Rhode Island Free Clinic Receives Funding For Physician Network Program From Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island

(Providence, RI, 10.21.2011)

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSRI) presented $50,000 to the Rhode Island Free Clinic (RIFC) to expand their Physician Network program, a volunteer initiative in which primary and specialty providers donate their time to provide medical care to the uninsured in our state.

(L to R) BCBSRI Senior Vice President & RIFC Board Member Mark Waggoner, RIFC CEO Marie Ghazal, BCBSRI President & CEO Peter Andruszkiewicz, and RIFC Board Member Lelani Bonner

"The work that RIFC does in our community is critical to improving access to healthcare for the uninsured," said Peter Andruszkiewicz, BCBSRI president and CEO. "We also work with RIFC to provide wellness events such as blood pressure screenings and flu clinics, as well as encourage volunteerism of providers in our network. In addition, BCBSRI's senior vice president and chief medical officer Dr. Gus Manocchia has regular patient hours at the clinic, and network services senior vice president Mark Waggoner serves as a RIFC Board Member. We are grateful for the fantastic work RIFC does in our community."

With 163 primary and specialty provider volunteers at the clinic and 165 in the Physician Network who see patients at their practice offices throughout the state, RIFC provided nearly 6,000 patient visits in 2010. The funding from BCBSRI will allow the Clinic to expand the Physician Network and help provide access to primary and comprehensive care for uninsured, working poor and low-income adults throughout Rhode Island.

In honor of American Diabetes Month, RIFC is holding a diabetes screening that will take place during their next event on Thursday, November 3, from 4:00 p.m.to 6:00 p.m.at 655 Broad Street, Providence.

Founded in 1999, the Rhode Island Free Clinic is nationally recognized for its volunteer provider/community partnership model. In 2011, over 700 volunteers will provide nearly 10,000 patient visits to the state's uninsured, working poor and low-income adults. Patients receive free health care from Volunteers and Community Partners including primary care, laboratory and diagnostics, specialty health and translation services, pharmacy, and wellness programs.

Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island is the state's leading health insurer and covers more than 600,000 members. The company is an independent licensee of the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association. For more information, visit BCBSRI.com and follow us on Twitter @BCBSRI.

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