Ozark Center executive appointed to Missouri Autism Commission

Local News

JOPLIN, Mo. – Freeman Health System’s Ozark Center has been a leader in autism services for the area, providing care and treatment through its Bill & Virginia Leffen Center for Autism.

Now, Ozark Center’s Chief Administrative Officer Vicky Mieseler is being appointed to the Missouri Commission on Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Mieseler is a nationally certified and licensed psychologist with over 30 years of experience in behavioral health.

“I am looking forward to bringing a new perspective to the mission of the commission by offering my years of experience in the field of autism and helping create an Autism Roadmap for Missouri that encompasses services across the lifespan of people living with an autism spectrum disorder,” said Mieseler in Freeman Health System’s news release. “It will be especially important to provide service experiences from a rural community.” 

Freeman Health System says that Mieseler’s contributions on the state autism commission will help form the Autism Roadmap for Missouri, which will discuss best practices for care and services, highlight opportunities for improvement and more.

The autism commission, founded in 2008, advises the governor and state agencies on matters relating to autism spectrum disorder, including healthcare, education and other adult and adolescent services. 

The autism commission’s roles include:

  • reviewing existing resources, initiatives, and funding
  • identifying unmet needs or gaps in service
  • creating tangible recommendations for system improvements


According to estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring, about 1 in 44 children has been identified with autism spectrum disorder.

ASD is reported to occur in all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups.

ASD is more than 4 times more common among boys than among girls.

Ozark Center has been providing comprehensive behavioral health services to children, adults and families since 1965. For more information about Ozark Center’s autism services, visit its website.

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