Strategic Initiatives

Healthy Lives

Well being - from head to toe - is something everyone deserves. At the Foundation we believe that all Rhode Islanders should have access to better health care at lower costs, and we are working to invest funds and provide resources beyond grantmaking to encourage just that.

Read through the sections below to learn more about the impact we are hoping to make, and the strategies we use to guide this priority area.

The impact model for healthy lives presents a high-level view of the logic driving our strategic priorities and investments. It serves as an “if-then” summary for impact: IF we invest in targeted strategies and activities THEN we can expect to see interim outcomes and changes for Rhode Island residents and communities, with the expectation that working together with partners and communities we can help achieve long-term impact.

For example, in healthy lives specifically - IF we improve patient-centered primary care by reducing barriers, focusing on high-need populations, and promoting new models and delivery settings THEN we can expect to see better management of health conditions in, improved access to care that is culturally and linguistically appropriate, and improved health literacy. Together with our partners - with this focus, and the others outlined in the impact model - we will begin to see improved health outcomes, better care, lower costs, and a reduction in health disparities.

The activity targets you'll find in the impact model for healthy lives are benchmarks for our own internal accountability.

And, in terms of the annual targets within the impact model - in some cases the annual targets are quantifiable and large, and others are more difficult to quantify.

Across all three strategy areas (Economic Security, Educational Success, and Healthy Lives) we have highlighted 65% equity targets to serve Rhode Island residents and communities that are traditionally marginalized or underserved.

For primary care, we aim to improve recruitment and retention of a robust, diverse, primary care workforce. We focus on high-need geographies and patients at the greatest risk for poor health outcomes. We will support new models of care, patient-centered care, and innovative care delivery settings.

For behavioral health care, as we see the need for services continue to grow, we seek to support a strengthened system of care for all ages, expanded integration of behavioral health and primary care services, and improved coordination between providers—both clinical and community-based. We will prioritize the elimination of barriers to access for behavioral health services, particularly for underserved populations.

Example: A grant demonstrating this strategy is our support of the Rhode Island Public Health Institute’s Open Door Health, where our support allowed the clinic to explore expansion of capacity to provide behavioral and mental health services in person and via telemedicine. A second recent grant that demonstrates this support is our support of integrated primary care and mental health care between Newport Mental Health and CODAC, where our support focused on building cross-organizational capacity for care coordination.

We support an increase in meaningful contact and collaboration between the healthcare and social services systems, and promote place-based collaboration, while also seeing an increase in the adoption of care delivery models that improve that type of coordination. Investments in these efforts will result in better coordination, data sharing, and most importantly improved health status for Rhode Islanders.

Example: The Rhode Island Parent Information Network (RIPIN) received a grant to help roll out a new facilitated telemedicine program to help older adults in Pawtucket access health care services. Working in partnership with Integra, the program's bi-lingual Community Health Workers (CHWs) provided the technology and training that will enable this vulnerable community connect with their health care providers.

We seek to promote system reform to improve patient experience, improve health, reduce the per capita cost of healthcare, and address the health workforce needs, while also remaining focused on equity across all of these domains. This includes a focus on meeting the significant challenges of reducing waste to improve resource allocation, improving affordability, as well as addressing workforce attraction, retention, and diversification challenges.

Example: The Rhode Island Senior Voices for Better Health (VBH) works with state officials, medical providers and health insurers to ensure that low-income seniors and adults with disabilities are receiving appropriate primary care services, that there is coordination among these various health care providers, and that they are able to remain safely in their homes or other community settings.

Explore Healthy Lives 2025 impact targets.

Find out more about our Strategic Initiatives Grants program.

Looking to support our Healthy Lives Initiatives? Invest in the Fund for Rhode Island.