Board of Directors

Our Board of Directors provides strong strategic leadership and high level oversight to our organization. In addition, our Board of Directors is committed to doing what is right and best at all times for the patients and families we serve.

The Providence Community Health Centers is governed by a Board of Directors.

More than half the board members are patients of the health centers.

Elena Nicolella, MPH, BA, Board President and Chairperson

Elena Nicolella has been a Board Member and a patient with PCHC since 2015. Elena is Executive Director of the New England States Consortium Systems Organization. Prior, she was Associate Director of the Office of Policy and Innovation, and Associate Director of the Office of Medicaid Program for Rhode Island’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services and the Boston office of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Elena’s experience in both state and federal government is an asset to PCHC.  Elena was on the board of New England States Consortium Systems Organization for five years, as well as PACE Organization of Rhode Island. She received her BA from New York University and her Master in Public Health from Boston University School of Public Health.

"PCHC is not only a primary care provider, it is an integral part of the community and has been revitalizing parts of the city through thoughtful real estate development.   I am honored to be part of PCHC and committed to its continued success in meeting the needs of the people it serves.”

Wendy Thomas, Board Vice President

Wendy Thomas has been a member of the Board since 2010 and a patient with PCHC since 2008. At that time, a house-fire had left Wendy homeless and she found PCHC when looking for a primary care doctor. Wendy is no longer homeless and now spends most of her time giving back and advocating for those in need in the Providence community.

"Being a member of the Board helps me to give back to PCHC. Because of my experience with homelessness, I consider myself the “homeless advocate” on the board.  During my years as a patient here, I have had very good primary care doctors. I find the providers at PCHC want to do what’s right for those in need, people who can’t afford healthcare otherwise. “

Cassandra Feeney, Esq., Board Secretary

Cassandra Feeney serves as the Board Secretary and is also aCivil Litigator and Associate with Adler, Cohen, Harvey, Wakeman, Guekguezian LLP, representing clients in a variety of matters in both state and federal courts in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Cassandra specializes her practice in medical-malpractice defense, premises liability, toxic-tort claims, employment law, and education law.  Previously, Cassandra served as a Rhode Island Supreme Court Law Clerk for the Honorable Francis X. Flaherty, as well as the Rhode Island Supreme Court Law Clerk Department.  In addition, to her work on the PCHC board, Cassandra is a member of the Roger Williams University School of Law's Pro Bono Collaborative Advisory Committee. Cassandra received her BA from University of Rhode Island, and her JD from New England School of Law in Boston. Cassandra hails from Minnesota and now is happy to call Rhode Island home. 

"It is an honor to have an opportunity to make a positive difference for patients and the services provided.  When an opportunity arose to join the PCHC board and serve the mission to provide high-quality and accessible medical care to patients, who might otherwise go without care, it was something I was eager to do.”

Carol Hartley, CPA, MBA, Board Treasurer

Carol Hartley serves as Board Treasurer for PCHC. Carol has been an Accountancy faculty member at Providence College for over 35 years and her achievements at the College include serving as the Associate VP for Academic Administration and the concept and design of a faculty early retirement program.  She is an American Accounting Association (AAA) Council Board Member, and serves on the AAA's Teaching, Learning and Curriculum Section's Executive Board. Carol received her BA from Simmons College with majors in both Psychology and Economics, and her MBA in Accounting from University of Rhode Island.

Kenneth Belcher, BSBA, MBA, FACHE, Board Member

Kenneth Belcher, a board member since 2014, was previously President and CEO of Prospect/CharterCARE, CharterCARE Health Partners, Roger Williams Medical Center and Saint Joseph Health Services of Rhode Island, started his healthcare career in Boston working in finance and administration. He worked for University Hospital, Faulkner Hospital, Boston Medical Center and Saint Joseph’s Health Services before joining Roger Williams Medical Center in 2005. Ken received his BS in Business Administration from Northeastern University and his MBA from Babson College.

“I treasure the interaction with the senior leadership of the organization and I’m grateful to be able to call upon my healthcare education and experience to help guide them forward productively, safely and with the highest quality. Becoming part of the governance of the organization is my way to help support the many patients and families we have the privilege to serve in Providence.”

Luisa F. Cala Cala, MD, Board Member

Luisa Fernanda Cala Cala is a board certified pediatrician with a specialty in Developmental-Behavioral Pediatric Medicine. Dr. Cala Cala utilizes a family centered care approach to help children with special health care needs, and their families, experience the best clinical care and support.  Dr. Cala Cala is affiliated with Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital. She is Assistant Professor (Clinical) of the Division of Development-Behavioral Pediatrics with Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She received her medical degree from Universidad Industrial de Santander in Colombia, completed her residency at St. Joseph’s Children’s Hospital in New Jersey, and a fellowship with Rhode Island Hospital.

Michael Cancilliere, MA, MBA, Board Member

Michael Cancilliere is the COO of The Groden Network, a non-profit organization dedicated to the treatment of autism and other developmental disabilities for children and adults, with services across Rhode Island and Southeastern Massachusetts. Michael received his MA in Community Counseling from Slippery Rock University of Pennsylvania, and his MBA from University of Rhode Island.

"I am proud to be part of the Board of Directors at PCHC as I have always believed in the right for all children and families to have access to high quality healthcare. Supporting communities is one of the best ways we can ensure that all people are treated with dignity and respect. This is an ideal that PCHC embodies at every phase of care from expert providers, state of the art facilities and partnerships, committed leadership, and a strong relationship with the patients we serve. I look forward to helping PCHC navigate the changing Healthcare landscape and working to ensure that excellent care is available to all members of our communities.”

