Philanthropy News

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Comprehensive Stroke Center Benefits from Routhier Foundation Grant
Monday, January 16, 2017

The Comprehensive Stroke Center was recently awarded a $52,000 grant from The Edward J. and Virginia M. Routhier Foundation to support the purchase of a Picture Archiving and Communications System (PACS). This innovative system will provide neurologists with a new tool that enables them to easily, quickly and accurately share pictures with patients, providing them, their families and caregivers with the best information possible while making health care decisions.

Based in North Kingstown, The Routhier Foundation is a generous, longtime supporter of Rhode Island, Hasbro Children’s and The Miriam Hospitals.

2016 News RSS Feed
“Pilates for Pink” Raises Cancer Awareness, Funds for Breast Cancer Research
Thursday, December 08, 2016

“Pilates for Pink” an educational event designed to increase breast cancer awareness, was held on October 15th at Barrington Pilates & Studio 47 in Barrington, RI. Studio owners, Mora Babineau and Elizabeth Dewey coordinated the event and taught two Pilates classes for participants. 

Prior to the classes, Susan Korber, Administrative Director of the Comprehensive Cancer Center at Lifespan, gave a presentation and led a discussion promoting wellness for women with a focus on breast cancer. “Pilates for Pink” raised more than $700 to support the Breast Cancer Research Group and was so successful, there are plans to host similar events in the future.

Pilates in Pink

Left to Right: Elizabeth Dewey, Susan Korber, and Mora Babineau


Rhode Island Hospital Honors Community Champions at President's Pursuit of Excellence Dinner
Sunday, November 20, 2016

Dr. BertMore than 500 of Rhode Island Hospital’s most dedicated friends and supporters convened at the Rhode Island Convention Center on November 15, when Margaret M. Van Bree, MHA, DrPH, President of Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital, hosted the hospital’s 2016 President’s Pursuit of Excellence Dinner. Highlighting hospital successes of the past year, including a moving story from a patient whose life was saved by Rhode Island Hospital after suffering a stroke, the annual event honored community champions for their selfless contributions.

(Right) An Inspirational Leader: Dr. Arthur A. Bert, who recently retired after a distinguished 30-year career that culminated as Anesthesiologist-in-Chief for Rhode Island Hospital, Hasbro Children’s Hospital and The Miriam Hospital, was presented the Lifetime Achievement award by Margaret M. Van Bree, MHA, DrPH, President of Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital.

The celebration was chaired by Lawrence A. Aubin, Sr., Chairman of the Lifespan Board of Directors and Chair of the Rhode Island Hospital Board of Trustees, and co-chaired by Roger N. Begin, Chair of the Rhode Island Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees; Karen L. Furie, MD; Thomas A. Magliocchetti; and Marc A. Paulhus. Presenting sponsors Amaral Revite General Contractors, Rhode Island Hospital Guild, Rhode Island Medical Imaging, and University Orthopedics provided generous support for the event.

Opening the event, Dr. Van Bree cast light on the hospital’s commitment to patient care extending beyond the traditional hospital setting and boundaries.

“I could not be more proud of our compassionate, highly-skilled teams for their dedication to doing whatever it takes to provide our patients with the best care possible,” said Dr. Van Bree. “From attracting the best and brightest minds in medicine to Rhode Island and investing in research that puts us on the national stage, to creating groundbreaking partnerships with other healthcare leaders, the past year was defined by serving our patients even better than before.”

Dr. Van Bree highlighted new partnerships the hospital has recently forged such as the collaboration with Dana-Farber Cancer Institute to provide patients with cancer access to the latest clinical trials, close to home. She also shared examples of breakthroughs that have taken place in the past 12 months, both in the Emergency Department and the Comprehensive Stroke Center.

As she finished her remarks, Dr. Van Bree introduced Scott Mellon and his wife, Denise, to share the story of how Rhode Island Hospital’s revolutionary stroke care saved Scott’s life.

