Volunteer Leadership Council News

Winter 2020

Message from the Chair of Rhode Island Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees

Happy New Year and welcome to the winter quarterly Enews for our family of volunteer leaders! It is both an honor and a privilege to begin my tenure as the new Board Chair of Rhode Island Hospital Foundation and to work with you to strengthen philanthropy. I certainly have some big shoes to fill following Roger Begin who served us well for the past six years (read more on Roger below).

I first became involved with the hospitals two decades ago as a supporter. Since that initial introduction, my wife and I have had the good fortune to chair the past three Heroes Balls. I also have the pleasure of serving on the $35 million Every Child, Every Day Campaign Cabinet. Overall, my involvement with our hospitals has been one of the best experiences I could hope to have - these are probably the most significant and important institutions we have in our state.

A new chapter is beginning at Rhode Island and Hasbro Children's Hospitals. We have said our thanks and farewells to Dr. Margaret Van Bree. John Murphy, MD, has stepped in to his new role as president of Rhode Island Hospital, bringing his focused presence and deep knowledge to that position.

Every Child, Every Day Campaign Update
Just $7 million more is needed to meet the goal of the Every Child, Every Day Campaign to modernize Bradley and Hasbro Children’s Hospitals and grow essential programs. With the support of many, we are committed to reaching this goal by March 2021. Renovations are now underway at Hasbro Children’s Hospital, the pediatric division of Rhode Island Hospital. To date, these have resulted in a new family waiting room for surgical services, a new Infusion Center, and a new clinic in the Emergency Department designed to address the growing mental health and behavioral needs of patients.

Thank you again for being part of our outstanding team of 300 volunteer leaders. You make a difference in the lives of the children and families served at Rhode Island and Hasbro Children's Hospitals.

Warmest regards,

 Vincent Signature
Robert Vincent
Board Chair, Rhode Island Hospital Foundation

Volunteer Highlight – Celebrating Roger Begin
Rhode Island Hospital Foundation Board Chair Extraordinaire

At the end of December 2019, Roger Begin stepped down as Chair of the Rhode Island Hospital Foundation Board of Trustees, but thankfully he will remain on the Board. Roger served as Chair for six years and is one of the longest-tenured Foundation chairs since its inception. Under his leadership, the Foundation expanded the size of its Board to increase philanthropic support for the hospitals, and launched the $35 million Every Child, Every Day Campaign to modernize Hasbro Children's and Bradley Hospitals.

He also established the Board's Executive Committee and Volunteer Leadership Council and was instrumental in introducing new donors to the hospital's cause.

Many of you know Roger by his contagious smile, limitless energy, as a terrific advocate for our hospitals, and a good friend. His commitment to building a strong and vibrant philanthropy program is admirable and reflected in the fact that he has served on almost all of the ten groups making up the Volunteer Leadership Council. Here’s what Roger has to say in response to a few questions:

Why have you chosen Rhode Island and Hasbro Children’s Hospitals as an area of focus for your philanthropy and your time?
“During my years in elective office, especially as General Treasurer and Lieutenant Governor, I gained an appreciation for the importance of quality health care services and the institutions that serve our community. Rhode Island and Hasbro Children’s Hospitals are the premier centers that deliver high-quality care and complex surgery in our state. Therefore, when I was invited to join the Rhode Island Hospital Foundation Board, I enthusiastically accepted. I want to play a role and do whatever I can to support these entities that are such an important part of the lives of all Rhode Islanders.”

If there is one thing you would want the community to know about Rhode Island and Hasbro Children’s Hospitals, what would it be?
“I want the community to know that Rhode Island and Hasbro Children’s Hospitals are our hospitals. Since 1863, they have been among the most important organizations in our state. These hospitals touch the lives of our families and friends at their most vulnerable times. We are fortunate to have excellent health care delivered locally, and community support is paramount to ensuring future generations will continue to be served.”

What is your advice to new members of the Rhode Island Hospital | Hasbro Children’s Hospital Volunteer Leadership Council?
“Members of the Volunteer Leadership Council are selected because they are leaders in the community. My advice to each member is to become engaged and educated about the quality of care delivered at Rhode Island and Hasbro Children’s Hospitals. As ambassadors in the community, you help share information which frequently leads to strengthening philanthropy. And, this benefits us all by expanding the hospitals’ “margin of excellence”.

Shout Outs

President's Pursuit of Excellence Dinner Honors Local Champions
Lifespan president Timothy J. Babineau, MD welcomed more than 500 guest for the President's Pursuit of Excellence Dinner that celebrated those who help to make Rhode Island Hospital a special place of healing. Held on Nov. 21, 2019 the signature event - chaired by Beth and Mike Huber, and Donna Paolino Coia and Arthur Coia - cast light on recent hospital accomplishments and honored three community champions, pictured above, for their significant contributions. Thank you to all the supporters whose generous philanthropy made this event the success it was, raising more than $420,000!

