Your Weekly Briefing: Health In Rhode Island, Feb. 28

Feb 28, 2017

What’s happening in health care in Rhode Island, Feb. 28

UHIP: The House Oversight Committee continues hearings on UHIP Thursday, March 2 at the State House. On the agenda: delayed payments to long-term care providers. The state’s new public benefits system has been riddled with problems. Lawmakers say they want to keep an eye on progress fixing the troubled system and get to the bottom of what went wrong. The House Oversight Committee is chaired by Rep. Patricia Serpa (D-Warwick).

SUBSTANCE ABUSE: Rhode Island overdose deaths went up in 2016 compared to the previous year. But prevention efforts are still vigorous. The state recently awarded nearly one and half million dollars in federal funding to five regional task forces to investigate substance abuse prevention needs and develop local strategic plans. The Rhode Island Department of Health is also offering a mini-grant opportunity to address the opioid epidemic in Rhode Island. Any nonprofit organization is eligible to apply. Grant awards will be about $5000 and under.  Application due date is Friday, March 17, 2017. More information at RIDOH Drug Overdose Prevention Mini-Grant.

PSYCH NURSE RESIDENCY: Thundermist Health Center is starting a one-year Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner Residency Program.  The program begins in September 2017 and provides intensive training for new psychiatric nurse practitioners in a community health center setting. The program is designed to provide psychiatric nurse residents with experience working with a diverse population of patients with different behavioral health issues, from academic problems to trauma. Rhode Island is sorely in need of more mental health practitioners, so the training is welcome news.

MENTAL ILLNESS WORKSHOP: Registration is now open for NAMI Family-to-Family, a free 12-week course for family members of people living with mental illness. The program is delivered by the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) of Rhode Island. Classes will be held on Saturdays at 11 am, March 11 through May 27, at the Courthouse Center for the Arts, 3481 Kingston Rd., West Kingston, RI. One in five adults in America lives with mental illness, and yet many families feel alone as they try to understand these complicated diagnoses. NAMI Family-to-Family empowers family members with education and tools to help both their loved one and themselves. Pre-registration is required and enrollment is limited. More information at: