Longtime CEO of Rhode Island Free Clinic, Marie Ghazal, announces retirement.

Today, the Rhode Island Free Clinic (RIFC) announced that the non-profit organization’s long-time CEO, Marie Ghazal, will be retiring in early 2022. Ghazal’s decision to retire will end her 12-year leadership of the Clinic.

The RIFC exists to serve the thousands of low-income Rhode Islanders who are not eligible for any form of health insurance, and therefore lack access to quality, affordable healthcare services. The uninsured are unable to pay for necessary care, tests, medications, and other services to manage their health; the Clinic uniquely provides these, and more, at no cost to their patients.

“The Clinic has a solid foundation of nearly 25 years of service to at-risk Rhode Islanders,” said William Fitzgerald, Chairman of the Board of the Rhode Island Free Clinic. “Marie has done a tremendous job leading the Clinic. Without the medical, dental, behavioral health, and other services provided by the Clinic, thousands of Rhode Islanders would not receive any coordinated or preventive care. The Clinic has helped improve Rhode Island communities’ health and reduce the economic impact of avoidable emergency department visits and hospitalizations which come at a significantly higher cost.”

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Under Ghazal’s leadership, the RIFC has expanded free access for thousands of adult patients living in Rhode Island, introduced a dental program, and improved the model of care with over 26 onsite specialties and services. Additionally, the Clinic has raised 100% of their annual budget of $1.4M and secured support from generous individual and corporate donors to enable their model of comprehensive quality patient care.

“It has been an honor to serve as the leader of the Rhode Island Free Clinic,” said Marie Ghazal. “I’m proud of the impact that the staff, professional volunteers, and our incredible statewide network of partners have made to provide quality healthcare for uninsured Rhode Islanders. Everyone deserves healthcare and I have dedicated my career to improving healthcare access for those most in need. I’m excited about the Clinic’s future potential to expand care and services, and the breadth and integrity of our volunteer network and community partners across the state to provide RI’s uninsured with coordinated, comprehensive health care.”

Prior to joining the Clinic, Ghazal held positions at the Providence Community Health Centers and was recently inducted as a 2021 American Academy of Nursing Fellow. Ghazal earned a Doctorate of Nursing Practice from the University of Rhode Island, and holds a Master’s degree in Community Health from Boston University.

“We celebrate Marie’s accomplishments as CEO of the Clinic.” said Fitzgerald. “On behalf of the Board, I thank Marie and wish her the best in retirement. We’re grateful for her years of service and devotion to the Clinic’s mission.”

The RIFC Board of Directors has a search committee working to identify a successor. Interested candidates can submit interest to careers@rifreeclinic.org.