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The Bridge Newsletter Issue 26 | 2018

The Bridge Newsletter Issue 26 | 2018

merrill thomasA letter from Merrill Thomas, CEO
Expanding to meet patients needs

The Providence Community Health Centers continue to experience growth with more patients seeking health care and as an organization we are at the point that we need to expand our facilities.
PCHC Randall Square will expand with nine new exam rooms this July giving us space to hire additional providers and meet the patient need for access to quality health care.
The Olneyville neighborhood is a high priority for PCHC to expand our services. Recently, PCHC purchased a property near Olneyville Square to build a new clinic with the potential space for 30 new exam rooms, and an expanded PCHC Express, to open by 2020. We expect this new site will become the medical home for 5,000 new patients.

This year marks PCHC’s 50th Anniversary – we hope you’ll join us in celebrating on Wednesday, June 6th at our annual golf tournament at Shelter Harbor Golf Club, and on Saturday, October 27th for our 50th Anniversary Gala at the Rhode Island Convention Center Ballroom. See the details below.

Thank you for your continued support of PCHC.

Merrill Thomas
President & CEO
Providence Community Health Centers


Dr. Bica, a family physician with PCHC for five years,
currently sees patients at PCHC Prairie Avenue.

PCHC’s Ob-Gyns Represent in DC

PCHC Ob-Gyn physicians, Emily White and Beth Cronin, travelled to Washington DC earlier this year to represent Rhode Island at The Congressional Leadership Conference, an annual meeting for Ob-Gyns from across the country to meet with Representatives and Senators from every state to discuss women’s health issues. Dr. White is the Chair, and Dr. Cronin is the Vice Chair of the Rhode Island Section of American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). This year the discussions were focused on two topics – both significant to our work at PCHC. The first is the importance of having standardized Maternal Mortality Review Committees. The maternal death rate is increasing in the United States and over half of maternal deaths are preventable. These committees of public health experts review every maternal death and recommend public health solutions. These committees are proven to save mothers’ lives. The second topic is the importance of Medicaid on women’s health. Over half the births in Rhode Island are

Un Minuto De Salud (One Minute of Health) on Telemundo

PCHC’s Ob-Gyns Represent in DC Dr. Natasha Bica, a family physician with Providence Community Health Centers, presents consumer health education tips and reminders to the Hispanic community through Telemundo TV and Telemundo’s HolaCiudad! website. Telemundo is an American Spanish-language broadcast television network owned by Comcast, and one of the largest Spanish content providers in the nation. Dr. Bica’s series, sponsored by Neighborhood Health Plan, is titled “Un Minuto De Salud” (One Minute of Health) and each segment airs five days a week for a three-month period. Each of the segments continues to air online at www.holaciudad.com. Dr. Bica’s videos offer helpful tips on various health topics. The most recent topics include Importance of Annual Check Ups; Mosquito Bites; Allergies; Diabetes; Children’s Oral Health and Eye Health.


Senator Sheldon Whitehouse met with PCHC Ob-Gyn physicians Dr. Beth Cronin (second row, end left) and Dr. Emily White (second row, end right) and the other Rhode Island delegates of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists in Washington DC.

covered by Medicaid. Medicaid is crucial for low-income women to have access to preventive health care, including birth control. We are fortunate to have two leading Ob-Gyn physicians represent Rhode Island and PCHC in these important discussions.

50th Anniversary Gala at Rhode Island Convention Center

PCHC Earns National Quality Leader Award

The U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) recently awarded Providence Community Health Centers with designation as a Health Center Quality Leader.There are now over 1,200 community health centers across the United States. PCHC ranks among the best for 12 of the 14 core quality measures – covering everything from prenatal care and childhood vaccines to depression screening and blood pressure control. On two measures, PCHC was in the top 10th percentile in the nation. Categories included chronic disease management, preventative care, prenatal care, and reducing healthcare disparities.“Our mission is to provide extraordinary care – both quality and customer service – regardless of a person’s ability to pay,” said Dr. Andrew Saal, Chief Medical Officer. “This award is the result of our entire staff’s relentless efforts to improve health care for everyone in our community.”

PCHC Podiatry starts off on a good foot!

In January 2018, PCHC Podiatry opened to serve existing PCHC patients. In a few short months, our podiatry team, led by Dr. Michael Neary, is already seeing 18 patients each day. Young and older patients alike are referred from other PCHC providers for a variety of reasons – from common foot conditions and overuse injuries such as plantar fasciitis, to diabetics needing baseline exams or with problems leading to neuropathy. “One of the many benefits of direct referrals from PCHC providers to PCHC podiatry,” shares Dr. Neary “is everything that transpired at our appointment with the patient – diagnosis, prescribed medications, exercises and other recommendations – becomes part of the patient’s PCHC health record allowing the PCHC primary care physician to follow up on these recommendations with their patient creating a team environment where PCHC can care for the whole patient.” Dr. Neary who served as a podiatrist for 26 years in the US Military as well as Podiatry Consultant to the Surgeon General of the Army, brings expertise in sports medicine, trauma,

Dr. Michael Neary consulting with his patient in one of the new exam rooms at PCHC podiatry.

diabetic foot care and general foot health. Dr. Neary is board certified in Reconstructive Rear Foot/Ankle Surgery and Foot Surgery and performs surgery for PCHC patients at Miriam Hospital. The new podiatry clinic, with large bright welcoming exam rooms, is located on the second floor of 335R Prairie Avenue in the same building as PCHC Dental Clinic. The podiatry team includes Dr. Michael Neary, DPM, Elvia Rivera, Senior Health Center Assistant, and Maria Diaz and Ijaydys Alsina, Health Center Assistants.

