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Release Date: 09/18/2014

Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island has received a Community Development grant from the Northern Rhode Island Area Health Education Center (nriAHEC) to support the hospital’s Family Van Program, a mobile health promotion center that provides health outreach programs designed to address health disparities in our community.

The $1,150 grant will be used to offer residents of northern Rhode Island free education, screening and vaccination programs. The van will visit the Community College of Rhode Island’s Lincoln, RI campus and will be staffed by a registered nurse or health educator and will focus on vaccine clinics for influenza, pneumonia, TDAP, nutrition information and other health topics.

“Improving the physical and behavioral health of Rhode Islanders has always been the goal of the Family Van,” said Mary Falvey, Family Van program manager. “Having access to the Family Van provides a crucial service to the residents of Northern Rhode Island, and we are deeply honored that the Northern Rhode Island Area Health Education Center shares in that commitment through their support.”

For more than 16 years, Women & Infants Hospital’s Family Van program has been a critical resource to thousands of residents living in Rhode Island’s poorest neighborhoods. The Family Van Program serves adults of all ages and populations that face barriers to accessing health care and health information. It provides free immunizations, health screenings and health education to people who might not otherwise receive such services. Additionally, the program provides services such as diabetes testing, glucose monitoring, cholesterol screening, nutrition counseling, skin cancer screenings, blood pressure monitoring, and other nutrition and wellness education programs.

More than 3,700 people annually benefit from the program, and the Family Van offers its services at a wide variety of community sites throughout the state of Rhode Island. Partnering with dozens of community organizations, The Family Van also plays a critical role in responding quickly to emerging public health needs, like disease outbreaks.

About the Northern Rhode Island Area Health Education Center

The Northern Rhode Island Area Health Education Center has been in operation since April 2006 with an organizational mission to “foster academic, training, and community collaborations that benefit the public by improving the supply and distribution of a high quality, culturally sensitive, interdisciplinary work force that transcends barriers and supplies people with the care they deserve.”

Northern RI AHEC aims to:

  • Develop health career recruitment programs in underserved rural and urban areas for under-represented and disadvantaged populations.
  • Support the community-based training of primary care health profession students and residents in health profession shortage areas and medically underserved areas, including multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary training.
  • Provide information dissemination, educational support and technical assistance to reduce professional isolation, increase retention and enhance the practice environment.
  • Promote improved health and increased prevention in a manner that responds to defined community needs, with emphasis on underserved areas and populations having demonstrated serious unmet health care needs.

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About Women & Infants Hospital

Women & Infants Hospital of Rhode Island, a Care New England hospital, is one of the nation’s leading specialty hospitals for women and newborns. A major teaching affiliate of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University for obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics, as well as a number of specialized programs in women’s medicine, Women & Infants is the 9th largest stand-alone obstetrical service in the country and the largest in New England with approximately 8,500 deliveries per year. A Designated Baby-Friendly® USA hospital, U.S.News & World Report 2014-15 Best Children’s Hospital in Neonatology and a 2014 Leapfrog Top Hospital, in 2009 Women & Infants opened what was at the time the country’s largest, single-family room neonatal intensive care unit.

Women & Infants and Brown offer fellowship programs in gynecologic oncology, maternal-fetal medicine, urogynecology and reconstructive pelvic surgery, neonatal-perinatal medicine, pediatric and perinatal pathology, gynecologic pathology and cytopathology, and reproductive endocrinology and infertility. It is home to the nation’s first mother-baby perinatal psychiatric partial hospital, as well as the nation’s only fellowship program in obstetric medicine.

Women & Infants has been designated as a Breast Imaging Center of Excellence by the American College of Radiography; a Center of Excellence in Minimally Invasive Gynecology; a Center of Biomedical Research Excellence by the National Institutes of Health (NIH); and a Neonatal Resource Services Center of Excellence. It is one of the largest and most prestigious research facilities in high risk and normal obstetrics, gynecology and newborn pediatrics in the nation, and is a member of the National Cancer Institute’s Gynecologic Oncology Group and the Pelvic Floor Disorders Network.
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Amy Blustein
Director of Marketing
800 Butler Drive
Providence, RI 02906
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