We maintain a small and highly effective staff to carry on day-to-day work and coordinate our dedicated statewide volunteer corps. Staff members include:
|Marie Ghazal, RN, MS,
Chief Executive Officer
|Caroline Troise, MD,
Volunteer Medical Director
|Marvin Ronning, EdM,
Manager of Finance, Grants & IT (ext 212)
Financial Assistant (ext 210)
Wellness Nurse (ext 326)
Medical Assistant (ext 202)
Medical Assistant (ext 319)
|Anne Van Haaren,
R. Ph., Volunteer Pharmacy Director
| Sheila Shanley,
Clinic Nurse (ext 303)
Each year the RI Free Clinic is fortunate to have the services of a dedicated team of young VISTA volunteers to assist our efforts. The AmeriCorps VISTA program is a national service program designed specifically for fighting poverty. It is the domestic equivalent of the overseas Peace Corps. Here at the Clinic our four VISTA volunteers recruit and retain volunteers, research and analyze patient data and health outcomes, and coordinate fundraising and grant initiatives. They are on the front lines of public health and public service, helping to build the Clinic’s capacity to provide critical health services for our patients.
Our present VISTA team members are shown below.
|Jeffrey F. Chase-Lubitz, Esq.
||Partner, Donoghue Barrett & Singal, P.C.
Jeffrey Chase-Lubitz has been with Donoghue Barrett & Singal since 2007 and heads the firm’s Providence office. He was previously with Brown Rudnick, LLP, also of Providence. He specializes in health care law.
A graduate of Bandeis University he received his law degree from Vanderbilt University in 1987. In addition to serving on the board of the RI Free Clinic, he is a board member with Home & Hospice Care of RI.
|Andrew Davis, Esq.||Managing Member, Davis & Lentz, LLC
Andrew Davis focuses on business and corporate law, business and estate planning and business formation. He completed his undergraduate degree at Vanderbilt University and received his law degree from Northeastern University in 1989. In addition to serving on the RI Free Clinic board, he currently serves as counsel and/or board member to various private foundations.
|Judy Diaz, RN
||Director of Community Services, Lifespan
Judy Diaz, a native of Colombia, has been with Lifespan since 2011. Prior to joining Lifespan she was the Director of Clinical Operations at Blackstone Valley Community Health Care. She holds a master’s degree in public health from Columbia University and received her nursing degree from RI College. She served as Nurse Clinic Coordinator at the RI Free Clinic from 2001 to 2006.
Board of Directors Secretary
|Senior Assistant Vice President, Amica Mutual Insurance Company
William “Bill” Fitzgerald has been with Amica for 19 years and is a past president of the RI Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors. He earned his bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of South Florida.
|Thomas Forsythe, CPA,
Board of Directors Treasurer
|Partner, DiSanto, Priest & Co.
Thomas Forsythe specializes in financial statement and tax services for small businesses and individuals. Prior to joining Disanto, Priest & Co. he served as an audit manager for Price Waterhouse & Co. He received his undergraduate degree from Brown University and masters degrees in accounting/business administration and taxation from Northeastern University and Bryant University. He has also served as an Adjunct Professor at Brown.
Board of Directors Vice President
|Executive Vice President and Treasurer, Washington Trust Co.
Mark Gim has been with Washington Trust Co. since 1993 and was previously Senior Vice President and Financial Planning Officer. He graduated from Brown University and received his master’s degree from the London School of Economics. In addition to his board participation at the RI Free Clinic he serves as President of the Community College of RI Foundation and is a member of the board of trustees for Trinity Repertory Company and the board of directors for the YMCA of Greater
|George “Chip” Greer
||Advisor, Navigator Investments
Prior to joining Navigator Investments George “Chip” Greer was a financial advisor at Arlen Corporation. In the course of his career he has also worked for Wachovia Securities and A.G Edwards. An active community member, he serves as president of the Executive Association of RI and is a trustee of the Community College of RI Foundation. He earned his undergraduate degree at URI and a MFA at the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.
|Kathleen C. Hittner, M.D.
||Senior Vice President, Community Health and Perioperative Services, Lifespan
Dr. Hittner received her undergraduate degree from Albright College and her medical degree from Tufts University. She completed an Anesthesiology residence at Georgetown University. Dr. Hittner came to The Miriam Hospital in 1979 as a staff Anesthesiologist. Currently she is a Clinical Professor of Surgery in Anesthesiology at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She was the first woman President of the RI Medical Society. She was President & CEO of The Miriam Hospital from 2000 – 2009. In addition to her service as a RI Free Clinic board member, she serves on numerous other boards. She has chaired the RI Airport Corporation Board since July of 2007. Recently, she was named a Director of the RI Foundation.
