; The Rhode Island Free Clinic Receives a $75,000 Grant from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island to Improve Access to Primary Care
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Press Release

The Rhode Island Free Clinic Receives a $75,000 Grant from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island to Improve Access to Primary Care

Grant will help the Clinic increase access to care for Rhode Island’s uninsured working poor adults

August 8, 2013

PROVIDENCE, RI - The Rhode Island Free Clinic has received a $75,000 grant from Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) to expand access to primary care for uninsured Rhode Island residents. The Clinic will use the money to expand their role as a primary care training site for students at leading academic institutions, and strengthen their safety net services for the uninsured through sustained strategic partnerships.

“Volunteerism, innovative collaborations, and long-term partnerships, like the one we have established with BCBSRI, provide the foundation for the Clinic’s program delivery and inspire philanthropy,” said Marie Ghazal, CEO of the Rhode Island Free Clinic. “BCBSRI’s ongoing dedication to improving access to healthcare for all Rhode Islanders allows us to better meet the needs of our uninsured population, expand our services, and take on new projects to increase our impact.” 

“For nearly a decade, BCBSRI has been a proud supporter of the Rhode Island Free Clinic and the work they do to provide free and high-quality healthcare services and education to the uninsured,” said Dr. Gus Manocchia, chief medical officer for BCBSRI.
“As a volunteer practicing physician at the Rhode Island Free Clinic, I know first-hand that our support will help train the next generation of doctors, strengthen our primary care system and ensure access to quality care for all Rhode Islanders.”

The funding will enable the Clinic to sustain and strengthen its comprehensive healthcare services for its 2,000 patients and address strategic priorities including expanding its statewide network to increase availability of primary care physicians and specialists in high demand areas of women’s health, orthopedics, dermatology and behavioral health. The funding will also help demonstrate the economic impact of the Clinic’s volunteer model of comprehensive healthcare on chronic disease management in adult populations. Lastly, the funding will help expand the Clinic’s role as a public health training site for medical students, physician’s assistants, nurses, nurse practitioners, physical therapists, and medical assistants. 

 The Rhode Island Free Clinic has grown significantly due to support from BCBSRI and other community partners; patient visits quadrupled from 2008 to 2012, clinic hours tripled from 2009 to 2012, and active volunteers doubled in the same period.

Rhode Island Free Clinic
Founded in 1999, the Rhode Island Free Clinic is a non-profit organization dedicated to providing free, comprehensive primary and preventive healthcare to the uninsured, working poor and low-income adults; and also services as an educational training and development site for healthcare professionals.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association is a national federation of 36 independent, community-based and locally-operated Blue Cross and Blue Shield companies that collectively provide healthcare coverage for more than 105 million members – one-in-three Americans.  For more information on the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association and its member companies, please visit bcbs.com. We encourage you to connect with us on Facebook, check out our videos on YouTube, follow us on Twitter and check out The BCBS Blog, for up-to-date information about BCBSA.