PACE using $28K Champlin Foundation grant for new security system

PROVIDENCE – The PACE Organization of Rhode Island is using a $28,000 grant from the Champlin Foundation for a new, card-access security system safeguarding entry, exit and movement within its Providence day center, as well as providing a running head count of clients.

PACE, a health plan serving older adults who wish to maintain their independence while living in the community, serves a number of people whose whereabouts would otherwise be difficult to track, said Bill Kirkpatrick, vice president of operations at PACE.

“Forty-five percent of our participants have Alzheimer’s or dementia, which often comes with a risk for wandering. These upgrades will help us best care for our participants with these unique needs, as well as ensure the caregivers of all of our participants that their loved one is safe at PACE while living safely in the community,” Kirkpatrick said.

The system will use electronic access cards that can be swiped to gain entry to the site and then move from point to point within it, tracking each person’s movements, said Nikki Vergakes, spokesperson for PACE. The cards will be either clipped to a client’s attire or worn on a lanyard around their neck, she said.

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The system will be able to maintain a head count of everyone inside the building and who is where at any moment. It also adds an audio alert to the current system’s flashing-light notification telling staff when a client has requested assistance, Vergakes said.

This is the second time PACE RI has been awarded a grant from the foundation.

“The Champlin Foundation is pleased to provide grant funding to the PACE Organization of Rhode Island to help this important community nonprofit advance its vital mission,” said Nina Stack, executive director of the Champlin Foundation. “Our grants are awarded on a competitive basis, and our gift to PACE is a reflection of our confidence in their ability to improve the lives of Rhode Islanders in significant ways.”

Rob Borkowski is a PBN staff writer. Email him at