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Thundermist Health Center Hosts Annual Breakfast Meeting  

Thundermist Highlighted the Challenges Facing Primary Care Providers in Rhode Island and Honored West Warwick Town Manager Col. Mark Knott and GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders for Their Partnership 

 Warwick, RI (March 4, 2024)—Thundermist Health Center was pleased to welcome more than 100 attendees to its annual breakfast meeting on Monday, March 4, at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Warwick. The event highlighted the many ways Thundermist is working to increase access to primary care in Rhode Island.  

Last year, Thundermist cared for more than 62,000 patients, or one out of every 18 Rhode Islanders—an increase of 20% in the last five years. With more patients turning to Thundermist for care, the organization continues to develop new and innovative ways to meet the demand, including recently purchasing buildings in Woonsocket and West Warwick to expand access to primary care and preparing for its family medicine physician residency, which will launch in Woonsocket in 2026.  

The annual meeting was also an opportunity for Thundermist to unveil its 2023 annual report and highlight the contributions of key partners in expanding access to care. Elizabeth DaSilva, APRN-CNP, associate medical director of Thundermist’s West Warwick location, delivered keynote remarks highlighting the role of health centers in keeping communities healthy. Thundermist also recognized two members of its board of directors with milestone awards.   

In addition, Thundermist presented West Warwick Town Manager Col. Mark Knott with the Francesco Cannistra, MD, Memorial award. This honor is presented each year to an individual or group who has contributed to improving healthcare in Rhode Island. In choosing Col. Knott, Thundermist noted he exemplifies many of the traits the health center’s founders displayed more than five decades ago.  

Knott has been instrumental in expanding care in West Warwick and helping meet his community’s needs. “Mark is a collaborative leader who works to improve the lives of the people of West Warwick,” Linda Cannistra, secretary of Thundermist Health Center Board of Directors, said. “He’s an ally in addressing homelessness in West Warwick with compassion and dignity.”  

Thundermist chose GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) as the recipient of the Community Partnership award. Thundermist’s Board of Directors established the Community Partnership Award, to honor an agency or individual who distinguishes themselves as an exceptional partner and who has worked to increase support and awareness of Thundermist’s mission.  

 GLAD is a strategic partner on key legislative and policy issues that impact the LGBTQ+ community in New England. They invest many resources and devote countless hours to advance policy issues that directly impact Thundermist patients and communities, as well as employees.  

“GLAD is a local and regional treasure, with national impact, working to create a just society free of discrimination based on gender identity and expression, HIV status, and sexual orientation through policy, education, and strategic litigation,” Jeanne LaChance, president, and CEO of Thundermist, said. 

Thundermist’s 2023 Annual Report is available to read here. 


Thundermist Health Center is a full-service primary care provider with dental and behavioral health services. As a nonprofit community health center, Thundermist aims to improve the health of patients and communities by delivering exceptional health care, removing barriers to that care, and advancing healthy lifestyles. Thundermist has locations in West Warwick, Woonsocket, and South County. The organization cares for patients regardless of insurance and ability to pay. In 2023, Thundermist cared for more than 62,000 patients. Learn more at and @thundermisthc.