Care Transformation Collaborative of RI

News & Updates | April 2024

Congratulations to Rhode Island Health Insurance Commissioner Cory King!

Earlier this month, the Rhode Island Senate officially confirmed Cory King as Rhode Island Health Insurance Commissioner, following Governor McKee's recent nomination. Commissioner King has been serving as acting commissioner since December 2022, and has been a significant champion for our organization as a co-convener and primary care transformation efforts statewide, and as a national leader in health care policy. We connected with Commissioner King to discuss his new official role and plans for the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner (OHIC).

What new goals or advancements are you working toward as Commissioner?

This year I’ve set four major priorities for this office: 1.) Implementing the recommendations contained in OHIC’s December 2023 report, Primary Care in Rhode Island: Current Status and Policy Recommendations. This includes amending OHIC regulations pertaining to primary care investment by commercial health insurers, making actionable the recommendations of the CTC-RI work group on prior authorization and the OHIC Administrative Simplification Taskforce, and working with partners in state government and the private sector to advance policies and investments that support the primary care workforce. 2.) Expanding OHIC’s work to ensure behavioral health parity in the commercial market.

3.) Continuing to establish OHIC as the agency of record when it comes to data and analysis on the performance of Rhode Island’s health care system. OHIC has been leading this work since 2018, first with a focus on health care spending trends, to which was added health care quality. Recently, the Cost Trends Steering Committee elected to establish public health and health equity accountability measures. OHIC has really leveraged the state’s all-payer claims database in ways that were not being done before. I think there is a lot of value and potential in OHIC serving as the hub for health care data and analysis in Rhode Island.

4.) Beginning the next cycle of health and human services rate reviews in July.

Under your leadership, what programs or policy changes support increased investment in primary care?

As I stated in the cover letter of OHIC’s December report on primary care, OHIC possesses unique policy and regulatory levers to support a robust system of primary care in the state. This includes driving increased resources to primary care practices, reducing administrative burden, and advocating for investments in workforce capacity and creation.

Primary care in Rhode Island is experiencing a historic workforce crisis. What ways is OHIC working to support the overburdened workforce?

I think we must recognize that Rhode Island is not alone when it comes to the workforce shortages and burnout facing primary care. In building a more robust system of primary care, government and private sector entities all have a role to play. From my perspective, as the leader of a state agency, I have it within my purview to center the issues facing primary care on the state’s policy agenda. OHIC did that when we conducted our strategic refresh and published our report in December, which sets forth reasonable recommendations to support primary care that are within the ambit of state government. Finally, I believe OHIC’s continued support for CTC-RI is important. CTC-RI provides a forum for primary care providers and health insurers to collaborate and innovate. I’m very proud of OHIC’s role as co-convenor.

Urgent call to action: Help us advocate for primary care in Rhode Island!

It's no secret — Rhode Island is experiencing a historic primary care workforce crisis. From record rates of physician burnout, to early retirements, to a severe lack of new physicians and staff entering primary care, it’s estimated that 200,000 Rhode Islanders will not have access to primary care by 2030.

We need to take action! New legislative bills proposed in the RI House and Senate will help directly address the primary care crisis, and legislators need to hear they have support! Will you take a few minutes today to help us?👇

FIRST 👉 view our one-page toolkit for simple take-action steps

THEN 👉 use our letter template to contact your legislators

With enough support, we hope to see these bills progress and pass. Questions? Email Thank you!


Update: Improving Child Health in RI Quarterly meeting

CTC-RI and PCMH Kids welcomed pediatric practices and stakeholders to the April "Improving Child Health in RI" meeting. Debra Hurwitz, CTC-RI’s executive director, reviewed the efforts of the Primary Care Workforce Task Force, comprised of physicians, nurses, higher education institutions and subject matter experts, and their Strategic Roadmap that outlines the recommended action steps to address the primary care workforce shortage. New legislative bills have now been proposed in the RI House and Senate that will directly address the workforce crisis, and CTC-RI has launched an urgent call to action to generate support. Please take a few minutes today to help.

Janet Limoges, KIDSNET Provider Relations Manager working for RIDOH, wrapped up the April meeting demonstrating new KIDSNET features and reports, like asthma action plan updates, Family Visiting reports, and Newborn Characteristics reports. Please join us on May 2 and June 6, 7:30-8:00am for Virtual Coffee Breaks with Dr. Pat Flanagan & Dr. Beth Lange. Read more.

