PROVIDENCE, RI (August 5, 2019) - Blue Cross & Blue
Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) has awarded an $80,000 grant to the Rhode
Island Free Clinic (RIFC) to support the Clinic's important work in providing
comprehensive health and dental care to thousands of uninsured Rhode Islanders.
The grant is a nod to BCBSRI's 80th anniversary and marks nearly $900,000 in
financial support provided over the non-profits' 14-year partnership.
RIFC is completely funded by charitable donations, and the support from
partners like BCBSRI helps provide a medical home for more than 2,400 Rhode
Islanders annually. Patients of the Clinic have access to primary, specialty,
dental and behavioral healthcare, as well as lab work and diagnostics,
medication and wellness programming - all free of cost to low-income, uninsured
"Blue Cross is one of Clinic's longest and strongest partnerships. Their
strategic investment and support has been key to the Clinic expanding services
over time," said Marie Ghazal, DNP, RN, Rhode Island Free Clinic CEO.
"This support has been essential to helping the Clinic provide vital care
for Rhode Island's most vulnerable adults and our collaboration with Blue Cross
over time is what makes a long-term difference in the health and vitality of
the individuals and communities we serve."
The RIFC is volunteer- and community-powered. With a lean staff it mobilizes
nearly 700 volunteer medical professionals and support personnel annually, and
currently seeks more primary care and dental volunteers to help meet urgent
demand. Beyond financial support, BCBSRI physicians volunteer their time
providing primary care at RIFC and BCBSRI provides nonclinical volunteers for
projects like Clinic renovations. BCBSRI has also assisted with bringing
technical resources to the Clinic - the insurer's analytics team helped
determine the ROI on the services the Clinic provides to the state.
"The Rhode Island Free Clinic is one of BCBSRI's premier funding partners
in our aim to increase access to primary care for the uninsured population in
Rhode Island," said Kim Keck, BCBSRI president and CEO. "BCBSRI is
committed to passionately leading a state of health and wellbeing, and the work
that the Clinic does is aligned with our mission of facilitating access to
affordable, high-quality healthcare. I commend the leadership and staff of the
Rhode Island Free Clinic for their remarkable results."
The Clinic diverted approximately 600 uncompensated emergency department visits
at a savings of $3.9 million through its preventive primary care services. They
also saved Rhode Island $866,000 through care and counseling for uninsured
people with diabetes.
Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island
(bcbsri.com<http://www.bcbsri.com>) is a non-profit, community-focused
health plan established in 1939 to help Rhode Islanders finance their
healthcare needs. Today, that purpose is still foundational to our work. We
have a vision to passionately lead a state of health and well-being across
Rhode Island. And we are committed to improving the health and peace of mind of
our nearly 400,000 members by facilitating their access to affordable,
high-quality healthcare. We are an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and
Blue Shield Association. Connect with us on
and Instagram<https://www.instagram.com/bcbsri/>. Listen to BCBSRI's
podcast, The Rhode to Health, at soundcloud.com/therhodetohealth.
The mission of Rhode Island Free Clinic (www.rifreeclinic.org<http://www.rifreeclinic.org>)
is to provide comprehensives health care to low-income, uninsured Rhode Island
adults, and to serve as a training site for aspiring health care professionals.
The Clinic is nationally and locally honored for its robust and effective
volunteer and community partner model serving low-income residents and
healthcare trainees. Connect with us on Facebook and LinkedIn.