A bill is making its way through Rhode Island's General Assembly that would legalize marijuana and regulate and tax it like alcohol. Possessing small amounts has already been decriminalized here. And interest has been growing in legalization for a while.
Proponents say that legalizing the drug would keep harmless people out of jail. Opponents say marijuana is just as dangerous as any other drug and should remain illegal.
Rhode Island Hospital and the entire Lifespan network have announced new guidelines for prescribing painkillers in their emergency rooms. ER doctors are trying to address the growing problem of prescription drug abuse and addiction.
Ed Quinlan, longtime executive director of the Hospital Association of Rhode Island and a public relations executive with a long resume in medical, political and sports public relations, is retiring from his job at HARI early next year.
Quinlan, soon to be 64, says he will be leaving HARI, which is a trade association for Rhode Island’s hospitals, but that he doesn’t intend to retire in the traditional sense. ``I am looking to so something that takes a little less of me and allows more time for my wife in my life,’’ said Quinlan.
Lifespan Hospital system’s growing research complex in Providence’s Jewelry District will benefit from a large National Institutes of Health grant to open new labs and fund new projects. Some of that research could translate into new treatments for Rhode Island patients.
The state’s largest hospital system is facing some unanticipated budget shortfalls. Lifespan isn’t saying yet whether the fix will include layoffs.
Lifespan released a statement saying it had asked employees and physicians to review their budgets and look for ways to trim expenses. No word yet on what immediate steps the organization might take to stem the financial losses - but Lifespan says they won’t compromise patient care and that they’ll "work hard to minimize the impact on...employees."
The Lifespan hospital chain, Rhode Island’s largest private employer, is probably going to announce Monday the appointment of a new CEO to succeed George Vecchione, who is retiring. While the search process for a new CEO has been done quietly, with no media leaks, several sources in Rhode Island’s tight-knight medical care industry say Dr. Timothy Babineau, a surgeon who has been Rhode Island Hospital’s CEO since 2008, is the leading candidate. Babineau has impressed the state’s medical community in his tenure at RIH, the flagship of the Lifespan chain.