December 15, 2018

Rhode Island Foundation Honors East Providence Nonprofits with 2017 Best Practice Awards


Providence, RI (Nov. 9, 2017) –Two East Providence nonprofit groups are among just five organizations statewide to win 2017 Best Practice Awards from the Rhode Island Foundation. The awards honor initiatives that nonprofits all over the state can benefit from adopting.

The work ranges from an initiative that improved the state’s approach to addressing the commercial sexual exploitation of children to a program that cut hospital emergency room admissions by more than 60 percent.

“Our recipients emerged from a highly competitive process and an impressive group of nominees. There is something in each of their remarkable achievements that can help any nonprofit become even more effective,” said Jill Pfitzenmayer, vice president of the Foundation’s Initiative for Nonprofit Excellence.

The winners will receive $1,000 grants, promotional videos highlighting their work and tuition waivers to any of the Foundation’s professional development workshop or seminar in the next 12 months.

Sponsored by BCBSRI, the award program recognizes outstanding practices by Rhode Island nonprofit organizations in the areas of Collaboration, Communications, Innovation, Leadership and Volunteer Engagement.

“Supporting the best practice awards is a great fit for Blue Cross,” said BCBSRI Managing Director of Community Relations Carolyn Belisle. “We applaud all the award recipients for their efforts to address critical needs in our state, and we admire their commitment to implement best-in-class ways to deliver their programs and services. The work of these important organizations makes a difference to all Rhode Islanders.”

The Innovation Award goes to Foster Forward of East Providence for Works Wonders, which is a comprehensive, trauma-informed, individualized and developmentally appropriate career-readiness program for youth in or who have aged out of foster care.

“Works Wonders prepares these young people to successfully transition to the adult world of work by actively engaging them in career readiness activities, identifying and minimizing barriers to success, and by building team work, active listening, and conflict resolution skills,” said Lisa Guillette, executive director.

The Hattie Ide Chaffee Home of East Providence received the Communications Award for its “Discharge to Community Program,” which has cut hospital emergency room admission rates for clients who were discharged after short-terms stay by more than 60 percent.

“We identified a way to communicate more clearly and in greater detail so our residents can understand, and not be overwhelmed by the large amount of information, or information overloaded,” said Deborah Griffin, administrator.

The program includes personal post-discharge contact with patients as well as a binder including all future physician appointments, current medications and other information necessary for a smooth discharge.

The other three recipients are Clinica Esperanza, which won the Volunteer Engagement Award; Day One, which received the Collaboration Award; and Trinity Repertory Company, which won the Leadership Award.

The Rhode Island Foundation is the largest and most comprehensive funder of nonprofit organizations in Rhode Island. In 2016, the Foundation awarded a record $45 million in grants to organizations addressing the state’s most pressing issues and needs of diverse communities. Through leadership, fundraising, and grantmaking activities, often in partnership with individuals and organizations, the Foundation is helping Rhode Island reach its true potential. For more information, visit


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