November 2017 Lifelines

A Message from Lifespan President and CEO, Timothy J. Babineau, MD


As you know, we’ve just closed our books on a challenging fiscal year. I’m happy to say you all rose to the challenge, and because of you Lifespan had a successful year and can move forward with confidence.

In this issue of Lifelines, you will find information about our new Total Rewards program, national awards we’ve received recently, news coverage of our hospitals in both local and national media, grants and accolades, and more.

This week brings the official start of the holiday season.

The holidays can be busy, and it’s important that we all take some time to spend with family, to relax and recharge, and to participate in the traditions that we enjoy.

tai chi

CBS Evening News featured a TMH study on Tai Chi and cardiac rehabiliation.

Some of you will be working on holidays, and you have my sincere gratitude for ensuring our patients feel as cared for and comfortable on those days as they do every other day of the year.

I wish you all a happy Thanksgiving.

In the steadfast pursuit of excellence, I remain,  

Sincerely yours,

Timothy J. Babineau, MD
President and Chief Executive Officer, Lifespan









Lifespan News

IS Security Wins National Award

Lifespan’s IS department recently earned the 2018 CSO50 Award from CSO, a national organization that provides resources and information on all aspects of data security. The award is an annual recognition of security projects that demonstrate high business value, innovation, and leadership.

Security experts are in demand, and organizations constantly struggle to find, recruit, hire, motivate, and retain these professionals. Everyone knows that data security is essential for any business, and in health care that includes personal health information of all the people to whom we provide care.

According to Lifespan chief information security officer Anthony Siravo, “Out of every ten interviews, one candidate could demonstrate the knowledge and skills they stated on their resume,” despite describing themselves as “senior” or “expert.” He and his team developed and implemented a process called the Golden Gauntlet to improve the vetting of applicants by validating their skills prior to hiring.

Once an applicant is identified as having the skill level and talent Lifespan needs, and is subsequently hired, the department uses several techniques to keep him or her engaged and motivated, such as weekly cross-training and interest-based training by senior staff members.

The Golden Gauntlet program has resulted in several business successes. For example, it has helped the information security team reduce its annual recruitment fees by 90 percent, primarily by selecting the right person for the job with the very first hire. The team has also increased detection and resolution of security incidents by having the right talent on the job.

Congratulations to the IS department and the CISO and team on the CSO50 award and on the successful program.

Cardiovascular Institute Recognized by IBM Watson

The Lifespan Cardiovascular Institute at Rhode Island Hospital was on the list of 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals for 2018 by IBM Watson Health.

The list identifies and recognizes the highest-performing cardiovascular service lines across the nation in clinical, operational, and financial areas, and honors those who find the best opportunities to deliver high-quality health care to their communities. The Cardiovascular Institute at Rhode Island Hospital was recognized as one of the top teaching hospitals with cardiovascular residency programs, and was noted as appearing on the list for four years. The CVI was judged on several criteria and performance measures, including clinical outcome measures, clinical process measures, and efficiency measures.

The list is available exclusively on the Modern Healthcare website. Find the full list of the 50 Top Cardiovascular Hospitals here.

Lisa Abbott

HR Corner

by Lisa Abbott, Senior Vice President, Human Resources & Community Affairs

Introducing Total Rewards

I believe that we all come to work each day because we find personal fulfillment and value in what we do to advance our mission of Delivering health with care.  Lifespan is committed to recognizing and rewarding our employees by providing a comprehensive suite of high-value benefits that meet your needs. 

Earlier this year, several focus groups were convened to learn more about which offerings our employees value and what might be missing. Based on this feedback along with our market research, we learned a lot about what is important.

Like other leading organizations, Lifespan is taking a more holistic approach toward all the great benefits, programs and opportunities available to you, as an employee of Lifespan. We are pleased to introduce “Total Rewards,” the umbrella of valuable offerings that make Lifespan a great place to work. 

The five components of Lifespan Total Rewards help us attract, motivate and retain our great employees:

  • Financial Well-being:  This encompasses Lifespan’s competitive pay, robust retirement savings plan, life and disability insurance and financial wellness education. These programs are designed to help our employees achieve financial security.
  • Life and Community: We invest in our employees to improve health at a community level. We offer creative optional benefits outside of traditional healthcare, vacation and life insurance such as legal insurance, and pre-tax health and dependent care spending accounts.  For our community, Team Lifespan creates pathways for employees to engage in community volunteer events.
  • Employee Experience:  We’re aiming to create an exceptional employee experience throughout an employee's career at Lifespan. We know when employees and managers feel supported, valued and connected to our shared values and mission, they will want to grow with Lifespan. 
  • Health and Wellness: Lifespan has always offered highly competitive medical and dental plans and wellness programs and services. We will continue this tradition, while introducing innovative programs based on the needs of our employees. 
  • Reward and Recognition:   We value the work of our employees, and want to show our appreciation through peer-to-peer recognition, service anniversary and retirement celebrations, and employee appreciation events.

Total Rewards will continue to evolve as we engage employees for their feedback, and monitor local and national industry trends to ensure our offerings remain contemporary, competitive, and cost effective.

Fleeces for Sale at Hospital Gift Shops

Lifespan fleece jackets will be on sale in time for the holidays.  Beginning November 28, the gift shops at Rhode Island, The Miriam, and Newport hospitals will have Lifespan fleece jackets available for $40.  Fleeces will be available in black, navy blue and storm blue.