While golfing in Massachusetts this past April, Scott, 43, suffered a massive stroke—the result of an Emergent Large Vessel Occlusion—and was rushed to a nearby hospital.

Scott was unresponsive and paralyzed on his right side as the hospital where he presented administered clot-busting medication and immediately called Rhode Island Hospital, the region’s only Comprehensive Stroke Center equipped to care for complex cases of stroke. The call was part of a Primary Stroke Center Protocol established by Rhode Island Hospital with area hospitals to ensure patients needing the level of care available only in Rhode Island would be triaged as quickly as possible.

An angiogram at the nearby hospital confirmed Scott was a candidate for the new stent retriever treatment, and as the ambulance raced to Rhode Island with Scott aboard, Rhode Island Hospital prepared to deliver the procedure the moment he arrived.

Less than three hours after Scott suffered his stroke, the clot that caused it was removed and blood flow to his brain was restored. He was no longer paralyzed; his speech returning with each passing minute. Two days later, he walked out of the hospital on his own two feet. Had it not been for Rhode Island Hospital’s collaboration with other hospitals in the area to transfer him here for the procedure, Scott’s doctor has little doubt that he would either not be alive or severely disabled.

“How the stars aligned that day, which brought me to your hospital…which gave me back my life…there really are no words.  Thank you for the gift I have been given,” said Scott as he and his wife left the stage to loud applause.

The evening continued with the recognition of 2016 Champions: Local Dunkin’ Donuts Franchisees as Corporate Champion; Arthur A. Bert, MD for Lifetime Achievement; and Al and Gerrie Verrecchia as Individual Champions.

About this year’s Champions

One of the region’s most recognizable brands, Dunkin’ Donuts is also one of its most philanthropic. One-hundred percent locally-owned and operated, its local franchisees have raised more than $1 million for Hasbro Children’s Hospital through “Iced Coffee Day” since 2010, resulting in the creation of the Dunkin’ Donuts Family Room on Hasbro 6, and a health-themed play area in the pediatric ambulatory clinic. In 2014, franchisees reaffirmed their support with a 5-year, $1 million commitment to launch the “4-Safety” program.

Throughout a distinguished 30-year career, Arthur A. Bert, MD, the recently retired Anesthesiologist-in-Chief for Rhode Island Hospital, Hasbro Children’s Hospital and The Miriam Hospital, led a team of more than 100 anesthesiologists who performed nearly 60,000 procedures annually. A tireless advocate for advancing medicine through research, Dr. Bert helped develop a technology for a bioengineered heart valve for the treatment of children with congenital heart disease. In testimony to his abilities as a doctor and administrator, Dr. Bert has been named a Rhode Island Monthly “Top Doctor” each year since 2000.

Al Verrecchia worked for Hasbro, Inc. his entire professional career, spanning 50-years until he stepped down as chairman in 2015. Together with his wife, Gerrie, the couple created the Verrecchia Family Foundation to serve as the vehicle for their charitable work, focusing their support to organizations that serve children with an emphasis on health and education. Both Al and Gerrie have a deep commitment to Lifespan and its affiliated hospitals. Al was Chair of the Bradley Hospital Board of Directors and Lifespan’s Board of Directors. Gerrie has been a longtime Hasbro Children’s Hospital volunteer, reading to and playing with young patients during their hospital stay. The tireless couple spearheaded the Bradley School Campaign in 2004 and chaired the first Hasbro Children’s Hospital Ball.

Videos shown at the event to honor Rhode Island Hospital’s 2016 Champions may be found here.

PPOE 2016

A Most Grateful Patient: In what was the evening’s most moving moment, Scott Mellon shared the story of how Rhode Island Hospital saved his life thanks to a new ground-breaking procedure after he suffered a massive stroke while golfing this past April.

Left to right: Denise Mellon; Ryan McTaggart, MD; Margaret M. Van Bree, MHA, DrPH, President of Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital; Scott Mellon; and Nicholas Musisca, MD. Dr. McTaggart and Dr. Musisca treated Mr. Mellon after he suffered his stroke.

