Beane, EOHHS cabinet enjoy community day in Olneyville

PATRICK TIGUE, left, Medicaid program director for the state of Rhode Island, and R.I. Executive Office of Health & Human Services Secretary Eric Beane garden at Riverside Park in the Olneyville neighborhood of Providence. / COURTESY R.I. EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES

PROVIDENCE – R.I. Executive Office of Health & Human Services Secretary Eric J. Beane hosted a community day in the Olneyville neighborhood of Providence for his health cabinet in partnership with ONE Neighborhood Builders, the backbone agency for the R.I. Department of Health’s Olneyville Health Equity Zone.

“Health equity” means everyone has the opportunity to lead a healthy life, no matter who they are, where they live, or how much money they make. This initiative offers an innovative, community-led approach and brings partners together to achieve systemic changes at the local level.

“Good health is foundational to all we care about as a state. When we work together and invest in health equity, our families, communities and economy benefit,” said Beane. “It was a pleasure to join with our community partners to reflect on the impact we’re having in Olneyville and to explore additional ways that we can collaborate across government, business and community to build on our investments and better serve residents.”

Beane and members of his team began the morning with a conversation with community partners, including: Recycle-A-Bike, ONE Neighborhood Builders, Food on the Move, Food4Good, Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council, Emerging Studies Institute, Olneyville Community Library, What Cheer Flower Farm, William D’Abate Elementary School and Project Weber/RENEW.

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They then went on a walking tour to Riverside Park. Tour stops included:

  • A discussion of housing developments and the connection between health and safety on Bowdoin Street.
  • An overview of the Manton Avenue Project and how it empowers youth.
  • Comments from Principal Brent Kermen about the work happening in partnership with Food on the Move at the William D’Abate School.
  • A walk by the lot where YouthBuild students are working to create safe spaces to play and learn.
  • A stop by 249 Manton Ave., where neighborhood service organizations provide essential services while addressing food insecurity.

Following the tour, the team helped the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council’s River Rangers in Riverside Park with a gardening service project. They also met with the Red Shed Bike Shop campers and counselors.

Rob Borkowski is a PBN staff writer. Email him at

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