By Richard Asinof
WOONSOCKET – While Steward Health Care still awaits approval for its purchase of Landmark Medical Center, Thundermist Health Center has captured two new federal grants – one for $5 million, a second for $228,812 – to improve and renovate facilities in Wakefield and West Warwick, respectively.
The awards were part of $6.2 million in grants announced last week by U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius to community health centers in Rhode Island through the Affordable Care Act.
Other community health centers in Rhode Island receiving awards were the East Bay Community Action Program in Newport, and Comprehensive Community Action in CArntson, each for $500,000.
“It’s a great day for Thundermist and the communities we serve,” said Charles T. “Chuck” Jones, Thundermist’s president and CEO. “All of our sites have deployed electronic medical records, we have achieved designations as being patient-centered medical homes, and all have participated in the same [health care delivery] practice transformation,” Jones continued. “Where Wakefield has lagged behind is in its actual facility, operating out of a 100-year building that was once a used furniture store.” With the $5 million grant, the entire Wakfield facility can be renovated, according to Jones. “The grant fixes a problem; we can now create a high quality environment for our patients there, and expand the delivery of health care to serve the broader population that need it.”
A second grant for $228,812 will be used to renovate and expand space located at Thundermist’s West Warwick facility that serves its dental patients. “The community has utilized every bit of dental care we’ve been able to bring them,” Jones said. “This money will allow us to improve those facilities as well as invest in new equipment.