NEW: Tufts Foundation Donates $70K To RI Free Clinic

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


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The Rhode Island Free Clinic has received $70,000 from the Tufts Health Plan Foundation.

Rhode Island Free Clinic was recently awarded $70,000 by the Tufts Health Plan Foundation to help improve the health of Clinic patients age 60 and older. Integrated into the Clinic’s nationally-recognized model of volunteer medical providers and community partners, the program – Healthy Lifestyles for Today and Tomorrow – will provide classes, workshops and support groups to help older patients learn skills to improve their physical health, self-manage their own chronic diseases, and experience a higher quality of life.

Part of $1.7 million in grants to MA and RI

The Tufts Health Plan Foundation awarded more than $1.7 million in grants to 46 Massachusetts and Rhode Island based organizations in its first cycle of funding for 2012. Tufts Health Plan Foundation and the awardees share a common mission, which is to promote healthy lifestyles and the delivery of superior programs for elders in our communities. Of the five Rhode Island organizations selected by Tufts, the Rhode Island Free Clinic received the top amount of $70,000.

Rhode Island Free Clinic

Volunteers and community partners, like Tufts, are central to the Clinic’s mission. Nationally recognized for its dynamic volunteer model, the Rhode Island Free Clinic exists entirely on donations of time, resources and funding from individuals, corporations, foundations, and community partners. The annual operating budget of approximately $1 million, which supports more than 8,000 patient visits, relies entirely on philanthropic support. The Clinic does not receive any government funding, Fee-for Service or insurance income.

“Tufts was instrumental in helping us launch our Wellness Programs to Clinic patients age 60 and older, and we are so grateful that they continue to support our efforts," said Marie Ghazal, Rhode Island Free Clinic CEO. “As a result of this year’s generous grant from Tufts Health Plan Foundation, the Rhode Island Free Clinic will be able to make a dramatic difference in the lives of seniors by helping them take charge of their health through good nutrition, exercise and other important preventive measures.”

In order to be eligible for Clinic services, patients must be Rhode Island residents, earn below 150% of the Federal Poverty Level, and have no health insurance, including Medicaid, Medicare, private or employer-sponsored insurance plans. 14% of the Clinic’s patients are over the age of 60, and due to their low-income status, are increasingly vulnerable to chronic disease and continued poor health due to decreased access to affordable, comprehensive primary care.

Helping older adults in our communities

“It is a pleasure to continue this great work for the older adults in our communities” said David Abelman, president of the Tufts Health Plan Foundation. “Having been a part of these foundation grants for many cycles, I am humbled by the continued commitment of our community organizations to help and enhance the lives of seniors.”

This is the fourth year of Tufts Health Plan Foundation’s healthy aging program. The foundation became focused on healthy aging in 2009. Since then, the foundation has awarded nearly $9M in grants to enhance the lives of older adults and enable them to contribute their experiences and knowledge to their communities; and ultimately help them lead healthier lives.


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