Lifespan Receives an A from Leapfrog Group

Lifespan recently earned high recognition for its patient safety practices and protocols. Rhode Island, The Miriam, and Newport hospitals all received an “A” rating in the national Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grade ratings from The Leapfrog Group. Lifespan was the only health system in Rhode Island to earn the highest rating at each eligible hospital, putting Rhode Island in first place in the organization’s nationwide fall rankings.

The Leapfrog Group is a nonprofit focused on improving standards of quality, safety, and transparency in health care. The group gives grades of A, B, C, D and F to hospitals, based on performance in preventing medical errors, infections and other injuries. Of the 2,632 hospitals nationwide that were graded, only 832 earned an A, putting Rhode Island, The Miriam, and Newport hospitals in the top third of hospitals.

Thanks to all our staff whose commitment to patient safety and standards of excellence put our hospitals in the top spot!

OpX Leadership Wins Health Care Award

A member of Operation Excellence leadership was recently recognized for their work and investment in the health care quality profession. Nidia Williams, PhD, vice president of OpX, was recognized by the National Association of Healthcare Quality, an organization dedicated to defining standards of excellence for health care professionals with accredited certification in health care quality, educational programming, and career resources.

Williams was awarded NAHQ fellowship status for her demonstration of excellence and commitment to leadership. She was one of only ten individuals recognized during NAHQ Next, the organization’s annual conference in Cincinnati, and one of only of 55 recognized nationally for their contributions to health care quality. Williams showed her leadership as a member of NAHQ’s Competencies Commission, serving on the leadership team that oversaw the development of the Quality Review & Accountability and Patient Safety areas, and helping create the Performance and Process Improvement area for the organization.

Only two individuals in Rhode Island have been recognized at this level by NAHQ: Williams and Cathy Duquette, PhD, RN, executive vice president of nursing affairs at Lifespan, both hold this honor, exemplifying Lifespan’s dedication to providing excellence in health care across all its operations.

ehealthcare leadershipWebsite Wins Healthcare Internet Award

In October, Lifespan’s new public website,, received an eHealthcare Leadership Distinction Award for Best Internet Homepage at the 2017 Healthcare Internet Conference in Austin, Texas. The site launched in November 2016 and was built by Lifespan’s marketing and communications department in partnership with Boston-based digital agency Consensus Interactive.

The eHealthcare leadership awards recognize the best health care websites and digital communications in 17 industry classifications, from hospitals and health systems to pharmaceutical firms and online health companies. This year’s awards program drew more than 1,000 entries from across the United States and Canada.

“The new website was specifically designed to showcase the depth and breadth of services that only Lifespan can provide in the region, in a way that was not possible with our old website,” said Jane Bruno, senior vice president of marketing and communications for Lifespan. “We are thrilled that has been recognized among the best websites in America.”

Lifespan Receives Certification from Governor’s Task Force

Governor Gina Raimondo's Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force honored the Lifespan ED Levels of Care Task Force for its efforts in providing care for opioid-use disorder in hospitals and emergency departments. Lifespan received Level 1 certification for Rhode Island, The Miriam, and Newport Hospitals from the task force.

Governor Raimondo’s Overdose Prevention and Intervention Task Force was established in 2015 with a goal to reduce opioid overdose deaths by one-third within three years. Lifespan has been working with the task force, and in October received what is called Levels of Care certification, based on treatment criteria established by the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Healthcare Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals and Rhode Island Department of Health. The criteria ensure that best practices in the treatment of opioid-use disorder are in place at emergency departments and hospitals throughout the state. The Levels of Care document established a three-tiered system, in which hospitals must qualify for a minimum Level 3 to receive a designation. Lifespan received a Level 1 certification – the highest designation – meaning that our hospitals are providing comprehensive discharge plans to all overdose patients, screening all patients for substance-use disorder, offering recovery support services, and maintaining the equivalent to a center of excellence where patients can receive treatment for opioid-use disorder.

Members of the Lifespan Levels of Care Task Force were presented with the certification on October 11, at the Governor’s Overdose Task Force meeting. Lifespan will continue to improve its levels of care by developing staff, providing continued educational curriculum, implementing naloxone provision, clarifying protocols and procedures for medication-assisted treatment, and establishing effective coordination for outpatient follow-up.

Lifespan Celebrates Survivors Day and Avenues of Healing

September 17 marked Lifespan’s annual Survivors Day. The event, held by The Lifespan Cancer Institute and Lifespan Community Health Institute, brought cancer survivors, family, friends, and support groups together for inspiration and community outreach. More than 300 patients and families attended this year.

The event was held at the Roger Williams Park Casino in Providence and offered a day full of family-friendly fun and activities, including reiki, massages, local musicians, food, and education, as well as a celebratory walk led by Caroline Kinney, RN, and cancer care team members from the Lifespan Cancer Institute. Kim Zandy, of Giovanni and Kim in the Morning on 92 PRO-FM, who has emceed the event in prior years, kicked off Survivors Day and got attendees ready to have fun and celebrate life with music, food and fun. Violinist Christopher Demas from Healing with Harmony, a Brown University student group, wowed the crowd with his performances. Speakers included several members of the Lifespan Cancer Institute team, including a nurse navigator who is herself a breast cancer survivor. This year’s theme was “Hope Soars,” and attendees certainly felt that throughout the day. One summarized the impact of the event as “people realize they are not alone and it helps to heal.” 