Bare Walls Become Beautiful Visuals

Vermont Roses 3, Oil on Canvas, by Janet Alling, lights up the waiting room at PCHC Randall Square

PCHC’s newest clinic is the recipient of donated original works of art through the local philanthropic organization, Art Connection-RI.Art Connection-RI has a mission to connect lives with art by connecting local artists to some of the most vulnerable populations in our state, and through that connection, to achieve sustainable improvements in their quality of life. Thanks to Art Connection-RI, on what used to be bare walls at PCHC Randall Square there is now beautiful displays of artwork.

 “Our goal in sharing this artwork,” said Ann-Marie Reid Richardson, the Health Center Director for PCHC Randall Square, “is to transform our waiting area to be more welcoming and to engage our patients in a new cultural art experience – one that they might otherwise never have the opportunity to enjoy.” The artwork donated to PCHC Randall Square includes pieces by local artists Janet Alling, Toba Weintraub, Michael Tracy, Sally Ann Martone, and Maria Termini.

You can learn more about Art Connection-RI at www.artconnectionri.org

Building Bridges to Liberia - Spotlight on Elaine Parker Williams, Family Nurse Practitioner, PCHC Express

Elaine Parker Williams with Darlingston Williams
Elaine Parker Williams with her husband Darlingston Williams Sr. (left) and Dr. Paul Farmer (right) at the URI School of Nursing where Dr. Farmer announced the launch of the URI – Liberian collaboration.

About Dr. Paul Farmer:Founding director of Partners In Health and professor of medicine and chief of the Division of Global Health Equity at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Dr. Farmer has led colleagues working in twelve sites around the globe to rebuild public health infrastructure to handle TB, HIV, Ebola and other diseases of war and poverty. His clinics are world renowned for using community health workers to build sustainable public health programs.

As a family nurse practitioner at PCHC Express, Elaine Parker Williams has helped build bridges between the Liberian American community in Providence and PCHC. She was also instrumental in helping with inter-agency communication and community awareness during the 2015 Ebola outbreak in West Africa.Today, Elaine is now building bridges with Dr. Paul Farmer’s Partners In Health (PIH) program. PIH is an international non-profit organization

Elaine Parker Williams
Elaine Parker Williams (in background ) with Caryn Amedee, a nursing student with University of Rhode Island, administering vaccines during the measles outbreak.

kid crying

that since 1987 has provided direct health care services and undertaken research and advocacy activities on behalf of those who are sick and living in poverty. In March 2018, Elaine led a group of nurse practitioner students from the University of Rhode Island on a journey to rural Liberia to work at the PIH hospital that is on the front line of controlling Ebola in West Africa. “We must be very creative to provide adequate care in this environment. As the saying goes, ‘necessity is the mother of invention’,” shares Elaine Parker Williams in describing the scale (pictured below) where babies are weighed and measured in the pediatric department at the PIH hospital in Liberia.

The scale  where  babies  are  weighed  and  measured


Elena Nicolella, MPH, BA Board President, Chairperson, Wendy Thomas Board Vice President, Carol Hartley, CPA, MBA Board Treasurer, Cassandra Feeney, Esq. Board Secretary, Kenneth Belcher, BSBA, MBA, FACHE, Carl Brown, Luisa F. Cala Cala, MD, Michael Cancilliere, MA, MBA, Patricia Chivers, Emilian Egbuche, Mary Jean Francis, Byron Monge, Lourdes Morales, Glenn Rawson, Ph.D, Christina Zanfagna, SENIOR STAFF, Merrill R. Thomas, MBAChief Executive This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Christopher Camillo, MBA, BSVice President, Chief Operations Officer This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Jay DeCosta Vice President, Chief Information This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Raymond ParrisVice President, Chief Strategy This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Cheryl Perry, BA Vice President, Chief Human Resources Officer This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Andrew Saal, MD, MPH Vice President, Chief Medical This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. Gregory Young, CPA, MBA Vice President, Chief Finance Officer This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Administrative Offices 375 Allens Avenue (401) 444-0400
PCHC Capitol Hill 40 Candace Street (401) 444-0550
PCHC Central 239 Cranston Street (401) 444-0580
PCHC Chafee One Warren Way (401) 444-0530
PCHC Crossroads 160 Broad Street (401) 861-2403
PCHC Dental Clinic 335R Prairie Avenue (401) 444-0430
PCHC Express Care 355 Prairie Avenue (401) 415-9000

PCHC MET School 325 Public Street (401) 752-2693
PCHC North Main 530 North Main Street (401) 415-9500
PCHC Olneyville PCHC 100 Curtis Street (401) 444-0540
PCHC Optometry 335R Prairie Avenue (401)444-0570
PCHC Prairie Avenue 355 Prairie Avenue (401) 444-0570
PCHC Podiatry 335R Prairie Avenue (401) 444-0570
PCHC Randall Square One Randall Square (401) 274-6339

Contact Information

375 Allens Ave. Providence, RI 02905 | Find Clinc
Phone: 401-444-0400 | Contact Us

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