Richard Gamache

PBN Health Care Heroes 2024
Health Care Administrator – Senior Care: RICHARD GAMACHE
Aldersbridge Communities CEO

What led you to choose health care as your profession? I was a history major with no future plans when I took a job in a nursing home. The elders there lived history and I loved learning their stories. Forty-three years later, I’m still learning.

How have you helped boost the quality of or access to health care? I’ve tried to innovate where solutions are needed. Over the years, I’ve opened the first subacute program in Rhode Island, created the first two elder-friendly hospital emergency departments in New England, brought culture change to nursing homes, and now have plans to open affordable housing for members of the LGBTQ community.

What is the biggest challenge you and your organization are facing this year? As a not-for-profit, we care for older adults with limited finances. Most are on state Medicaid, and the Medicaid rates in Rhode Island are grossly inadequate. We are no longer able to operate our nursing home and are in the process of converting half of it to affordable assisted living memory care.

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What more do you feel the state can do to help further support the health care sector in Rhode Island? As I said, Medicaid rates are terribly inadequate. Rhode Island needs to overhaul the entire system and transform it into something that could be a model for the U.S.

Tell us one thing that most people don’t know about you. I played in a rock and roll band for many years and I’ve been teaching in the health care administration program at Rhode Island College for 10 years.