The Lifespan Cancer Institute and Lifespan Community Health Institute also recently held its annual Avenues of Healing event in October. It was an educational day about breast cancer and survivorship, featuring panels and presentations from several cancer care physicians, as well as exhibits and live demonstrations. Some of the topics discussed during the panels included the journey of treatment and survivorship; the importance of self-care; fertility, intimacy, and sexual concerns of breast cancer patients; and the latest in breast cancer research. This year’s keynote speaker was Ann Partridge, MD, MPH, a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, co-founder and director of the Program for Young Women with Breast Cancer at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, as well as director of the Adult Survivorship Program at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. She spoke to around 200 community members about the advancements in breast cancer treatment, including the shift from a one-size-fits-all treatment approach to targeted therapies, and making sure the treatment isn’t worse than the disease itself. 

Thanks to the hard work from the Lifespan Cancer Institute and Lifespan Community Health Institute, both events were a success this year, whether it was educating and inspiring patients, families, and community members, or helping them kick back, have fun, and celebrate life!

Women’s Medicine Collaborative Marks a Year for New Program

For a little more than a year, the Women's Healthy Weight Program at the Women’s Medicine Collaborative has been helping patients achieve successful weight loss. The program, led by Dr. Sheenagh Bodkin, a board-certified obesity medicine physician, offers women a weight loss program that, unlike many others that focus on fast results, is designed for long-lasting and sustainable results.

The Women's Healthy Weight Program advocates sustainable healthy lifestyle behaviors that do not ask women to restrict, reduce or replace what they like to eat. Research has shown that diets of food deprivation are unsustainable, and short-term weight loss plans result in little weight lost and are often followed by weight regain. The program teaches patients how to eat for healthy weight management in a way that doesn’t take the pleasure out of eating.

One such practice is intuitive eating.  Intuitive eating is an evidence-based model for weight management that teaches women to enjoy food according to their body's needs and that exercise can make you feel better.

The team at the Women's Healthy Weight Program understands the factors that cause women to gain weight and recognizes the difficulties of losing the weight. Whether a patient needs lifestyle modification, medication, or surgery, the team treats weight-related health issues while helping them gain confidence and vitality, and embark on a healthy, happy, active life.

“This program has completely changed me,” said a recent participant of the program. “I used to skip meals and overeat at night. Now I eat when I’m hungry during the day and walk at night. I have so much more energy living this way.”

New Partnership for Providing Chaplaincy Services

Lifespan recently joined a chaplaincy group to provide spiritual care services to patients. The HealthCare Chaplaincy Network (HCCN) is a nonprofit health care organization that provides spiritual care-related information and resources, and professional chaplaincy services.

HCCN will provide full management of chaplaincy care services at Rhode Island Hospital, Hasbro Children’s Hospital, The Miriam Hospital and Newport Hospital, including multi-faith spiritual care resources and a team to deliver the services, including a system-wide director and at least six staff chaplains.

“We believe our new relationship with HealthCare Chaplaincy Network will help us meet the spiritual needs of patients, families and care team members,” said Theresa E. Jenner, administrative director of clinical social work at Rhode Island, The Miriam and Newport hospitals. “We also hope to enrich the spiritual experience of patients and staff by building on our offerings of memorial services, and acknowledgment and celebration of holy days marked by various faith traditions and staff education.”

Fadlallah Habr, MD
Fadlallah Habr, MD

Sarah Hyder, MD
Sarah Hyder, MD

Lifespan Physician Group Announces New Gastroenterology Program

The Lifespan Physician Group has created a new gastroenterology program that will be available to patients starting December 4. It will be led by Dr. Fadlallah Habr and Dr. Sarah Hyder.

The program will offer a full range of medical treatments for digestive diseases, including conditions of the esophagus, stomach, small and large intestine, liver, gallbladder, pancreas and colon. The multidisciplinary team will also offer services tailored for women at the Center for Women’s Gastrointestinal Medicine.

Some of the conditions diagnosed and treated at Lifespan Physician Group Gastroenterology include acid reflux, celiac disease, inflammatory bowel disease, pelvic floor disorder, liver diseases including hepatitis B and hepatitis C, and colorectal cancer screenings. 

Services will be available to patients at 950 Warren Avenue in East Providence.

To learn more about the Lifespan Physician Group Gastroenterology program or to schedule an appointment, call 401-606-4260.

Rhode Island Hospital

Interim Leader Appointed for Emergency Medicine

A new interim physician-in-chief for emergency medicine at Lifespan and interim chair of the department of emergency medicine at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University has been appointed. Brian Clyne, MD, will be starting the new role January 1. Dr. Clyne will be replacing Dr. Brian Zink, who will be returning to his home state and joining the University of Michigan Medical School.

Dr. Clyne is currently an associate professor of emergency medicine and medical science and vice chair for education in the department of emergency medicine at Brown. He previously served as residency program director for emergency medicine.

A Rhode Island native, Dr. Clyne has practiced at The Miriam Hospital, Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital for the past 17 years.

Dr. Clyne is involved in clinical practice and research at Lifespan hospitals, as well as medical student career development, helping to shape the training programs and resources available to students. His years of experience in clinical care, research and education will ensure that the emergency medicine programs will continue to provide excellent care, as the search for a permanent chair and chief continues.

Rhode Island Hospital Receives Grant for Asthma Research

Rhode Island Hospital recently received a substantial grant to develop a community-based pediatric asthma care program. The $8.8 million grant was awarded by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute to create the program to identify and address disparities and barriers in caring for children with asthma, particularly among high-risk children. The center will be one of only four in the country and will help establish best practices for improving asthma outcomes in children and long-term program sustainability.

