Healthy Lives

Well being - from head to toe - is something every Rhode Islander deserves.

Nursing students learn how to help improve patients' quality of life.
One of our 2025 Impact Targets for Healthy Lives is for 90% of children to have had one or more preventive dental care visits in the past year, an increase from the 79.3% rate in 2016.

Healthy Lives is one of our three Strategic Initiatives. Across all three - Economic Security, Educational Success, and Healthy Lives - we are focused on:

  • The places where our three strategic priorities intersect. True progress in one is not possible without progress in all three.
  • Statewide investment, with priority placed on investments that will break down the barriers that hold back low income Rhode Islanders and Rhode Islanders of color.
  • Supporting cultures of civic engagement and philanthropy within these three areas, and across our state. Both are proven drivers of sustainable change. 

Here is what that means for our Healthy Lives strategy, specifically: 
Investments of funding, and our institutional investment beyond grantmaking, are aimed at improving health outcomes for Rhode Islanders, providing better care, and lowering costs. We seek health equity across race, ethnicity, income, and geography.

2025 Impact Targets

To reach our 2025 Impact Targets for Healthy Lives we will focus on three strategies:

  1. Increased primary care access, utilization, and quality. We invest in improving access to primary care, and in improving the quality of primary care. We also aim to improve recruitment and retention of a robust, diverse, primary care workforce. We focus on high-need geographies and patients at the greatest risk for poor health outcomes. We will support new models of care, patient-centered care, and innovative care delivery settings.

    Example: The Rhode Island Health Centers Association (RIHCA), in partnership with the Rhode Island Department of Health, administers the Health Care Provider Loan Forgiveness program.  A Foundation grant leverages federal dollars and additional support from local funders to forgive educational loans for providers practicing in designated health professional shortage areas and facilities (HPSAs).
  2. Expanded alternative care models and collaborations to address the social determinants of health. We support an increase in meaningful contact and collaboration between primary care providers and social services, and an increase in the adoption of care delivery models that improve that type of coordination. Investments in these efforts will result in better coordination, data sharing, and most importantly improved health status for Rhode Islanders.

    Example: South County Health (SCH) is partnering with the University of Rhode Island (URI) and Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University to lead an initiative to promote positive child mental health.  The Foundation is supporting the development of educational and training resources for parents, providers, and other child caregivers towards this goal.
  3. Promote system reform to improve patient experience, improve the health of populations, and reduce the per capita cost of healthcare. We seek to inform strategic reforms to the state’s healthcare system. Particularly efforts to increase the availability and use of cost and price data, improve resource allocation, and enact better policies that will bring about better governance and accountability, transparency, efficiency, and slowed growth in spending.

    Example: The Governor’s Working Group for Healthcare Innovation developed strategies to slow the growth of healthcare spending, supported by a Foundation-funded consultant.  Separately, Foundation staff, along with public and private sector stakeholders, provide strategic direction to the State Innovation Model (SIM) Test Grant.  The SIM Test Grant is a federally-funded initiative to transform how healthcare is delivered, paid for, and how consumers engage with health resources.

Partner with us on this strategic initiative: 

Invest in the Fund for Rhode Island.
Apply for a Strategic Initiative Grant

Specific funds are available that extend our strategic initiative grantmaking in Healthy Lives. The Fund for a Healthy Rhode Island supports place-based collaborations that address health disparities and improve population health in Rhode Island communities. The RIGHA Foundation Fund supports projects, programs, and organizations that support healthcare in Rhode Island, but does not directly support medical research. Medical research funds provide seed money to new investigators and fund pilot research projects. 

Related Content

We announce 2017 grants from our RIGHA Foundation Fund.

Promoting primary health

Through our RIGHA Foundation Fund, we awarded more than $280,000 in grants to promote effective primary health care. 

Read the blog post.

Logo for Hasbro Children's Hospital, a Foundation granntee

Achieving health equity

To achieve health equity, we must address the social, economic, and environmental determinants of health. 

Learn more.

A shared medical appointment is an innovative model for healthcare.

Housing First at Riverwood

Learn how the Housing First program at Riverwood Mental Health Services is impacting clients' physical and mental health.

Read the assessment.


LocationOne Union Station
Providence, RI 02903


(401) 274-4564

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