Rhode Island Hospital

Philanthropy News from Rhode Island Hospital

$1M Gift Benefits Neurology Care at Rhode Island Hospital

Neurology Gift
Cristina Watkins, MSN, NP; Mahesh V. Jayaraman, MD and Kristen Czekanski, NP

When you combine the vision and purpose of forward-thinking health care professionals with the incredible generosity of caring philanthropists, the results can be powerful.

The recently created Helen D. Buchanan Family Fellowship—an experiential learning opportunity for advanced practice providers (APP) in the neurosciences field—is a shining example of that partnership in action.

‘How do we create awareness?’

Cristina Watkins is a nurse practitioner at Rhode Island Hospital with a not-so-common clinical subspecialty in neurology. “I think I was the only one of my graduating class of NPs who went into neurology,” she says, adding with a laugh, “I think some people think it’s scary.”

Over the last five years, Cristina has been a member of the hospital’s neurovascular team and knows firsthand how critically important the contributions of APPs have been, particularly in the delivery of stroke and neurocritical care.

Read more

Driving Change in How Alzheimer's Disease is Diagnosed

Director shares insights on treatment, research, and the center’s goals

Chung-Ku Wu, MD

Dr. Chuang-Kuo “John” Wu is a neurology clinician and researcher who has held prestigious appointments throughout the country. In September 2020, he was recruited to return to Rhode Island Hospital to serve as Director of the Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center.

You returned to Rhode Island to lead the Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center, what is your history in the field and what attracted you to come back to the Ocean State?

My time working in Rhode Island Hospital’s neurology department alongside renowned researcher Dr. Brian Ott was incredibly rewarding. I am particularly proud of the services we expanded and the many National Institutes of Health (NIH) funded research and clinical trials we worked on. In 2007, I was recruited to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago, and later to the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center to head its neurology residency program. My specialties and research interests center on slowing the progression of Alzheimer’s disease and various types of dementia. Coming back here was an easy decision—it allows me to continue Dr. Ott’s legacy following his retirement. Rhode Island is a unique place to study Alzheimer’s disease. Its population and aging demographic represents a model system that reflects a cross-section of the entire country.

Read more

Grant News from Rhode Island Hospital

Rhode Island Hospital was awarded a grant of $17,319 by the Rhode Island Foundation’s Anne King Howe Fund in continued support of cancer care and treatment. The funding enables our doctors, nurses and other caregivers to provide therapies and programs we might otherwise not be able to offer for patients and their families.

A grant of $42,000 from the Lura Cook Hull Trust was awarded to Rhode Island Hospital in support of a cancer research project to measure anti-cancer immune activity in surgical specimens from patients with non-small cell lung cancer treated with pre-operative immune therapy.

The Rhode Island Foundation’s Special Medical Fund grant program awarded $22,500 to allow Rhode Island Hospital’s Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center to validate user-friendly, self-administered screening measures for memory screening – an important prevention step and treatment effort in the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias for aging Rhode Islanders.

A grant of $11,500 awarded by the Everett F. Boyden Trust will support the purchase of updated instrumentation for use in the Rhode Island Hospital’s Neurocritical Care Unit – where patients with physical impairments due to severe strokes, brain hemorrhages, traumatic brain injury, seizures, brain infections, or other debilitating brain or spinal cord injuries are cared for.

Rhode Island Hospital received a grant of $7,800 to support a therapeutic music program for some of our most vulnerable adult inpatients – many of whom are admitted to the hospital for weeks at a time.  Programming consists of two 90-minute weekly therapeutic music strolls and individual patient interactions, provided by Therapeutic Musicians Chris Monti and Michael Bresler. This programming is made possible in part by a grant from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through an appropriation by the Rhode Island General Assembly and a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.