Pictured left to right: 2019 Awardees - Edward Iannucilli, MD, Robert Vincent, and Diane Weiss


Cynthia and Patrick Lynch - Recognition is due to the tremendous commitment and ongoing support of Cynthia and Patrick Lynch. Cynthia is a member of the Every Child, Every Day Campaign Cabinet, and we are very grateful for the leadership gift that she and Patrick made to the campaign in 2019. They directed their support to the Max Schloss Endowment at Hasbro Children's Hospital, an endowment named in honor of Cynthia's late son. The endowment provides essential funding for the hospital's pain and palliative care program. Cynthia and Patrick are also steadfast sponsors of the Heroes Ball, always spreading laughter and helping to ensure that the evening is enjoyed by all. Finally, we are grateful that they inspire commitment from their friends and family who both support the endowment and help carry on a beloved 20-year annual tradition of bringing toys and joy to our patiens on December 5 in honor of Max's birthday. To Cynthia, Patrick, daughter Zoe and your entire circle of friends, thank you for supporting our mission in so many ways.

Smalletzs Robyn and Ted Smalletz - This past October, the Smalletzs hosted a special dinner presentation at the University Club in Providence for 40 of their friends. Dr. Athena Poppas, one of our superstars and Chief of Cardiology at Lifespan Cardiovascular Institute, was featured and spoke on "New Advances in Cardiology." Learning more about cardiology - its ins and outs - challenges and advances - has been part of Robyn and Ted's journey for over three decades. And, the experience has enhanced their lives deeply. As members of the PPOE Dinner Committee for the past two years, and now as new members of the Board of Governors, the Smalletzs are outstanding ambassadors for our mission of delivering health with care. Thank you Robyn and Ted!

Francois Luks, MD -As Pediatric Surgeon-in-Chief for Hasbro Children’s Hospital, Dr. Luks is nationally renowned for performing the first in-utero surgery for spina bifida in the Northeast. Yet, to his colleagues and friends, he is also known for being a cool dude who plays a mean saxophone and for his insatiable “volunteer spirit”. Not only has Dr. Luks served on numerous Heroes Ball Committees over the years, but he is also: a star for our annual Radiothon; has just joined the Rhode Island Hospital Foundation’s Board of Trustees; and this past September he accepted the role of Chair for the Every Child, Every Day Campaign’s – Employee Giving Committee. Throughout the fall, he proudly wore a button that said, “Ask me about the Every Child, Every Day Campaign”. The fall’s Employee Giving Campaign raising $125,000 to help renovate Hasbro Children’s Hospital. Please join us in thanking Dr. Luks for the many ways in which he goes the extra mile to build a healthier world for all children.

Did You Know?

"I Live to Conquer Cancer" - Oncologist Don Dizon, MD - Director of women's cancers at Lifespan Cancer Institute and Director of medical oncology at Rhode Island Hospital, was featured in a video and print story as part of the American Society of Clinical Oncology's "I Live to Conquer Cancer" campaign.

Learn more

Rhode Island Hospital Received a $3.9 Million Grant for Brain Cancer Research -
led by neurosurgeon Steven A. Toms, MD, to study glioblastoma, the highly aggressive brain cancer.

Learn more

Aging and Dementia Lecture Series at Rhode Island Hospital
Begins Wednesday, January 29, 2020, 1:00 - 2:00 p.m.

The Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute and the Alzheimer’s Disease and Memory Disorders Center sponsor a monthly Aging and Dementia Research Lecture Series. All events are held at Rhode Island Hospital, in the Ambulatory Patient Center (APC) building, Room 133. These free events are open to the public. Call 401-444-5745 or email: Memory@Lifespan.org for more information.

Learn more
Coming Soon: Upcoming Events
Hasbro Children's Hospital Heroes Ball Saturday evening, March 7, 2020 - Rhode Island Convention Center
Don’t miss this signature gala including a cocktail reception, dinner and dancing filled with inspirational stories of courage from children and their families.
More Info and Registration
16th Annual Radiothon for Hasbro Children's Hospital Thursday, April 2, 2020 - Rhode Island Hospital Cafeteria
Tune into one of the Cumulus Providence Radio Stations (92 PRO-FM, Lite Rock 105, News Talk 630 & 99.7 WPRO, and Hot 106) to be inspired by patient stories of cerebral palsy, pediatric cancers and more. Or drop by the cafeteria at Rhode Island Hospital to meet grateful families in-person and hear about their journeys of courage and hope.
More Info
Leadership Celebration Thursday, May 21, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Citizens Bank, Providence, Wischnowsky Room, 13th Floor.  Complimentary valet parking
Join us to celebrate our outstanding community of volunteer leaders, including YOU, and the many ways you contribute to our hospital's success!

Ways You Can Help

  • Share the Every Child, Every Day Campaign website with your friends www.HCHEveryChild.org.
  • Invite our Campaign Leadership Road Show to speak at an event.
  • Bring in a guest for a V.I.P. tour of Rhode Island or Hasbro Children’s Hospitals.
  • Consider making a planned gift to Rhode Island or Hasbro Children's Hospitals. Call Chris Josephson 401-444-6412 or email: Chris.Josephson@Lifespan.org to learn more.