Rhode Island Hospital

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

This Thanksgiving many of us are gathering with family – some of whom we haven’t seen for a while. If that includes older relatives and friends, you might notice some changes. But which changes are part of the normal aging process, and which might indicate there’s a problem? 

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Here’s what’s happening in health in Rhode Island:

Wikimedia

The Rhode Island Foundation has seeded some of the state’s institutions of higher education with nearly half a million dollars in medical research funding. The money goes toward 20 research projects that range from studying heart failure in obese people to using mindfulness-based stress reduction techniques to help prevent pre-term births. 

RIPR

Memorial Hospital is cutting back services and closing its maternity service. RIPR political analyst Scott MacKay says Rhode Island’s health care system needs more consolidation.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

More than 1,000 Rhode Islanders have died from accidental drug overdoses in the past five years. Many more have been revived, thanks to first responders and emergency room workers.

RIPR file photo

Dr. Arun Singh, one of New England’s top cardiac surgeons, is ending surgeries next month after performing more than 20,000 open heart surgeries on adults and children at Rhode Island’s Lifespan hospital system.

Sign’s announcement ``marks the close of a truly remarkable one-of-a-kind era at Rhode Island Hospital and Lifespan,’’ stated Dr. Timothy Babineau, president  and CEO of Lifespan in a message to the hospital community.

Update: Our Lady of Fatima Hospital has withdrawn its application to open a new obstetrics unit, according to the RI Dept. of Health.

Rhode Island Hospital’s application to open a new child birth unit has been deemed complete by the Rhode Island Department of Health. That's just one pending application for a new obstetrics unit.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island Hospital acknowledges there was a delay in providing the name of an employee suspected of assaulting a patient to the Providence Police. Hospital officials say they’re reviewing hospital practice to determine what caused the delay and prevent it from occurring in the future.

The employee is accused of inappropriately touching a patient. Hospital officials say they’re troubled by the allegation and will assist police with the criminal investigation.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Brown University’s medical school has teamed up with Rhode Island Hospital to teach future doctors how to address opioid addiction and overdose. They’re using a nearly $1million federal dollar grant to create a new curriculum.

And the need could not be more urgent. Just last week the Centers for Disease Control reported that half a million Americans have died from accidental drug overdoses in the past 15 years, mostly involving prescription painkillers and increasingly heroin.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Rhode Island Hospital wants to deliver more babies. The hospital is seeking permission to open a new inpatient obstetrics unit.

The new unit would cost $20 million dollars, according a letter of intent filed with the state health department. In that letter, Rhode Island Hospital says it would be ready to take patients in a couple of years. 

Lifespan and Care New England, Rhode Island’s two largest hospital systems, have quietly revived merger talks, Lifespan ceo and president, Dr. Timothy Babineau, said today.

In a brief interview, Babineau said the talks ``are in very early stages’’ and are in response to Care New England’s request for partnership proposals that was released last spring.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The United Nurses and Allied Professionals Union has reached a new contract deal. The three-year labor agreement with Rhode Island Hospital affects some 2000 union nurses and technicians.

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

Can pharmacies play a bigger role to prevent death from drug overdose? That’s the question researchers from Rhode Island and Massachusetts hope to answer thanks to a new $1.3 million dollar federal grant from the federal Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. 

The team plans to figure out how pharmacies can promote the use of a drug called naloxone (sometimes called Narcan).

Kristin Gourlay / RIPR

The contract for more than two thousand union nurses and technicians at Rhode Island Hospital has been extended through the end of July while the two sides continue negotiations. Union organizers have authorized a strike, although it hasn’t come to that yet.

UPDATE: Funeral arrangements for Joe Caffey: Calling hours between 4 and 8 p.m. Sunday at Perry-McStay Funeral Home. Mass of Christian Burial at 11 a.m. at Holy Name Church in Providence.

Joseph A. ``Joe’’ Caffey, one of New England’s top minority housing advocates, and a longtime leader in Rhode Island’s African-American community, has died. He was 63.

Caffey was president of Providence-based Omni Development Corporation, which develops affordable housing, at the time of his death. He cared deeply about Providence and was active in many efforts to help those in need.

Pages