Thundermist Health Center is a Federally Qualified Community Health Center, serving three communities -- Woonsocket, West Warwick, and South County -- for 45 years.
In 1969, local physicians felt that Woonsocket, RI, needed a family planning center; they volunteered their time, providing care from an apartment in a low-income housing development A full-fledged health center opened five years later. In 2001, Thundermist merged with the Health Center of South County, and in 2003, established a comprehensive health center and a school based health center in West Warwick. Thundermist has been at the forefront of health care delivery. In 2000, we were the second health center to be accredited by the Joint Commission. In 2005, we renovated an old warehouse in Woonsocket into a flagship health center. This site has been nationally recognized for its innovations in patient flow and use of technology. In 2006, we transitioned to our electronic record, eClinicalWorks. In 2011, we opened the state's first health center site fully designed as a patient centered medical home, converting an old mill building in West Warwick. Also in 2011, Thundermist was the first Rhode Island community health center to achieve patient centered medical home accreditation from NCQA; we are now NCQA accredited at the highest level in all of our eligible departments. Thundermist Health Center is a FTCA Deemed Facility.
Thundermist Health Center's goal is to bring healthcare to the people who need it most. We have grown and developed new programs to meet patient demand. Thundermist patients struggle with transportation problems, addiction, unemployment or underemployment, and many other issues. Nearly 40% of Thundermist's 42,000 patients in 2013 were uninsured. In 2014, we provided $6.6 million in unreimbursed care. Our patients and our staff are ethnically and racially diverse.
More than 2,200 of our patients meet the federal criteria for homelessness, substantial growth in the program since we received Health Care for the Homeless designation from HRSA in 1993. Thundermist follows the National Standards on Culturally and Linguistically Appropriate Services. We provide translators as needed and employ a diverse workforce. All of our buildings are fully accessible to patients and staff with mobility challenges.
Thundermist understands that as a health care provider we have a responsibility to improve the health of our patients that extends beyond the exam room. This drives our commitment to health and wellness services and health advocacy work. Non-clinical programs of which we are very proud include our community garden (initiated 2012), our farmers markets (initiated 2010), and our ThunderKids Wellness Program, a program that works to improve the health of children who are overweight or obese, initiated in 2010.
Thundermist is a FTCA Deemed Facility.
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