Kwiatkowski to relinquish CEO role at CareLink, remain CEO of PACE RI, as organizations grow

PROVIDENCE – Joan Kwiatkowski, CEO of both PACE Organization of Rhode Island and CareLink Inc., will depart CareLink to transition to a role solely as the CEO of PACE on April 1, the organizations announced Thursday.

The organizations said the move was spurred by growth, requiring a single leader for both nonprofits. Specifically, the organizations said that PACE has increasingly needed to pursue its own focused strategy plan. The entity already has its own board of directors.

Christine Gadbois will assume interim CEO duties of CareLink following the departure of Kwiatkowski.

PACE, which was founded in 2004, operates a health plan to assist older adults to live independently. When it was launched, Kwiatkowski became CEO in addition to continuing her role at CareLink.

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CareLink is a management-services organization that specializes in the improvement of lives of older adults.

The PACE organization became a separate entity in 2016.

“PACE’s development and growth is a testament to the vision and cooperation of CareLink’s members,” stated Chris Woulfe, current PACE board chair and one of the founders of CareLink. “Having a full-time CEO will allow PACE to create and pursue strategic initiatives that support our statewide expansion and contribute to PACE program growth nationwide.”

The two nonprofits will continue to work together, as well as with 36 other entities, with PACE remaining a member of CareLink.

“Both CareLink and PACE have been remarkably successful in driving innovations in long-term care and each are preparing for bright futures,” said Kevin McKay, chair of the CareLink board of directors. “We are very grateful to Joan for all her efforts to get both organizations to this point and we look forward to working with Christine on the next steps in our journey as a collaborative membership organization.”

Read PBN’s interview with Kwiatkowski that addresses unraveling CareLink and Pace RI in 2017.