Patricia Chivers, Board Member

Patricia Chivers is a Board Member as well as a patient with PCHC. Patricia works as a Support Advocate for Refocus, Inc., an organization that serves the mentally disabled.

"My husband has been a patient at PCHC for 25 years and at his urging I became a patient a couple of years ago. My interactions with my doctor and health care team have been so caring and productive that I’m excited for this opportunity to be on the board. I want to learn more about how we can best serve patients and also be part of the positive impact this organization has had my city – Providence is where I have lived my entire life.”

Emilian Egbuche, Board Member

Emilian Eqbuche is a Board Member as well as a patient with PCHC.

Mary Jean Francis, MS, RN, Board Member

Mary Jean Francis joined the Board of Directors after more than 36 years as an employee in numerous roles with PCHC. Mary Jean began her career at PCHC in 1972 when PCHC was operating in store fronts.  She left for a short time, and then in 1980, she returned first as Coordinator of Senior Citizens Services, then working as a Pediatric Staff Nurse for PCHC Central. As special outreach programs at PCHC were needed, Mary Jean took on leadership roles to develop them and provide guidance. She worked as Coordinator of Southeast Asia Health Care - a three-year Maternal and Child Health SPANS grant, AmeriCorps Program Director, and Preventative Medicine Coordinator. From 2003 until she retired in 2016, Mary Jean was Vice President of Performance Improvement at PCHC working with the Medical Director to lead the personnel and work processes of the Performance Improvement, Risk Management, and Patient Safety Programs. She was instrumental in bringing the Reach Out and Read Program to PCHC and continues to serve as a volunteer.  Mary Jean received her BS in Nursing and her MS in Nursing Administration from the University of Rhode Island. 

"As a consumer as well for 36 years, I have first hand experience with PCHC’s mission in action and the quality of its care, not only for myself, but my parents, children, and grandchildren.  I believe in community-based care that responds to the ever-emerging needs of the residents, and see PCHC as a vital force for the health of Providence.  It is my privilege to continue to serve PCHC in my new role as board member.”

Hugh F. Lena, Ph.D. Board Member

Dr. Hugh Lena has been on the Board for PCHC since 2010. As Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs, Dr. Lena is the chief academic officer at Providence College. Hugh began his career at the college in 1974 and also serves as a member of the Providence College Senior Cabinet and the Providence President’s Council. Hugh has edited, contributed and published work on sociology, child abuse, hospital organization, and political and economic factors that affect health in nations of the world. Hugh earned his BA in Sociology from the University of Notre Dame and received his Master and Doctoral degrees in Sociology from the University of Connecticut.

“The kind of providers who thrive at PCHC are those committed to social justice and access to health care.”

Byron Monge, Senior Business Analyst, Board Member

Byron Monge, a Board Member and patient with PCHC, is Senior Business Analyst with Turino Group Inc., a Construction Project Management company serving organizations throughout New England.  Prior to joining Turino, Byron worked for United Natural Foods Inc. (UNFI) and Eastman Kodak. Byron is fluent in Spanish and a member of Leadership Rhode Island, class of 2014. Byron received his BS in Computer Science from Rhode Island College.

“I became a patient when I arrived to this country in 1979, I became an employee while attending college during the late 80’s.  I began my professional career and moved away, then came back to become a patient again because I realized that PCHC is part of who I am.  PCHC has been steadfast in its mission to serve the community and, I now have the opportunity and privilege to contribute to that which has shaped my community and me.”

Lourdes Morales, Board Member

Lourdes Morales is a board member as well as a patient at PCHC. Lourdes is originally from New York City and moved to Rhode Island in 1995 to seek a better life for herself and her children. After raising her five children in Providence, Lourdes now calls Rhode Island home.  Lourdes has her Associates Degree in Business from CCRI, continued her studies in Psychology at URI and has worked for the Providence School Department’s “Parent Information Network” helping to make a difference for her children and the community. From her experience as a caregiver to her mother who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, Lourdes has a strong presence in the Alzheimer’s community.

Glenn Rawson, Ph.D, Board Member

Dr. Glenn Rawson is a patient at PCHC. He is Associate Professor of Philosophy at Rhode Island College. Dr. Rawson has numerous publications, most recently “Critical Thinking in Higher Education, and Following the Arguments with Plato’s Socrates.”  Dr. Rawson received his BA in Philosophy and Classics from Bucknell University and his Ph.D. in Philosophy from University of Texas at Austin. 

"I came to PCHC long ago, when I needed affordable health care, and I've stayed ever since because the care I've received is so good. I'm proud to help PCHC continue and grow in providing such good health services to so many people."

Christina Zanfagna, Board Member

Christina Zanfagna has been a patient at PCHC since 1977 and a Board member since 1995.  She served her first ten years on the board as the Board Chair.

“I’m a life long resident of Providence and at 16 years old I started working in a local jewelry factory and at 28 years old I contracted a lung disease from the factory fumes and became extremely sick. Dr. Block, a very young doctor and new to PCHC at the time, recognized my symptoms and saved my life! I have been blessed to be part of the PCHC family ever since. As a patient and a board member, what I appreciate most about PCHC is that everyone is treated with respect.”

Contact Information

375 Allens Avenue | Providence, RI | 02905 | Directions
Phone: 401-444-0400 | Email Us

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