Grants & Scholarships

From the front lines: Thundermist Health Services

Thundermist Health Services and its frontline workers have responded to the changing - and growing - needs of those they serve.

David Bourassa, MD
David Bourassa, MD

“We really re-invented how we work. Everything changed in March when patient visits went from being in person to nearly all by phone, and at the same time, we inherited a whole other job,” states David Bourassa, MD, chief medical officer at Thundermist.

That “other job” was Thundermist’s new role in testing Rhode Islanders for COVID-19. Dr. Bourassa spearheaded the establishment of the organization’s respiratory clinics and worked in the clinics where all staff were in full PPE (personal protective equipment). “It can be very uncomfortable and, as the weather gets hotter, it becomes more uncomfortable, but you’re well protected,” he relates, noting that the face coverage alone includes an N95 mask, with a surgical mask over that, and a face shield over that.

“The people in the tents all volunteered to work there. It shows we’re taking the right kind of precautions, but it’s wearing on everybody.

- David Bourassa, MD, chief medical officer at Thundermist

The Foundation awarded Thundermist a COVID-19 Response Fund grant to help cover emergency response and operational needs. “The additional support has been enormously helpful. This was just not something we knew to budget for,” Dr. Bourassa explains.