With the rate of asthma morbidity in the United States increasing year after year, Rhode Island has recently seen an increase in emergency department visits and hospitalization rates as well. Elizabeth McQuaid, PhD, and Daphne Koinis-Mitchell, PhD, both staff psychologists at Rhode Island and Hasbro Children’s Hospitals, will be co-principal investigators for this research, examining 16 targeted communities. They will evaluate the effectiveness of an integrated system, called the Rhode Island Integrated Response Program. The study will focus on approximately 1,500 children with asthma and their families over a period of six years.

McQuaid and Koinis-Mitchell will also meet with investigators from the other three centers in the nation to discuss approaches to implementing interventions, measuring sustainability, and defining best practices.

“Nationally we are in need of coordinated systems of asthma care and this initiative represents a first step in building a sustainable delivery model for evidence-based pediatric asthma interventions,” said McQuaid.

Leonard Mermel MDHospital Director Researches IV-Related Bloodstream Infections

New research by Leonard Mermel, DO, medical director of the epidemiology and infection control department at Rhode Island Hospital, is putting a spotlight on complications of peripheral IVs. Dr. Mermel says they "are some of the most commonly utilized medical devices in health care settings" and could be responsible for "several thousand bloodstream infections each year in the United States."

Dr. Mermel has reviewed many studies on infections relating to peripheral intravenous catheters and knows that a great deal of attention has been focused on the risks of central venous catheters, or "central lines,” and that infections from these are now monitored closely in the U.S. and elsewhere. But Dr. Mermel believes we can glean more from research on the risks of peripheral IVs, which are inserted into a vein near the surface of the skin, typically in the arm.

He found that the incidence of bloodstream infection is about 0.18 percent – close to two infections for every 1,000 of these catheters inserted. As a result, he said, "There are likely many patients who develop bloodstream infections from these devices."

Dr. Mermel found that the risk of infection from central lines is 2 to 64 times greater than for peripheral catheters. Still, with 330 million peripheral IVs purchased in the United States each year – and one-fifth of their insertions failing and requiring additional attempts – the numbers are sobering.

Each year, about 200 million adults in the United States have an IV inserted into their arm to deliver vital fluids, nutrients and medicines. These "peripheral intravenous catheters" play a critical role in a patient's care, but a small percentage of them can acquire serious bloodstream infections.

He hopes that his study, published online ahead of print in Clinical Infectious Diseases, will raise awareness and encourage medical institutions to take steps to better monitor and prevent such infections.

Rhode Island Hospital News Coverage and Video Features

Lifespan hospitals frequently receive coverage through various media outlets. The following is a sample of some of those stories. Copyright notice:Video clips and PDF copies of news articles are intended for the exclusive use of Lifespan Marketing and Communications and may not be copied, distributed or rebroadcast in any form. Each news station retains the copyright for its respective footage, and each news organization retains the copyright for news article content. Links to websites not affiliated with Lifespan do not imply endorsement.

ppoe citizens

Corporate Champion: Citizens Bank

PPOE Prince

Individual Achievement Champions,
Lisette Prince and her Family

PPoE Stamoulis

Lifetime Achievement Champion,
Sandy Stamoulis, RN, MBA

RIH Trauma

WLNE-TV: RIH assesses trauma protocols








Hasbro Children's Hospital

NE Revolution Hosts Pediatric Patients

September marked Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and to honor it, professional soccer team the New England Revolution hosted 22 patients, siblings, and parents impacted by pediatric cancer. Not only did the children and their families get to enjoy watching the Revolution win against the Montreal Impact, they were there for another special reason.

Steve Brosnihan, the creator of the community initiative and viral sensation Good Night Lights, was honored at the soccer game as the Hero of the Match. At their home games, the New England Revolution honors a Hero of the Match, an individual who has gone above and beyond for his community and who inspires others to make a difference. Brosnihan was invited to join the team on the field before the game and recognized and honored in the stadium. He was also invited to enjoy a suite in the EMC/Dell Pavilion and take part in a post-game player meet and greet.

Brosnihan said it was “an amazing privilege” to be recognized and honored by the New England Revolution, and he takes the experience as “inspiration to make [Good Night Lights] even bigger and better.”

Vania Kasper, MDHasbro Children’s Hospital Opens New Liver Disease Center

Hasbro Children’s Hospital recently opened a new center focused on the diagnosis, management and treatment of pediatric liver disease. The Children's Center for Liver Disease is a multidisciplinary team led by Vania Kasper, MD, the only physician in Rhode Island with advanced certification in pediatric liver disease and transplantation.

Dr. Kasper leads the center in a multidisciplinary approach that includes nutrition, psychology social work and other specialties to treat young patients with liver disease in a comprehensive way for long-term health and growth. Some of the conditions treated at the Children's Center for Liver Disease include autoimmune hepatitis, acute liver failure, cirrhosis, hepatitis B and C, metabolic liver disease, portal hypertension, and pre- and post-transplant care.

Pediatric liver disease is treated through a combination of diverse services including diet and lifestyle modification, nutrition assessment, patient and family education, and behavioral therapy to help young patients cope with a new diagnosis and adhere to necessary restrictions.

For more information about this new center or to schedule an appointment, call 401-444-8306.

Heroes BallFundraising

Save the Date: Heroes Ball

Please join us for a special evening benefiting Hasbro Children's Hospital on Saturday, March 3, 2018, 6 p.m., at the Rhode Island Convention Center. Proceeds from the Heroes Ball support the hospital’s areas of greatest need, including programs that would not be possible without philanthropic support.

