Healthy Lives

Health – including physical and mental well-being – is an important determinant of overall quality of life.

Nursing students learn how to help improve patients' quality of life.
Primary care plays an important role in achieving healthy outcomes.One of the strategies of our healthy lives initiative is to increase the number of practicing primary care professionals.

Access to quality healthcare

Many Rhode Islanders currently face barriers to quality healthcare; 14.6% of adults did not have health insurance in 2010 (lower than the national average but the highest rate in New England).

People without primary care or health insurance defer care or use hospital emergency rooms in times of crisis, driving up the costs of healthcare for everyone.

Rhode Island has tremendous responsibilities and opportunities in implementing new federal reforms.

Our Vision

All Rhode Islanders have access to quality primary care.


  • Increase the number of practicing primary care professionals to meet demand in Rhode Island.
    An example of a grantee doing this work: Thundermist Health Center developed a new postgraduate Nurse Practitioner (NP) Residency Program. This innovating model will train highly qualified nurse practitioners in a safety net setting. Thundermist of Woonsocket is a level three (highest level) patient centered medical home. The additional training will improve advanced nursing practice and primary care access for medically underserved individuals, many of whom live in poverty. The program also will help improve recruitment and retention of new NPs and provide precepting and teaching opportunities for experienced ones.
  • Promote consumer use of primary care medical homes.
    For example: Blackstone Valley Community Health Care utilizes a behavioral health care manager to assist in effectively integrating behavioral health care services into the primary care setting, improving the care coordination of patients who require both primary and behavioral health services.
  • Identify, test, and spread integrated, innovative new approaches to health care, including integrated “full body” approaches (i.e. behavioral, dental, primary).
    For example: The Young Adult Behavioral Health program at Hasbro Children's Hospital offers affordable and comprehensive mental health treatment to 18-to-26-year-olds with psychiatric illness. The program provides connections to outpatient psychiatric services, improves communication between points of clinical contact, and provides outreach and training to primary care practices.
  • Educate consumers and community leaders about the importance of primary care.
    For example: Through the Rhode Island Voices for Better Health program, the Senior Agenda Coalition of RI educates consumers and works with state officials, medical providers and health insurers to ensure: low-income seniors and adults with disabilities are receiving appropriate primary care services; care is coordinated between health care providers; and patients are able to remain safely in their homes or other community settings.
  • Pursue strategic reforms to the state healthcare system.
    For example: Health sector leaders on the Working Group for Healthcare Innovation are working with a consultant to develop strategies for slowing the increasing cost of and spending on healthcare in Rhode Island.

Desired Outcomes

  • An expanded primary care workforce that meets the growing demands of our state
  • Widespread implementation of the patient-centered medical home model that utilizes best practices and proven programs to deliver coordinated approaches to care
  • Decreased rates of chronic disease and emergency service use
  • Increased preventive care

How to apply for a STRATEGY GRANT.

Within the health sector, specific funds are available that extend our grantmaking. The FUND FOR A HEALTHY RHODE ISLAND aims to strengthen the primary care system by offering grants that improve access to primary care for Rhode Islanders. The RIGHA Foundation Fund supports projects, programs, and organizations that support healthcare in Rhode Island. The fund does not directly support medical research. Our Medical Research Funds  provide support to new investigators as seed money or for pilot projects. For additional Information or to apply to any of these programs, please contact

Related Content

We announce 2017 grants from our RIGHA Foundation Fund.

Improving health care services

Through our RIGHA Foundation Fund, we awarded more than $270,000 in grants that promote effective primary health care.

Read the blog post

Logo for Hasbro Children's Hospital, a Foundation granntee

Keeping children healthy

Grants to Hasbro Children’s Hospital will benefit some of our state’s most vulnerable children – foster children and children with vision-related impairments.

Learn more

A shared medical appointment is an innovative model for healthcare.

90 minutes with your clinician

A shared medical appointment is an innovative model of care seen more and more throughout the US in leading-edge primary care groups.

Read the blog post

A Neighborhood Health Station is a new model for community healthcare.

Neighborhood Health Station

Blackstone Valley Community Health Care is building a new community healthcare model.

Read the blog post


LocationOne Union Station
Providence, RI 02903


(401) 274-4564

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