Joplin, Mo. - St. Johnís Regional Medical Center and Freeman Health System, working in collaboration with Midwest Transplant Network and Heartland Lions Eye Bank, will host the annual Family Circle Rose Celebration.† The celebration will be held in St. Johnís Main Lobby on Sunday, December 7 at 2 p.m. The Family Circle Rose Celebration honors both hospitalsí 2007 organ, tissue and eye donors and their families.† This recognition will include a rose presentation ceremony, music and guest speakers.† Two of the speakers will be Merle Zuel and Barb Starr.†

Starr is the mother of two organ donors, one of whom is a living donor.† Zuel is a heart recipient who was chosen to ride atop the 2009 Donate Life Rose Parade float in the New Yearís Day Rose Parade.† Zuel is one of five national winners of the Astellas Ride of a Lifetime essay contest. Based in Joplin, the fourth largest metropolitan area in Missouri, Freeman Health System is a 404-bed, three-hospital system providing comprehensive healthcare and behavioral health services to an area that includes more than 450,000 residents from Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas. Freeman is community-owned, not-for-profit, and locally governed. For more information, visit† St. Johnís Regional Medical Center has been leading the way in healthcare throughout the four-state area for more than 100 years.† We are a 367-bed facility, serving 19 counties in Missouri, Oklahoma, Kansas, and Arkansas.† We provide state-of-the-art healthcare services, specializing in cardiology, orthopedics, neurosciences, and oncology.†† St. Johnís has earned the Gold Seal of Approval from the Joint Commission.† Additionally, we have been recognized by Thomson Healthcare with three 100 Top Hospital Awards (2006) and rated in the top 5% nationally by HealthGrades for patient safety (2008) and top 10% for critical care (2009).†