Read More »


Hasbro Children's Hospital News Coverage and Video Features

Lifespan hospitals frequently receive coverage through various media outlets. The following is a sample of some of those stories. Copyright notice:Video clips and PDF copies of news articles are intended for the exclusive use of Lifespan Marketing and Communications and may not be copied, distributed or rebroadcast in any form. Each news station retains the copyright for its respective footage, and each news organization retains the copyright for news article content. Links to websites not affiliated with Lifespan do not imply endorsement.

Good Night

NBC Nightly News: Good Night Lights

HCH nontraffic

WJAR-TV: New research on nontraffic accidents







The Miriam Hospital

Dr. Gyan Pareek
Dr. Gyan Pareek

MIUI Records Another Regional First

A North Providence man whose enlarged prostate was causing him severe urinary dysfunction recently became the first person in New England to be helped by a new type of robotic surgery.

The robot-assisted simple prostatectomy was performed for the first time in the region by Gyan Pareek, MD, co-director of the Minimally Invasive Urology Institute, based at The Miriam Hospital.

Dr. Pareek, who was part of a team that in 2006 performed the first robotic radical prostatectomy in Rhode Island, explained that a simple prostatectomy removes only the inner part of the prostate and resolves urinary problems caused when the gland is enlarged, a condition known as BPH, or benign prostatic hyperplasia.

"A robotic simple prostatectomy is a treatment option to relieve the symptoms associated with an enlarged prostate, such as frequent urination, the inability to completely empty the bladder, or a slow, weak urine stream,” Dr. Pareek said.  “We are happy to offer men with a very large prostate the opportunity for minimally invasive treatment. Most institutions perform this surgery with a large incision and a multi-day hospital stay. With the robotic approach, patients have a quicker, easier recovery, shorter hospital stay, with successful resolution of symptoms," he said.

A radical prostatectomy poses the potential of urinary incontinence or erectile issues, but there is minimal effect following robot-assisted simple prostatectomy, according to Dr. Pareek.

The Miriam Receives NIH Grant

The Miriam Hospital was recently awarded a National Institutes of Health grant to study an innovative opioid addiction treatment program serving the Rhode Island Department of Corrections.

The $215,157 federal grant will fund research into medication-assisted treatment for incarcerated individuals. It will be led by principal investigator Jody Rich, MD, an infectious diseases specialist at The Miriam and director of its Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights.

The nation’s deadly opioid abuse problem was acknowledged October 26, when President Trump declared it a national public health emergency. The Department of Corrections program treats individuals diagnosed with opioid use disorder by substituting synthetic narcotics – methadone and buprenorphine (Suboxone) – to stave off withdrawal symptoms and reduce cravings. It also provides access to naltrexone (Vivitrol), which deters opioid abuse by blocking a narcotic-induced high. As they re-enter the community, participants are connected with providers of medication-assisted treatment to further decrease risks of relapse, overdose, and re-incarceration.

"People with opioid use disorder who leave the correctional setting without medications are among those at the highest risk for overdose and death,” said Dr. Rich. “The comprehensive program developed at the Rhode Island Department of Corrections, in partnership with CODAC Behavioral Healthcare and others, is having and will continue to have a substantial impact on reducing overdose deaths in Rhode Island. This grant will allow this program to be optimized and replicated across the nation."

Dr. Rich’s research team is an interdisciplinary collaboration between Lifespan, Brown University’s Center for Alcohol and Addiction Studies, the University of Rhode Island’s Academic Health Collaborative, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. UNC’s Lauren Brinkley-Rubinstein, PhD, is the lead co-investigator for the study and will oversee the qualitative component of this research.

Tai Chi Shown to Be Effective for Cardiac Rehab

Tai chi is a meditative Chinese practice with roots in the martial arts. These days, the system of distinct, standardized, graceful movements is practiced to strengthen and promote the mind/body health of dedicated practitioners. By one estimate, nearly 250 million people worldwide practice tai chi, which dates back about 500 years.

Now, a study headed by Elena Salmoirago-Blotcher, MD, PhD, a research scientist at The Miriam Hospital Centers for Behavioral and Preventive Medicine, has found that tai chi benefits patients who decline more traditional exercise regimens of cardiac rehabilitation. After a heart attack, more than 60 percent of patients refuse to participate in rehab.

“We thought that tai chi might be a good option for these people because you can start very slowly and simply and, as their confidence increases, the pace and movements can be modified to increase intensity,” said Dr. Salmoirago-Blotcher, lead author of the study. “Tai chi exercise can reach low-to-moderate intensity levels. The emphasis on breathing and relaxation can also help with stress reduction and psychological distress.”

The findings of the preliminary research were reported October 11, 2017, in Journal of the American Heart Association.

The work of Dr. Salmoirago-Blotcher’s research team was funded by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health at the National Institutes of Health. The findings on the benefits of tai chi in cardiac rehab were reported by numerous media outlets, including CBS Evening News, Breitbart, – even Xinhua, the official press agency of the People's Republic of China.

Estes benchpress

Brett Estes, one of the primary organizers of “Bench Press for Cancer,” spots Dr. Fred Schiffman as he flexes his muscles in support of this year’s fundraiser


Brown Football’s Event Benefits The Miriam

On October 16, the Brown football team hosted their annual Bench Press for Cancer. By late morning, the team had already raised more than $17,000 for the Cancer Survivorship Program for Young Adults at The Miriam Hospital, with additional donations and t-shirt sales going strong throughout the day.