CTC-RI announces practices participating in new initiative to improve demographic data collection in primary care

The April Demographic Data Committee meeting featured Sarah Reinstein of EBCAP presenting the BCBSRI LGBTQ Safe Zone Certification process — recognition EBCAP successfully pursued and earned at four clinical sites in their commitment to workplace inclusivity. Through a multidiciplinary workgroup, EBCAP tackled requirements and launched initiatives to update intake forms, provide staff cultural competency training, and ensure gender-neutral environments.

Additionally, it was announced that 15 practices were selected to participate in the 2024 Improving Demographic Data Collection in Primary Care to Address Health Disparities Quality Improvement Initiative (including three that participated in the initial pilot and will continue their work). The remaining 12 practices will complete a Baseline Needs Assessment, and join a kickoff learning collaborative meeting on April 25. All teams will work with practice facilitators from May through December to improve demographic data completeness rates and improve a second measure identified from their Baseline Needs Assessment report. Congratulations to all practices! Read more.

Barrington Pediatrics

Chad E. Lamendola, MD, Ltd.

Chad P. Nevola, MD, Inc.

Clinica Esperanza/Hope Clinic

Concilio Pediatrics

Medical Associates of RI, Inc.

Middletown Family Practice

Northeast Internal Medicine

NRI Pediatrics, PC

Ocean Medical Practice, Inc.

Pilgrim Park Physicians

Portsmouth Family Practice

Tiverton Family Medicine

University Internal Medicine

Your Health, Inc.

Monthly CBO Spotlight: Family Service of Rhode Island

Our primary care transformation efforts often include the support and partnership of community-based organizations (CBOs) statewide. CTC-RI is spotlighting a different CBO each month to recognize and appreciate their work in our communities. This month, we're spotlighting Family Service of Rhode Island (FSRI), focused on advancing equity, opportunity, and hope in our communities. FSRI believes all children and families have limitless potential. But for those growing up surrounded by poverty, family instability, and physical or emotional stress, life is too often about survival, not possibility.

What ways does your organization uniquely support Rhode Islanders?       

FSRI is a leading social service organization with over 130+ years of expertise providing programs and services that advance equity, opportunity and hope in our communities. As a behavioral health and child welfare provider, we offer over 40 programs addressing Social Determinants of Health needs, parenting and child development support, victim services, mobile crisis, community health and so much more. FSRI is home to four residential facilities, one school (Mount Pleasant Academy) and an affiliated homeless shelter in Middletown. Our array of services impact over 20,000 individuals annually using evidence-based and trauma-informed practices. We pride ourselves in taking a family/community-centered approach to our programs and services that are strength-based and solution-focused. FSRI is accredited by the Council on Accreditation.

How can a partnership with primary care providers strengthen your work?

Partnering with primary care providers allows for patients to have quality of life issues identified through a Social Determinants of Health screening. Patients can connect with a Community Health Worker to support patients' identified needs by obtaining community- based resources such as housing and food insecurities, behavioral health referrals, and maintaining schedule appointments. Assisting patients address their Social Determinants of Health needs will also keep high-risk patients involved with their primary care providers.

What's something you'd like the primary care community to understand about your organization?

The primary care community would greatly benefit from learning more about the importance of integrating Community Health Workers as a part of a primary care provider teams. Community Health Workers are knowledgeable and represent diverse communities throughout the state. A Community Health Worker's lived experiences and unique skillsets help them engage with patients and connect individuals and families to resources statewide making them an ideal fit for any primary care setting. For example, our Community Health Worker stationed at Jenks Park Pediatrics in Central Falls assisted with health care enrollment for over 600 families. 

Want to get in touch?

Contact Kinzel Thomas, LCSW, LCDP, CCHW, Vice President of Equity & Community Development at 401-497-0078 or

CTC-RI presents with CHWARI at the Rhode Island Health Center Association (RIHCA) Cancer Screening Summit

Linda Cabral, MM, CTC-RI Senior Program Manager, presented with Sarah Lawrence, CCHW, LCSW, PhD, Executive Director of the Community Health Worker Association of RI (CHWARI), at the April RIHCA Cancer Screening Summit in Warwick. Their session on Community Health Worker (CHW) Strategy, Opportunities, and Training provided an overview of Medicaid and Medicare coverage of CHW services as well as core and specialty trainings available for the CHW workforce. Their session also covered the Statewide CHW Roadmap Strategy being led by the RI Department of Health. Approximately 30 people attended the session, many of whom were cancer screening navigators who may benefit from CHW training.

