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Home > News & Events > Newsletter > News from Around New England - RI
Newsletter (News from Around New England - RI)
News from Around New England - Rhode Island

HEALTH Implements Superior Court Ruling on Smoking;
Class C & D Establishments Must Go Smoke-Free

On March 31, 2005, the Rhode Island Superior Court ordered that all establishments with a Class C or Class D liquor license must go smoke-free.

Prior to this ruling, the Public Health and Workplace Safety Act delayed the implementation of the smoke-free law for these establishments until October 1, 2006.
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Rhode Island Wins First AHEC Grant

Rhode Island has finally joined the rest of New England in receiving federal funding to open an Area Health Education Center (AHEC). HRSA has given the state almost three million dollars to improve primary care for the poor, minority, and non-English speaking residents of Rhode Island.

There will be three regional centers based in Providence, Woonsocket, and Newport. The AHEC is based at the Brown University Medical School. Rob Trachtenberg, the new Associate Director, brings his experience in running an AHEC from the Champlain Valley AHEC in Vermont. Chris Tanguay is the new Director of the central AHEC in Providence, which is being housed in the Rhode Island Health Center Association. Mr. Tanguay has brought experience working with Providence's community organizations from his positions with the American Cancer Society and the Rhode Island Department of Health.

The Rhode Island AHEC has three goals:

  • Create training programs for medical, nursing, and pharmacy students in community health centers and other facilities that serve a large number of poor, minority or non-English speaking patients. Participating institutions include Brown Medical School, the University of Rhode Island, Salve Regina University, Rhode Island College and the Community College of Rhode Island.

  • Recruit more poor and minority high school students into the health profession through partnerships with the Hospital Association of Rhode Island, the Rhode Island State Nurses Association and other organizations. Tools will include shadowing and mentoring programs, guidance counselor training, and a new guide to health careers in the state.

  • Offer continuing education programs for health providers - including doctors, dentists, pharmacists, and nurses - to improve disease prevention and primary care. The centers will also provide training for some Rhode Island Department of Health employees as well as community outreach workers and medical interpreters.

A coalition of community groups, academics, medicine, and government has been working towards this grant for several years. Mr. Tanguay states that the Central AHEC is in the process of setting up an advisory committee and hiring staff so it can begin programs to help RI's underserved.
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