 Bench Press for Cancer made its first appearance at Brown in 2004, when the football team created the event to help former teammate and team captain Lawrence Rubida, who was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma while at Brown. Rubida passed away in 2005, but the Brown football team has continued the event annually in his memory. Since its inception, it has raised more than $130,000 for The Miriam Hospital.

Read more »

Dinner Celebrates Philanthropy

In celebration of the generous philanthropy that has been crucial for The Miriam Hospital, 135 members of The Miriam People Society and their guests gathered for this year’s Miriam People Dinner.

miriam people dinner

Susan and David Bazar, Chairs of the 2017 Miriam People Dinner; Arthur J. Sampson, president of The Miriam Hospital, and his wife, Lynda Sampson; John Loerke; and Marie J. Langlois, Chair, The Miriam Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees.

The event was held on September 14 and co-chaired by longtime hospital friends and dedicated supporters, Susan and David Bazar. Hospital president Arthur Sampson reflected on The Miriam’s accomplishments of the past year.

The event also featured keynote speaker Dr. James McDonald, chief administrative officer of the Board of Medical Licensure and Discipline for the State of Rhode Island, who presented on the opioid epidemic that has reached crisis proportions in our state and in our country.

“Our People Dinner is one of my favorite events of the year because it provides an incredible opportunity to celebrate the unwavering support of our donors while thanking them for all they have helped to make possible,” said Arthur Sampson. “There is no question that The Miriam would not be the hospital it is today without the power of philanthropy—and that’s something we will never lose sight of.”

Read more »

The Miriam Hospital News Coverage and Video Features

Lifespan hospitals frequently receive coverage through various media outlets. The following is a sample of some of those stories. Copyright notice: Video clips and PDF copies of news articles are intended for the exclusive use of Lifespan Marketing and Communications and may not be copied, distributed or rebroadcast in any form. Each news station retains the copyright for its respective footage, and each news organization retains the copyright for news article content. Links to websites not affiliated with Lifespan do not imply endorsement.


CBS Evening News: TMH study on Tai Chi


MIUI Minute: BPH vs. Prostate Cancer


MIUI Minute: Bladder Cancer Signs & Symptoms


WLNE-TV: TMH awarded opioid treatment grant







Bradley Hospital

Gregory Fritz, MDA Farewell

Bradley Hospital wishes a fond farewell to Gregory K. Fritz, MD, with our deepest gratitude for more than 30 years of dedication and service to Bradley Hospital, Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

Dr. Fritz is associate chief and director of child psychiatry at Rhode Island Hospital/Hasbro Children’s Hospital, academic director of Bradley Hospital, and director of the Bradley Hasbro Children’s Research Center. He is also the director of the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and vice chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, and was president of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry from 2015 to 2017.

He has long been an advocate for mental health parity, expanding the child mental health research base, increasing access to child mental health services and expanding the workforce, and developing a more rational and effective mental health delivery system. In 2016, he received the Bell Award from the Mental Health Association of Rhode Island in recognition of his many contributions to the field of psychiatry.

Dr. Fritz will be stepping down this month to begin his retirement. We wish him well.

Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety

Mental Health First Aid for Public Safety, offered by Bradley Hospital and Gateway Healthcare, serves as the common curriculum for all of Rhode Island’s law enforcement community. Rhode Island was the first state to require law enforcement personnel to be trained and nationally certified in Mental Health First Aid.

The 8-hour course is geared to police, first responders, corrections officers, and other public safety personnel, who are often first to the scene of a crisis. The training teaches how to better identify a mental health issue, defuse situations, and most importantly, help someone who is in crisis or experiencing a mental health challenge.

For more information, visit, or contact Kim Lafountain at or 401-606-5759.

Mental Health Education Series for Faith Community Leaders

The Interfaith Counseling Center and Bradley Hospital have partnered to host a series of behavioral health presentations of interest to clergy, chaplains and faith-based leaders. Presenters provide practical, state-of-the-art information that addresses a variety of adolescent and adult mental health issues. Topics include suicide screening and prevention, raising resilient children, trauma-informed pastoral care, and preventing sexual exploitation of children.

Bradley Online Learning

Bradley Hospital has extended its reach to share the expertise of our renowned staff with mental health professionals nationwide, and internationally, with Bradley Online Learning. Bradley offers computer-based continuing education for professionals in a variety of disciplines, including psychologists, social workers, certified counselors, physicians, nurses, speech/language and occupational therapists, and teachers.

Courses are planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation criteria and policies of the Rhode Island Medical Society (RIMS) through the joint providership of Rhode Island Hospital and Bradley Hospital. Rhode Island Hospital is accredited by RIMS to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

Courses are available through our computer learning management system. To learn more and to register, visit our website at

Currently available courses include:

  • Foundations for Infant/Toddler Social Emotional Health and Development
  • Adherence Challenges: Strategies for Providers
  • Spanish in Psychiatry: Spanish Is Coming to a Child Psychiatrist Near You
  • Brief Behavioral Interventions with Non-English-Speaking Parents of Children with Autism Spectrum Disorder: Global Deficits in ASD Services Among Non-English-Speaking Families
  • Considering the Children of Parents with Mental Illness: Impact on Behavioral and Social Functioning
  • DSM-5 Updates for Eating Disorders: Implications for Diagnosis and Clinical Practice
  • Home- and Community-Based Mental Health Services for Youth: Is It Working?
  • Supporting Optimal Sleep of Adolescents
  • Tackling Tics: Advances in the Clinical Management of Tic Disorders
  • Talking with Children about Medication: From Ethics to Patient Education
  • Understanding and Helping Adolescents with Non-Suicidal, Self-Injurious Behavior

Parenting Matters 2018

March 24, 2018, 8 a.m. – 12:40 p.m.
Barrington High School, 220 Lincoln Avenue, Barrington, RI 02806

Parenting Matters 2018 will feature a keynote presentation by Carol Stock Kranowitz, MA, titled Is It ADHD, OCD, LMNOP or XYZ? No, It’s SPD! Sensory Processing Disorder and Its Look-Alikes.

