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$250,000 awarded to improve health care
By Chris Barnett / June 5, 2015 /   Loading Disqus...

Five health care-related organizations will share more than $250,000 in grants through the RIGHA Foundation Fund at the Rhode Island Foundation.

“Supporting the development of a comprehensive primary care system that promotes healthy lives is a core strategic initiative for us. These grants will further our ongoing efforts to make quality health care more accessible and affordable across the state,” said Neil Steinberg, the Rhode Island Foundation’s president and CEO.

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The fund was created after Harvard Pilgrim Health Care acquired the former Rhode Island Group Health Association. In 2010, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care and the RIGHA Foundation transferred its $1.7 million endowment to the Rhode Island Foundation. Harvard Pilgrim Health Care continues to make annual payments to the fund, which promotes the development of a successful and effective primary health care system in the state.

“Philanthropic support can provide the seed funding needed to take innovative ideas like these to the next level. Our goal is to reduce the cost of delivering high quality primary health care to Rhode Islanders," said Karen Voci, president of the Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Foundation.

Comprehensive Community Action Program (CCAP) was awarded $37,233 to develop a home-based Nurse Care Manager program to provide in home evaluation, support, treatment and intervention for patients of its Wilcox Health Center in Warwick who are suffering with chronic and disabling diseases. CCAP also received a $12,767 Strategy Grant directly from the Foundation.

In addition to a Nurse Care Manager providing in-home health services, the patients receiving these services will also be assisted by in home social work services providing support for their social needs. Each patient receiving these services will have been referred by their physician and will have their care coordinated with the health center’s medical team.

“This grant allows us to provide additional support for those patients with persistent and chronic disease who, for a variety of reasons, have difficulty maintaining the recommended health treatment plans established by their doctor,” said Joanne McGunagle, CEO of CCAP.

Planned Parenthood of Southern New England was awarded $50,000 to expand its services in Providence to include certain forms of primary care to better serve the community. Through its Bridge to Primary Care Initiative, Planned Parenthood clinicians will be trained to provide a range of general primary care services, including physical exams, treatment of upper respiratory conditions and skin infections and management of ongoing conditions like seasonal allergies and eczema.

“Offering primary care services demonstrates our commitment to providing high-quality care in Rhode Island. We have been dedicated to serving the community for more than 80 years and are committed to keeping our patients healthy, head to toe,” said Judy Tabar, president and CEO of Planned Parenthood of Southern New England.

The Providence Center received $61,653 to develop programming that integrates wellness activities and counseling supports for those in recovery from substance use. The programming will be offered at The Providence Center’s Anchor Recovery Community Centers in Pawtucket and Warwick.

“There are a variety of different roads to recovery from substance abuse,” said Dale Klatzker, president of The Providence Center.  “Integrating recovery supports into efforts to promote overall health has proven to be a powerful way to stem the tide of substance-use disorders in our state.”

Rhode Island Hospital received $49,920 to expand clinic hours at its Hasbro Children’s Hospital Primary Care Initiative by opening on Saturday. By opening the practice on Saturdays for well-child visits, follow-up visits, sick visits and newborn visits, the grant will increase access to health care for low-income families.

“This will result in more timely care, more convenient access and a reduction in ER use.  In addition, our pediatric primary care residents will be able to see more patients and, in particular, see first-hand the importance of offering primary care on weekends,” said pediatrician Patrick Vivier, MD, leader of the hospital’s Primary Care Initiative.

The Rhode Island Parent Information Network (RIPIN) was awarded $55,000 for its Care Coordination Measurement Demonstration Project. RIPIN will partner with Coastal Medical Inc. and the state Department of Health to implement the Boston Children's Care Coordination Measurement Tool within Coastal’s Narragansett Bay Pediatrics and Waterman Pediatrics practices.

This project will document and determine staffing and time commitment of multidisciplinary care coordination teams, as well as document clinical and non-clinical care coordinating activities received by patients in Coastal’s Patient Centered Medical Home model.  

“Through this grant opportunity we expect to identify and improve upon the critical care coordination activities resulting in improved health care outcomes,” said Stephen Brunero, RIPIN’s executive director.

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island.  In 2014, the Foundation awarded $34.8 million in grants to organizations addressing the state’s most pressing issues and needs of diverse communities. Through leadership, fundraising and grantmaking activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential.

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