PPOE 2016

It Takes a Village: Joe Prazeres, a local Dunkin’ Donuts franchisee, speaks to the dedication he and his fellow franchisees across Rhode Island and Bristol County, MA have for Hasbro Children’s Hospital as he accepts the 2016 Corporate Champion award on the group’s behalf.

PPOE 2016

Compassionate Champions: Combining immeasurable contributions with the deepest of commitments to Lifespan and its affiliated hospitals, Gerrie and Al Verrecchia were recognized as the 2016 Individual Champions at this year’s President’s Pursuit of Excellence Dinner.

2016 PPOE

Left to right: Dr. William Cioffi, Dr. Arthur A. Bert, and Dr. Timothy J. Babineau

2016 PPOE

Left to right: Al Verrecchia, Jeanie Charness, Charrel Maxwell, Gerrie Verrecchia, and Wayne Charness

2016 PPOE

Left to right: Diane and Dr. Ed Iannuccilli, and Dr. Timothy J. Babineau

2016 PPOE

Left to right: Marc Paulhus, Thomas Magliocchetti, and Brad Dimeo

2016 PPOE

Left to right: Dr. Michael Ehrlich and Lawrence A. Aubin, Sr.



Rhode Island Hospital Receives Two Grants to Benefit Research and Education
Thursday, November 10, 2016

Tom Dipetrillo and his wife, Carol Keefe, recently made a gift of $10,000 to Rhode Island Hospital to support a research study on the detection and treatment of Alzheimer’s disease being conducted by Brian R. Ott, MD.  Dr. Ott is board certified in both Neurology and Internal Medicine with special qualifications in Geriatric Medicine, and directs the Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center at Rhode Island Hospital.  With a close connection and deep respect for Dr. Ott’s work—Carol is currently participating in one of Dr. Ott’s studies—both Tom and Carol are committed to supporting research.

Deborah Lewis has given a gift of $18,000 to the David C. Lewis, MD Fellowship Program in Addiction Medicine at Rhode Island Hospital, named in tribute to her father who is Professor Emeritus of Medicine and Community Health and the Donald G. Millar Distinguished Professor of Alcohol and Addiction Studies at Brown University. David Lewis has been a national leader in addiction medicine for over 40 years and a champion for its integration into mainstream medical education and practice.  With Rhode Island and southern New England having some of the highest rates of drug and alcohol abuse in the nation, Deborah is proud to honor her father’s legacy by contributing to the education and training of the next generation of physicians.


Rhode Island Foundation Awards $62,500 Grant to Rhode Island Hospital Neurologist
Thursday, October 06, 2016

Rhode Island Hospital and neurologist Dr. Julie Roth have been awarded a $62,500 grant by The Rhode Island Foundation to create a novel, case-based educational curriculum that will use audio podcasts to bridge a vital gap between neurology and obstetrics for physicians in training.

The program, titled “Pregnancy and Neurology: Safeguarding Moms and Babies,” will address the question: If a pregnant woman has migraines or seizures or another neurological condition, how does her doctor treat her while keeping the baby safe?

With the funding, Dr. Roth will develop six cases illustrating neurological issues in pregnancy, presented both in writing and as short podcasts. As the next generation of medical professionals is emerging at a time of startling advances in technology, this approach to delivering curricular material—on a subject less commonly encountered by trainees during medical school—puts Rhode Island Hospital at the forefront of an innovative approach to bridge disciplines with an eye toward enhancing patient care.



Grateful for Care Received at Comprehensive Cancer Center, 2 Families Make Gifts to Rhode Island Hospital’s Comprehensive Cancer Center
Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The Comprehensive Cancer Center at Rhode Island Hospital is the recent beneficiary of two generous gifts, each from families who wanted to pay it forward for the outstanding care they and their loved ones received—the highest compliment our programs can receive.