Recap: Clinical Strategy Committee meetings

The April Clinical Strategy Committee meeting focused on approaches to comprehensive primary care and high-risk care management under prepayment and global risk. This presentation was moderated by Pano Yeracaris, MD, MPH, CTC-RI Chief Clinical Strategist. This meeting featured Stephanie Grenier, Director of Quality & Performance at Rhode Island Primary Care Physicians Corporation (RIPCPC), as well as Andrea Galgay, RIPCPC Chief Operating Officer, and Michael Tully MD, consultant, Converging Health discussing RIPCPC’s partnerships and recent projects. In addition, Erin Nahrgang, RN, CCM, Senior Director ACO Complex Care Management at Boston Medical Center Health System, shared a presentation on implementing integrated complex care management in an Accountable Care Network. CME credits are available. At the May Clinical Strategy meeting, CTC-RI will convene community and clinical leadership to report on updates in behavioral healthcare from OHIC, and to discuss the RI Business Group on Health report.

Best Practices in Team-Based Care: “An Initiative to Improve Age- and Dementia-Friendly Care”

CTC-RI convened our April Best Practices in Team-Based Care meeting in collaboration with RI Geriatric Education Center (RIGEC) and the RI Department of Health (RIDOH), focused on our 4M Quality Improvement (QI) initiative to enhance age- and dementia-friendly care. More than 100 attendees participated!

Victoria O’Conner (RIDOH) welcomed our practice team members: Kaylee Mehlman, PharmD, BCGP, FASCP, Kathleen Treloar, LICSW (both of RIPCPC), and Ashna Rajan, MD (Brown Medicine), to share their experience participating in the 6-month initiative helping practices apply for Institute for Healthcare Improvement Level 1 Age-Friendly Health Systems Recognition. Victoria provided a comprehensive overview of Age-Friendly Health Systems and the 4M framework: What Matters, Medication, Mentation, and Mobility, setting the stage for discussion. Presenters shared their experiences with implementing the elements of an age-friendly system, detailing their goals, implemented changes, future directions, and strategies for overcoming barriers. The session recording is available here. These meetings will continue the third Tuesday monthly from 8-9am.

Save the date for our Annual Conference on October 31!

Join us for our CTC-RI Annual Conference on October 31 (7:30am - 3:30pm) at the Crowne Plaza in Warwick. Secure your spot now and be part of this transformative event! Our conference promises enriching learning opportunities across key tracks: health equity, priorities in population health, best practices in Behavioral Health, and improving child/family health. Attendees can expect to gain invaluable insights and strategies to improve patient outcomes by leveraging the strengths of the team, the system of care, and patient voice. Our conference will also feature an exciting exhibitor hall with community-based organizations, partners, and health care agencies and their services. Attendees will have the chance to explore and meet with a diverse range of exhibitors, network, and access cutting-edge industry and local resources. Don't miss out on this exceptional opportunity to connect with colleagues, learn from experts, and discover ways to advance primary care and health equity. Exhibitors interested in participating can reach out to Michelle Mooney ( for more information.

Practice Resources and Information

First Annual Physician Well-Being Symposium: April 24

This Warren Alpert Medical School symposium will bring together leaders in physician well-being to provide the opportunity to cultivate resilience and renewed purpose, connect with fellow leaders in innovative wellness strategies, gain insights, skills, and resources to address burnout through individual and systems-level solutions, collaborate and align efforts, and create a culture that values physician wellness. Physicians will leave energized, equipped, and empowered to drive positive change in themselves and their healthcare community. Together, we can reinvent our practices to thrive. Register.

HRSA National Health Service Corps: Three Options for Loan Repayment Programs   

The National Health Service Corps Loan Repayment Program is accepting applications through May 9 at 7:30pm. This year the NHSC has increased the award amounts up to $75,000 for full-time and up to $37,500 for half-time participants who are physicians, nurse practitioners, nurse midwives and physician assistants providing primary care services. Additionally, HRSA has added a $5,000 award enhancement for clinicians who demonstrate Spanish-language proficiency. The award is available to eligible applicants in all three loan repayment programs and is in addition to the maximum award amounts. Learn more.

