We’re very grateful to La-Z-Boy for helping to make this project a reality,” said Paula Baker, Freeman president and chief executive officer. “We’ve added a lot in terms of service provision, and a great example of that is what we are celebrating today, and that’s the La-Z-Boy Therapeutic Center, that allows people to come in and have the therapies that they need in their recovery process,” said Baker.

Renee Denton, Freeman Neosho director of administrative services, said the new addition allows centralizing the services provided to patients.

“Patients who are needing infusion therapy, room care therapy for cardiac rehab are able to come and receive their service now in one centralized location,” Denton said. “We’ve renovated that area, it’s a more aesthetically appealing environment for our patients to receive care, and it’s also much more convenient for them to come in our main entrance and go directly to the service area that they are needing.”

She said patients who require daily, weekly or monthly IV antibiotics or medication injections now benefit from the expanded infusion therapy space, increasing to four chairs from one. Denton noted that exercise equipment for cardiac rehabilitation patients is also located in the center, which also features televisions and a color palette designed to bring calm and comfort. With the various stations, she said ten or 11 patients can be served in the 2,177-square-feet La-Z-Boy Therapeutic Services Center at one time, and expects 400 to 500 to be served there annually.

Denton said the benefit to local patients is enormous.

“Our main focus is to educate our community to let them know if they are in need of cardiac rehab, or infusion therapy, or room care services, those are things we can take care of right here at home,” she said.”They don’t have to travel to another community to receive those cares, so we’re working very hard to make certain that our community is aware that they can receive those cares right here at home.”

Opening on April 9, 2014, Denton said the La-Z-Boy Therapeutic Services Center was conceptualized about a year ago, and renovations began in October. She said space previously needed to store medical records was made available because those records are now electronic.

Denton said ease of access for patients and expansion of services to the community were the driving forces behind the creation of the La-Z-Boy Therapeutic Services Center.

“Patients used to have to come in, check in at the emergency department, and then they may have to go to five different locations to receive the care that they came to receive,” she said. “So centralizing all of those services allows our patients to come in and receive their service just almost immediately.”

Denton said La-Z-Boy also supported the recent renovation of the waiting area for the intensive care unit at Freeman Neosho. She said the hospital updated its first and second floor main corridors and renovated 21 patient rooms in 2013.

Also Tuesday, the Neosho Area Chamber of Commerce, the city of Neosho, Newton County, and the Missouri House of Representatives celebrated Freeman Neosho Hospital as Neosho’s Employer of the Month for July 2014. That story will be forthcoming in Sunday’s edition of the Neosho Daily News.