Volunteer Leadership Council News

Fall 2021

Message from the President and Foundation Board Chair
of Rhode Island and Hasbro Children’s Hospitals

Dear Volunteer Leadership Council Member,

Welcome to the fall eNews for our family of volunteer leaders! We applaud you for your dedication and commitment to Rhode Island and Hasbro Children’s hospitals.

Today, we write to share an update on happenings at the hospitals and how we are responding to the latest public health challenges. We also want to introduce you to our newest members of the Board of Governors, tell you about an exciting $10 million grant that Lifespan just received, and recognize a couple of our loyal Volunteer Leadership Council members for going above and beyond in helping us strengthen our institution’s philanthropy.

These continue to be challenging times for our hospitals. Though we are recruiting aggressively, staffing shortages, especially for nurses, persist. This, coupled with a high patient census including significant emergency room volumes and the pandemic’s unpredictable future, is truly testing our capacity. Nevertheless, staff is rising to the challenge. The collaboration between nurses, physicians and other key workers has reached an exceptional level. They exude a cool competence without fear of taking care of COVID patients, and they demonstrate great pride in caring for the most vulnerable among us.

Our fiscal year 2022 budget is also poised to meet our challenges by providing expanded program support for cancer, cardiovascular health, orthopedics, neurosciences, thoracic surgery, and critical care. Additionally, the budget allows for an investment in spine navigation, surgical robots, and information technology. And, we have committed to a multi-million-dollar investment in a modern nurse call system that allows us to attend quickly and efficiently to our patients’ needs.

As for recent fundraising endeavors, they haven’t missed a beat despite the pandemic. Thanks to members like you and a terrific Development Team, this past summer the Hasbro Children’s Golf Invitational broke all records by raising $433,000. The Heroes Ball then raised a resounding $880,000 despite being changed to a virtual format at the last minute, and the Every Child, Every Day Campaign exceeded its goal by reaching $40 million in the last several months. Hats off to everyone for this extraordinary success!

Needless to say, we are immensely proud to be part of Rhode Island and Hasbro Children’s hospitals, grateful for your support and commitment, and optimistic about the great things we will accomplish in the future, together.

In closing, we would like to share a brief video about one of our newest supporters, Theo Dursin, who is seven years old. Theo sent in a letter at the end of the summer with a check for $100, that included the $75 he raised at his lemonade stand for children with cancer and his lifetime savings of $25. Theo is not only totally endearing, but our only donor who has committed his entire net worth and lifetime earnings. Here’s Theo.

With sincere appreciation and warmest wishes for a joyful holiday season,

Saul N. Weingart, MD
President, Rhode Island Hospital and
Hasbro Children’s Hospital
Robert K. Vincent
Chair, Rhode Island Hospital Foundation

 

P.S. Please feel free to contact either one of us with your questions or feedback.

Introducing the 2021 Slate of New Governors

Join us in welcoming Rhode Island Hospital’s newest members of its Board of Governors:

Cathy Andreozzi, President, The Tori Lynn Andreozzi Foundation

Jennifer Boland, Mott & Chase Sotheby’s International Realty, and founding partner of RM Design

Jeff Buckler, Vice President, ACS Industries

Justine Currie, Founder, The Confetti Kids of New England

Karin Dillahey, Wine & Spirits Professional

Peter Englehart, Business development, sales and strategy expert in the wholesale fine jewelry industry

James (Jamie) Karam, Co-CEO, First Bristol Corporation

Joe McGovern, retired from General Electric Plastics after 38 years in international sales

Rick Metters, Vice President, RI Regional Public Affairs & Corporate Community Relations, Fidelity

Angelo Pezzullo, Senior Advisor, Delta Dental of Rhode Island

Kristen Regan, Owner, Regan Heating & Air-conditioning

Cory Spinale, Relationship Manager, Bank of America’s New England Healthcare, Education and Not for Profit Group

Miles Wilson, Founder, Nerves & Bones

Announcing a $10 Million Grant to Lifespan from the Papitto Opportunity Connection (POC) to Expand Workforce Programs for the State’s Black, Indigenous, and People of Color (BIPOC) Community

In order to ensure that Lifespan’s workforce reflects the diversity of the community it serves, Lifespan is expanding its suite of professional development programs and adding new career pathways for BIPOC individuals. Through support from the Papitto Opportunity Connection (POC), Lifespan will hire more than 1,000 BIPOC individuals over the next four years.

The POC award will accelerate Lifespan’s efforts to build a comprehensive and forward-thinking career development program that provides opportunities for entry and advancement, particularly in high-need areas. The result will be greater access to career pathways into higher-paying jobs for the state’s BIPOC community.

“As the largest employer in Rhode Island, we want to lead the way in diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace, and philanthropy of this magnitude has the power to significantly move the needle toward that goal,” said Lifespan President and CEO Timothy J. Babineau, MD. “We are grateful for the opportunity POC has given us. Barbara Papitto’s humble desire to make a difference with her philanthropy is an admirable example for others.”