Resources for people who have a concussion

RIDOH has shared the most up-to-date resources for individuals living with brain injury and their families, available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese.

OHIC: Mental Health Service Utilization on the Rise in Rhode Island

Read more here on this rise in utilization. More information on health care costs can be found on the OHIC website under Additional Data and Reports. More information on trends in spending can be found on the OHIC Data Hub.

MLPB March Update

Read about MLPB's partnership with DULCE sites in Rhode Island, and more.

Recent News

Boston Globe: A small clinic in tiny Central Falls, R.I., takes a giant step to tackle the state’s housing crisis

April 15, 2024

A new 30-unit transitional housing program for women and children facing homelessness opened on Friday, thanks to a pediatrician in the majority-Latino city. Read more.

Rhode Island Current: R.I. Senate confirms Cory King for permanent post as state health insurance commissioner

April 3, 2024

Cory King will continue to lead Rhode Island’s Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner (OHIC), the Rhode Island Senate confirmed in a vote on Tuesday. Read more.

The Public's Radio: More Patients Are Losing Their Doctors — And Trust in the Primary Care System

April 2, 2024

Research shows that some of the biggest drivers of burnout are workload and job demands. Community health centers tend to attract clinicians who are mission-driven, said Nelly Burdette, who spent years working in health centers before becoming a senior leader of the nonprofit Care Transformation Collaborative of Rhode Island. Read more.

PubMed: Primary Care Access for All: A Roadmap for Addressing the Primary Care Crisis in Rhode Island

April 1, 2024

The CTC-RI Primary Care Workforce Task Force final roadmap report and data from graduating primary care providers was recently published in PubMed. Read more.

Job Opportunity

Brown Medicine: Nurse Care Manager (Nephrology)

This part-time Nurse Care Manager will work on an interdisciplinary healthcare team in a specialty care setting to conduct direct patient care and quality improvement activities. The Nurse Care Manager is responsible for providing comprehensive screenings, assessments, care coordination services, disease education, and self-management support to patients with chronic kidney disease. Learn more.

Upcoming CTC-RI Committee Meetings and Workgroups

  • April 26, 07:30-08:45AM – Board of Directors
  • May 01, 07:30-08:30AM – PCP/Specialist Monthly Oversight Meeting
  • May 01, 02:30-03:30PM – Demographic Data Monthly Committee Meeting
  • May 08, 08:00-09:00AM – Primary Care Workforce Taskforce Meeting
  • May 14, 05:00-08:00PM – Board of Directors
  • May 17, 07:30-09:00AM – Clinical Strategy Committee Meeting

Upcoming Learning Collaboratives and Professional Development

  • April 24, 07:30-09:30AM – Asthma Collaborative
  • April 25, 07:30-09:00AM – Demographic Data Collection Quality Improvement Kickoff Meeting
  • May 02, 07:30-08:00AM – Virtual Coffee Breaks with Dr. Pat Flanagan & Dr. Beth Lange
  • May 02, 07:30-08:30AM – Supporting People Living with Dementia and their Care Partners: Accessing Care Partner Needs
  • May 16, 07:30-08:30AM – ECHO: Increasing Access to Care for Children and Adolescents with Restrictive Eating Disorders by Optimizing Integrated Behavioral Health Care
  • May 16, 07:30-08:30AM – Supporting People Living with Dementia and their Care Partners: Importance of Early Detection and its Impact on Patient and Care Partner Needs
  • May 17, 12:00-01:00PM – Integrated Behavioral Health Meet and Eat
  • May 20, 12:00-01:00PM – Healthy Tomorrows Quarterly Learning Collaborative meeting - Cohort 4
  • May 21, 07:30-09:00AM – Pharmacy Quality Improvement Learning Collaborative: CGM & ABPM
  • May 21, 08:00-09:00AM – Best Practices in Team-Based Care (formerly NCM/CC Best Practice Sharing)
  • May 30, 07:30-8:30AM – Supporting People Living with Dementia and their Care Partners: Resources to Help Support Patient and Care Partner Needs
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