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By Richard Asinof
PROVIDENCE – The Rhode Island Free Clinic received $70,000 from Tufts Health Plan Foundation to help improve the health of clinic patients who are age 60 and older and uninsured.
The grant will be used to support the clinic’s program promoting healthy lifestyles, which include a series of classes, workshops and support groups to help older patients learn skills to improve their physical health, self-manage their own chronic diseases, and experience a higher quality of life, according to clinic spokeswoman Elise Hamann.
“As a result of this year’s generous grant from Tufts Health Plan Foundation, the Rhode Island Free Clinic will be able to make a dramatic difference in the lives of seniors by helping them take charge of their health through good nutrition, exercise and other important preventive measures,” said Marie Ghazal, CEO of the R.I. Free Clinic.
The R.I. Free Clinic was one of the five Rhode Island organizations to receive funding from the Tufts Health Plan Foundation.
Some 14 percent of the clinic’s patients are over the age of 60, and due to their low-income status, are increasingly vulnerable to chronic disease and continued poor health due to decreased access to affordable, comprehensive primary care.