In 1969, a few dedicated individuals realized Woonsocket needed a place to provide quality health care to the people who need it most. What started with a few people volunteering their time out of a public housing complex became a full-fledged health center just few 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 is 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 receives Health & Human Services (HHS) funding and has Federal Public Health Services (PHS) deemed status with respect to certain health or health-related claims, including medical malpractice claims, for itself and its covered individuals.
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 challenges, substance abuse disorders, homelessness, unemployment or underemployment, and many other issues. Nearly 40% of Thundermist’s 52,000 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.
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 participation in Health Equity Zones and our community garden and farmers markets.