$1.2M raised for adolescent unit at Newport Hospital

FORMER NEW ENGLAND Patriots star Julian Edelman, left, makes a surprise appearance at Newport Hospital's "A Salute to Health" event on July 12. With him at the podium is Crista Durand, president of Newport Hospital. / COURTESY NEWPORT HOSPITAL

NEWPORT – Donors for Newport Hospital raised more than $1.2 million during a gathering on July 12 at Belle Mer event venue on Goat Island. The fundraiser marked the hospital’s 150th anniversary and supported the creation of a new adolescent behavioral health unit to serve youths in Newport County.

“We know the vision to establish Newport Hospital generations ago was born from our founders’ desire to ensure their community could receive the best medical care possible close to home,” said Crista Durand, president of Newport Hospital. “We again have the opportunity to make a real difference in the well-being of our community; this time, for our most vulnerable teens, the young lives that represent our future.”

This year’s event, the “A Salute to Health” Summer Celebration, commenced a $5 million fundraising effort to develop an eight-bed, adolescent behavioral health unit at Newport Hospital.

The unit, in partnership with Bradley Hospital, will serve patients 12 to 18 years old who suffer from acute mental health disorders. It will provide stabilization, assessment and treatment for suicidal, aggressive and other behavioral conditions. Beyond the added beds, the area of the hospital housing the new unit will undergo a full renovation, including modern group therapy rooms, activity space and an outdoor enclosed therapeutic area.

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The event included a video that showcased a local teen’s experience and the overwhelming need for additional behavioral health services for Rhode Island youths, especially on Aquidneck Island.

Former New England Patriots star and three-time Super Bowl champion Julian Edelman made an appearance. Edelman and Dr. Anthony Napoli, Newport Hospital’s medical director of emergency medicine, presented the fund-a-need auction and garnered the community’s support, with multiple donors committing six-figure gifts.

“We were founded and funded on philanthropy in 1873 when we started as a small, 12-room cottage,” Durand said. “Our hospital’s culture is steeped in history, healing and hope, and we are beyond blessed to have the amazing support that continues to make a direct and powerful impact on our ability to deliver world-class patient care right here on the island.”

The 2023 “A Salute to Health” was co-chaired by Dory Hamilton Benson, Maura Cullen, Sheika Egan, Victoria Johnson, Isabelle Dana Ridall and Mary Van Pelt.

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