Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island (BCBSR) will be recognized with the Founders’ Award, which honors organizations for their commitment to healthcare access and ensuring vital care for vulnerable individuals in our state. Sybil Cineas, M.D., the associate director of the Medicine-Pediatrics Residency Program at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, will receive the Dr. Steven Brin Physician of the Year Award. She will be honored for her nearly two decades of volunteer commitment and exceptional care for patients at the Clinic. The award embodies and promotes the spirit of excellence of the late Dr. Steven Brin.
The 2021 Founders’ Event comes at a time when the Clinic has faced its most challenging year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Even though we are 18 months out from the start of the pandemic, our state’s most vulnerable communities – uninsured, underserved, majority Spanish speaking – continue to feel its impact,” said Marie Ghazal, DNP, RN, CEO of the RI Free Clinic. “Worsened socioeconomic conditions and greater financial insecurity persist and will far outlast the virus itself.”
Ghazal, who was recently inducted as a fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, noted that support for the free clinic is more important now than ever to support vulnerable communities. “We know that health impacts will linger – both symptoms from long-haul COVID-19 and the accumulated impact of disrupted routine medical care. The support we get through donations, volunteers and community partners is critical, allowing us provide vital care to uninsured, low-income Rhode Island adults,” Ghazal said.
In the past year, the Clinic saw a 218 percent increase in adults in need of vital care at the Clinic from the previous year, with the number of patients in need reaching more than 5,600. Care included more than 10,000 COVID-19 tests and vaccinations, and comprehensive medical home care, including primary care, dental, behavioral health, medicine and more. All proceeds from the virtual Founders’ Event will directly aid the Clinic in continuing to provide this care for those in dire need and helping Rhode Islanders achieve a better state of health.
For information regarding the event, please contact Roberta Arsac at email@example.com or at 401-274-6347, ext. 329.
About Rhode Island Free Clinic
Founded in 1999, the Rhode Island Free Clinic provides a comprehensive Medical Home to uninsured, low-income Rhode Island adults, and serves as an educational training site for aspiring health care professionals through partnerships with Rhode Island’s leading Academic Partners. Care includes primary care, dental, behavioral health, specialty care, physical and occupational therapy, wellness education, and medicine -- all free to vulnerable Rhode Islanders. On the front lines of the COVID-19 pandemic, in the past year the Clinic served over 5,600 vulnerable RI adults, and provided over 10,000 COVID-19 Tests and Vaccines to keep our community safe and well. Learn more by visiting http://www.rifreeclinic.orgwww.rifreeclinic.org.