Carol Kranowitz introduced Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD) to parents and educators around the world through her groundbreaking book, The Out-of-Sync Child.

She speaks nationally and internationally about SPD’s effect on children’s learning and behavior. She shows families, teachers, and professionals how to integrate sensible strategies and fun activities into everyday life to help typical and atypical children function more smoothly as they grow up. She will also offer a workshop, “The Out-of-Sync Child: Sensory Challenges and Sensible Solutions.”

Parents, caregivers, and professionals can learn from top child development and behavior professionals as they choose from a full range of workshops with essential information on different topics addressing the mental health of young people. The registration fee includes the keynote presentation, two workshops, and professional development credits.

For more information or to register, please call the Lifespan Community Health Institute at 401-444-8076, or visit

Bradley Hospital OCD Reunion Is Great Success

More than 200 guests — patients and their family members or caregivers who have been helped by Bradley Hospital’s Intensive Program for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder — gathered September 9 to share and learn at this year’s reunion. Current and past patients attended, with families traveling to Bradley from as far as Maryland and upstate New York. The day-long affair offered enriching support groups for kids and caregivers led by clinicians from Bradley’s Intensive Program for OCD, creative art activities, a barbecue lunch, live music by The Minor Thirds, a musical duo of former patient Bryden Williams, and more.

Abbe Garcia, PhD, clinical director of Bradley’s Intensive Program for OCD, said it’s a joy as a caregiver to see everyone having fun at the gathering. “It’s especially sweet to see these kids come together to enjoy a party,” she added. Before their treatment in the OCD program, this would have been impossible.

OCD directors Brady Case, MD, Jennifer Freeman, PhD, and Dr. Garcia later gave a presentation in the Pine Room for an overflow crowd of caregivers, speaking about program outcomes, parental perceptions, and ongoing research. At the same time, all the youngsters gathered in Ruggles Gym to work on a collaborative art project. Led by art therapist Melissa Weaver, LMHC, ATR-BC, they created components that she will string into mobiles to hang in the Ruggles courtyard. Jordan Butterfield, Trinity Rep’s director of education and teaching artist, led improv workshops. A new feature of this year’s reunion, the “Dunk the Doc” tank, drew a line of enthusiastic participants.

Play4Kids Olivia

Olivia Deaton, a Barrington High School senior who shared her experience of losing a friend to suicide, with Bradley Hospital President Daniel J. Wall

Some of the patients arrived at the reunion a bit anxious, but soon got into the swing of things, Dr. Garcia said. Others “spotted a pal from the program, ran toward them and gave them a big hug.” She was touched, she said, by “how heartened the parents were to see the kids’ reaction to this place.”

All in all, it was a fitting celebration of four years of the vital, healing work of the Intensive Program for OCD.


Play4Kids Golf Tournament Raises More than $60,000

The Bradley Hospital “Play4Kids” Golf Tournament on October 17 welcomed nearly 100 golfers, coming together to raise more than $60,000 for Bradley Hospital and FRIENDS WAY, southern New England’s only bereavement program for children and adolescents.

Title sponsor Cox Business, gold sponsor RICOH, and silver sponsors The Claflin Company and Marcum LLP, among the event’s more than two dozen supporters, made the 2017 Play4Kids Golf Tournament possible.

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Newport Hospital

Comprehensive Spine Center Opens at Newport Hospital

Comprehensive Spine Center DoctorsThe Comprehensive Spine Center, anchored at Rhode Island Hospital, has expanded to offer its full range of services at Newport Hospital.

The Newport center opened its doors at the beginning of October. Patients are seen by interventional pain specialist and physiatrist Kyle Silva, DO; neurosurgeon Jared Fridley, MD; and Alexios G. Carayannopoulos, DO, MPH, medical director of the center and division director of pain and rehabilitation medicine in the department of neurosurgery at Rhode Island Hospital. Services at Newport Hospital will be integrated with the outpatient Vanderbilt Rehabilitation Center—both are now located on the first floor of the Turner Building.

“We’re confident this new center will be a valuable resource for the Newport County community and beyond,” said Crista Durand, president of Newport Hospital. “We’re so excited to be able to bring this kind of cutting-edge, multidisciplinary spine care to Aquidneck Island.”  

The spine center brings together interventional and noninterventional physiatry, pain medicine and neurosurgery—using both medical and surgical approaches—to effectively address pain, using the most advanced diagnostic and therapeutic equipment and treatment options available. The cross-disciplinary approach also employs behavioral health specialists to aid patients in reducing and eliminating opioid pain medications.

Vanderbilt Rehabilitation Center Recognized for Excellence

guradian of excellence award

Newport Hospital's director of patient experience, Pam McLaughlin, accepting the Guardian of Excellence award from Pat Ryan, Press Ganey chief executive officer.

Newport Hospital’s Vanderbilt Rehabilitation Center has racked up an impressive array of awards and certifications this fall. Most recently, the Vanderbilt Rehab inpatient unit was awarded a fourth consecutive Press Ganey “Guardian of Excellence” award for excellence in patient experience. Press Ganey awards this distinction to top-performing health care organizations for consistently reaching the 95th percentile for patient experience—this latest award means that Vanderbilt Rehab has never dipped below the 95th percentile in patient scores for four consecutive years.