“Lifespan’s commitment to providing education and skills training that will directly create good paying, career-oriented jobs for Rhode Island’s BIPOC community is truly transformational,” said Barbara Papitto, founder of the Papitto Opportunity Connection. “Developing opportunities for communities of color that are out of the box and potential game changers are exactly the kind of program POC is passionate about and wants to support.”

Lifespan’s workforce development program aims to create a workforce of well-trained, diverse health care professionals who are representative of the communities they serve. With the POC award, Lifespan will be able to expand programs to provide no-cost certification for high-demand medical professions, such as nursing assistant, pharmacy technician, medical assistant, behavioral health specialist, and doula. Lifespan will also develop a paid job-training program for formerly incarcerated BIPOC individuals, and a succession program to prepare diverse employees for leadership roles. Additionally, there are plans to create a Nursing Leadership Fellowship program and offer academic scholarships for employees from underrepresented communities.

“This is about improving access to advanced education and leadership development to increase career opportunities for BIPOC individuals, and that includes eliminating barriers to job entry and advancement,” said Lisa M. Abbott, Lifespan senior vice president of human resources and community affairs. “Thanks to this grant, we’re able to say to someone, ‘We can invest in you over a period of time.’ The ability to approach our workforce development program in this way is really transformative.”

Opportunities through Lifespan’s workforce development program will be made available to both existing employees and non-employees. The organization has already begun recruitment efforts for training sessions that begin in December and will continue recruiting into 2022. Interested candidates can contact Lifespan directly for more information about available opportunities, by clicking here.

The $10 million commitment from the Papitto Opportunity Connection (POC) was made to Lifespan’s charitable arm, the Lifespan Foundation, and is the largest gift to the foundation in its history.

Papitto grant
From left: Joe Pannozzo; John Tarantino; Dr. Timothy J. Babineau; Barbara Papitto; Lisa Abbott

 

Special Shout Outs

Jess Schiano, 92 PRO-FM On-Air-Talent with Cumulus Providence, and Heroes Ball Host Extraordinaire

Heroes Ball Jess Schiano

When you ask Jess Schiano what’s the best thing about being in radio, she replies, “the chance to talk to people all day while striving to keep the conversation positive.” As a key member of the Cumulus Providence team, and a champion for children’s health care, Jess has been involved with Radiothons at Hasbro Children’s Hospital since 2007. She loves connecting with families and helping them share moving stories of their medical journeys on the air. But this year, Jess took her involvement one step further. Three weeks before the date of the hospital’s Heroes Ball, a decision was made to have it be virtual rather than in-person due to the rise in transmission rates of the Delta variant. With her Cumulus colleagues rallying behind her, Jess quickly agreed to host the event along with professional auctioneer Tom Stebbins. Together, their funny, playful, and professional dynamic helped the event raise more than $880,000 for the children we serve. Thank you Jess! Your volunteerism is inspirational!

Cheryl Merchant, Chief Executive Officer of Taco Family of Companies

Cheryl Merchant

With a career spanning more than three decades in manufacturing, Cheryl has held national and global leadership positions with industry giants like GM, Mazda, Ford, Hope Global and the Lear Corporation. She has also received numerous awards including New England Businesswoman of the Year (2014), Mentor of the Year for PBN RI (2016) and has been an active member of the Rhode Island Hospital Board of Governors since 2019. Cheryl’s whole family participates in her philanthropic decisions. From supporting our Heroes Ball, to the Every Child, Every Day Campaign and recently Hasbro Children’s Family Assistance Fund, Cheryl and her children, Devon and Samantha, have made a significant difference for those we serve. Please join us in thanking Cheryl, Devon, and Samantha for their wonderful generosity!

Save the Dates for these Upcoming Events

Rhode Island Hospital Day of Giving, in partnership with NBC 10 WJAR - Spring 2022

This daylong telethon is an opportunity to celebrate health care heroes and their commitment to patient-centered care, while raising critical funds in support of Rhode Island Hospital’s lifesaving mission. Your sponsorship of this important event will show the community that you support Rhode Island Hospital and the health care heroes who are on the front lines and continue to give so much.

18th Annual Radiothon for Hasbro Children’s Hospital – May 12, 2022

The Hasbro Children’s Hospital Radiothon fills the airwaves annually with inspiring stories of will and skill from courageous patient families and the world-class hospital staff who care for them. During this year’s event—which will be broadcast simultaneously on Cumulus Providence stations 92 PRO-FM, NEWS TALK WPRO, Lite 105, and Hot 106—well-known DJs and hosts will once again ask listeners to call in and pledge their support by making a one-time gift or by becoming a Miracle Maker (monthly donor).

Ways You Can Help

When you create a charitable gift annuity at Rhode Island Hospital, the benefits include lifetime payments and potential tax savings. Learn more about how you can establish a legacy and help further our mission while also creating a secure income stream in retirement. Contact Chris Josephson 401-444-6412 or email: Chris.Josephson@Lifespan.org to learn more.

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