|Dayle Hunt Joseph, Ed. D, RN||Dean, URI College of Nursing
Dr. Joseph received a nursing diploma from RI Hospital in 1966 and has been a nursing instructor/educator for over 40 years at URI, St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing and the Rogers Williams Center for Practice and Education. She earned an undergraduate and master’s degrees from RI College and URI, and a doctor in education degree from Boston University. In the course of her career Dr. Joseph has received numerous awards and honors related to nursing, has authored many refereed articles and papers, and co-authored Basic concepts of helping: a wholistic approach. She has served on a number of healthcare organization committees over the years, including The Miriam Hospital, St. Elizabeth’s and Blue Cross, and is a former secretary of the RI Free Clinic’s board.
|Valerie M. Littlefield, PMP,
Board of Directors President
|Organizational Quality Services Manager, AIPSO
Valerie Littlefield has worked for AIPSO, a management organization and service provider to insurance industry groups, since 1987. She is currently AIPSO’s Organizational Quality Services Manager, Human Resource Services. She worked previously in AIPSO’s IT department. Valerie received a bachelor’s degree in business administration/computer information services from Bryant University and has also earned a master’s certificate from Bryant in project management. She is a graduate of Leadership RI.
|Herbert Rakatansky, M.D.||Clinical Professor Emeritus of Medicine, Warren Alpert School of Medicine, Brown University
Dr. Rakatansky has been involved with the RI Free Clinic as a volunteer professional since January 2009, seeing patients on a monthly basis. Dr. Rakatansky, who holds an undergraduate degree from Brown University and received his medical education from Tufts University, is a Clinical Professor Emeritus at Brown University, having served on the Brown Medical School faculty since 1971. He was a former partner at Gastroenterology Associates of Providence for over 40 years. Dr. Rakatansky is an active community leader and has served on the boards of many organizations including Blue CHiP and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of RI. He is a past president of the RI Medical Society and the medical staff of The Miriam Hospital. He currently serves on the board of the RI Philharmonic.A recipient of numerous awards and honors over his career, Dr. Rakatansky has also been a prolific writer and has authored or co-authored many medical articles and opinion pieces in publications ranging from JAMA and the RI Medical Journal to the Providence Journal. He maintains a keen interest in the areas of medical ethics and healthcare delivery systems.
|Caroline Troise, M.D.,
Volunteer Medical Director
|Anchor Medical Associates
Dr. Troise received undergraduate and Ph.D degrees in chemistry from St. Johns and Harvard Universities and her medical degree from the Miami School of Medicine. She has long been an active staff physician at The Miriam Hospital and RI Hospital, and was a consulting staff physician at Women & Infants Hospital from 1983 to 2003. She worked for the former RI Group Health Association and then Harvard Pilgrim Health Care from 1983 to 1999 and joined Anchor Associates in 2000. She has also been a Clinical Instructor and Clinical Assistant Professor in Medicine at the Brown University Medical School. She was the RI Woman Physician of the Year in 2004 and has received awards from Brown University for teaching excellence. She has volunteered her services at the RI Free Clinic since 1999 and has been its Medical Director since 2001.
||Senior Vice President & Chief Contracting Officer, Blue Cross & Blue Shield of RI
Mark Waggoner has been active in a variety of leadership capacities across the provider delivery and health insurance sectors over the years, working in South Carolina, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts and now Rhode Island. Prior to joining Blue Cross & Blue Shield of RI, he worked for Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. He received his undergraduate degree from Clemson University and has since earned master’s degrees in health administration and policy from The Medical University of South Carolina and an MBA from Bentley College.
|Rev. Dr. Jeffery A. Williams||Chief Empowerment Officer, Cathedral of Life Christian Assembly
Reverend Doctor Jeffery Williams founded the Cathedral of Life Christian Assembly in 1999, and since then he has established 30 ministries and outreaches in ten nations. He maintains direct oversight of multiple congregations both in RI and MA as Overseer of the New England Diocese. He graduated from Brown University and later earned his Doctorate of Ministry degree from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in Hamilton, MA. He has also completed a master’s degree in public administration from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
|Lelani Williams||Director, Training & Marketing, RI Small Business
Development Center at Johnson & Wales University
Lelani Williams has been with the RI Small Business Development Center since 2007. She previously served as Program Associate for Leadership Development & Training for Leadership RI from 2004 to 2007 and was the Director of Visual Communications for the Cathedral of Life Assembly in Providence from 2002 to 2004. A graduate of Johnson & Wales University and Bryant University, she is also the Owner and Chief Designer for LB Design, which provides design and marketing services for the minority business community.