“I’m so proud of our staff,” said Missy Fournier, director of inpatient rehabilitation for Lifespan. “They are such a skilled and dedicated team, they provide truly expert, compassionate care, and it shows on every level—in the good outcomes for our patients, and the tremendously positive feedback from patients and families.”

In addition, the inpatient unit was recently awarded CARF certification, from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities; in a laudatory report, surveyors cited the unit as a model for programs nationwide. And finally, the Cardiac and Pulmonary Rehab programs, part of Vanderbilt Rehab’s outpatient program, won national certification this fall from the American Association of Cardiovascular and Pulmonary Rehab for the first time. The three-year certification recognizes the programs for excellence in quality and safety supported by positive patient outcomes.

Family Fun at Fall into Fitness 5K

Thank you to all Team Lifespan members and Lifespan colleagues who helped make the October Newport Hospital Fall into Fitness 5K such a success. The weather cooperated, and the race drew a lively mix of runners and walkers of all ages. The crowd was serenaded in style by the Thompson Middle School band, volunteers from Vanderbilt Rehab Center taught warm up and stretching techniques to kids, and the Team Lifespan table was busy signing up runners for future races. Congratulations to our medal winners, and thanks to the many participants and volunteers who contributed to this fun, family event.

NH Family 5KNH Family Fitness 5K











"Small Island, Big Hearts" Tournament Benefits Newport Hospital

Friends and family of the late Marshall and Bruce Johnson—Aquidneck Island brothers, athletes and jai alai players—gathered in October to present the Newport Hospital Foundation a charitable donation of $17,000, from the proceeds of the fifth annual “Small Island, Big Hearts” golf tournament, held in June at Green Valley Country Club to honor the Johnson brothers’ memory.

The Johnson brothers’ dreams were realized on the Jai Alai courts of Newport and Florida. With the generosity of “Small Island, Big Hearts” volunteers, sponsors and attendees, the group was able to reach their goals to donate to the Newport Hospital Foundation and to the Newport, Middletown, and Portsmouth High School Athletic Departments.

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Gateway Healthcare

The Autism Project Holds Peer Mentoring Group

Children and teens with an autism spectrum disorder often do not experience typical peer interactions on a daily basis. This leads to a lack of self-esteem, increased social anxiety, and a lower quality of life for children and teens on the autism spectrum. The Autism Project (TAP) tackled this challenge during the 2016-2017 school year by integrating an evidence-based peer mentoring program – Mentoring Matters – into our existing after-school social skills programming. TAP received a grant from Bailey’s Team for Autism to pilot the program in year one, and is making use of other grants to continue the program in year two. Autism Speaks and Taco / The White Family Foundation provided TAP grant money to film a mini-documentary about year one of the program.

The program pairs neurotypical high school students with their neurodiverse peers as mentors. Peer mentors are trained in how to be an effective mentor. Year one provided mentees the opportunity to learn and practice key social and communication skills in the safe, structured environment of their social skills groups. Working with their peer mentors decreased mentees’ social anxiety and helped give them confidence in building relationships and friendships. One of the staff members commented, “watching mentees who typically struggle in social situations light up with a peer mentor is inspirational.” In addition, TAP’s peer mentors gained an increased understanding and empathy for individuals with an autism spectrum disorder and gained a truly sustainable social acceptance of neurodiversity.

Learn more about year 1 of MM by watching the mini-documentary. To get involved, contact

Gateway’s Capital City Community Center Receives Grant

Capital City Community Center is dedicated to meeting the diverse needs of families located in some of Providence's most diverse and impoverished neighborhoods. One of its programs, the Lillian Feinstein Senior Center, provides socialization, meals, recreational, and health and wellness activities to seniors over 70 years old. Services help promote participants’ independence and self-sufficiency, particularly for those who may have difficulty preparing meals or whose health issues may go undetected. Cap City has received a $75,000 grant from the Division of Elderly Affairs through the Older Americans Act, which will be used to support the operations of the senior center:

  • Health, including mental health, and nutrition education services, including prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation for age-related diseases and chronic disabling conditions
  • Services to attain and maintain physical and mental well-being through regular physical activity, exercise, music therapy, art therapy, and dance movement therapy
  • Services to encourage and facilitate regular interaction between students from RIC, Brown, URI, and PC and older individuals

Gateway Awarded Grants for Victims Services

Gateway Healthcare’s Child & Family Therapeutic Outreach Program received two grants from the Rhode Island Department of Public Safety, one for providing behavioral health treatment to victims of crime, and one for providing intensive trauma-focused care of youth victims of sex trafficking.

Gateway Healthcare’s Trauma Treatment Program provides comprehensive mental health counseling to children, adolescents, adults, and families who have been impacted by criminal behavior, resulting in emotional or behavioral pathology. Victims range from very young children to older adults. Through this grant, the Gateway trauma team will be able to provide at least 500 clinical hours of treatment to at least 35 children, adolescents, and adults during each of its two funded years.

Gateway to Recovery: Trauma-Informed Care for Victims of Sex Trafficking is integrated into the Trauma Treatment Program which provides the evidence-based practice of trauma-informed case management for victims of human trafficking.  It also provides for the emergency needs of victims to support their safety, basic needs for food, clothing, and housing, and coordinate victim benefits and restitution.  In addition, the grant will make it possible to hire a second advocate.