After sadly losing his wife to cancer several years ago, Michael Grossi was diagnosed with the dreadful disease and underwent treatment at Rhode Island Hospital. Touched by the compassion and support he received at every level of the Comprehensive Cancer Center, Michael established a $10,000 bequest to help support the needs of future cancer center patients. Following a period of remission, Michael’s cancer returned more aggressively late last year before his passing in early 2016. 

* * * *

When David Henault’s father, George, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer 5-years ago, he depended on our Comprehensive Cancer Center for treatment and comfort. This past July, after a long battle, George passed away. Crediting the care we provided for giving his father extra years of life where he was able to do many of the things he enjoyed, David made a $10,000 gift to the Comprehensive Cancer Center as a tribute to his father and to recognize staff for going above and beyond.

We will forever be grateful for these gifts and the impact they will have on our cancer patients today and into the future. By continuing to focus on the growing collaboration between Rhode Island Hospital’s development office and the Comprehensive Cancer Center, our hope is to further enhance our already robust services through philanthropy.


Rhode Island Hospital Welcomes New Governors at Annual Luncheon
Thursday, June 09, 2016

On Thursday, May 12, Roger N. Begin, Chairman of the Rhode Island Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees and Margaret M. Van Bree, MHA, DrPH, President of Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital, welcomed fellow hospital leadership, physicians, board members and donors to the Gerry House for the hospital’s annual Governor’s Luncheon. Serving as an opportunity to thank the Board of Governors for their dedicated service and highlight Rhode Island Hospital’s comprehensive research program, the afternoon event also featured the appointment of four new Governors.

New to the Rhode Island Hospital Board of Governors are Karen Furie, MD; Edward Medeiros; Brian S. Snowden; and Anthony J. Thomas, Jr.

Following the nomination of the new Governors, Peter J. Snyder, PhD, Lifespan’s Chief Research Officer, gave an overview of Lifespan and Rhode Island Hospital’s comprehensive research programs before introducing Rhode Island Hospital researchers who delivered remarks on their respective fields. Jennifer F. Friedman, MD, Director of Clinical Studies for Pediatric Ambulatory Medicine spoke on global health initiatives established in Rhode Island and exported throughout the world, while J.J. Trey Crisco, PhD, Director of the Bioengineering Laboratory, Department of Orthopaedics, discussed concussions and therapeutic toys.

Governors Luncheon

Left to right: J.J. Trey Crisco, PhD, Director of the Bioengineering Laboratory, Department of Orthopaedics; Margaret M. Van Bree, MHA, DrPH, President of Rhode Island Hospital and Hasbro Children’s Hospital; Peter J. Snyder, PhD, Sr. Vice President and Chief Research Officer, Lifespan; and Jennifer F. Friedman, MD, Director of Clinical Studies for Pediatric Ambulatory Medicine at the 2016 Rhode Island Hospital Governor’s Luncheon on May 12.



Rhode Island Hospital Recipient of Two Generous Gifts
Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Rhode Island Hospital was recently presented with two generous gifts, one from the Haffenreffer Family and another from Rosalyn Sinclair.

The Haffenreffer Family’s $67,500 gift will fund the continuation of an award program to recognize five hospital residents and fellows for their outstanding performance as nominated by Program Directors and Department Chiefs. The Haffenreffer Family Resident Award has been offered since 1946, and offered annually since 1967, and culminates with a formal ceremony and reception to honor awardees. Throughout the years, many distinguished leaders at Lifespan have been the recipients of a Haffenreffer Award, which represents the largest, and longest standing residency award at Rhode Island Hospital and a powerful resource for recruiting top leaders in their respective fields of medicine. This year’s awards will be announced during an event taking place on Tuesday, May 24.

Rhode Island Hospital and our Samuels Sinclair Dental Center is the recipient of a generous $100,000 gift from Rosalyn Sinclair. The funds will be used to support renovations to the center, including the waiting area and front desk foyer, and featuring new lighting, paint, furniture, and flooring. Ms. Sinclair, whose family established the Samuels Sinclair Dental Center in the 1930s, shares in our vision to create a more inviting, fun and friendly space for the large population of children the center serves.