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Innovation is in The Providence Center’s DNA: Recent Recognition and Awards

-2018: TPC Awarded $54,000 from RI Foundation’s RIGHA Fund

The Providence Center (TPC) will receive $54,000 in funding through the Rhode Island Group Health Association (RIGHA) Foundation Fund, made possible by Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. TPC’s award, given as part of more than $280,000 in grants,  will allow clinicians from its School Counseling and Support partnership with Providence Public Schools to increase coordination with students’ primary care providers. “A child’s primary care provider often has a critical role in recognizing behavioral issues, and improving connections with these providers will allow our school clinicians to treat these issues more effectively and reduce gaps in services,” said TPC President and Chief Operating Officer O’Brien.

-2018: TPC Partners with Providence Police on U.S. DOJ’s “Smart Policing” Grant

In March, the Providence Police Department announced a partnership with The Providence Center (TPC) and Roger Williams University (RWU) for the Smart Policing Innovation Grant awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice. This three-year, $700,000 grant will fund efforts by to formulate a Behavioral Health Response Team (BHRT) that will work to develop a comprehensive strategy to reduce recidivism in the use of emergency services by those suffering from alcohol or drug addiction and mental health issues.

-2018: TPC Begins "Providence Safe Stations" Partnership 

"Safe Stations" is a partnership between The Providence Center (TPC), The RI Department of Behavioral Healthcare, Developmental Disabilities & Hospitals, and High Intensity Drug Task Area (HIDTA) New England, and Providence Public Safety. The program is designed to connect opioid-dependent individuals with treatment and recovery services. Available 24/7, any person will be able to visit one of Providence’s 12 fire stations, speak with public safety officials on duty, and immediately get connected to support services.

2017: The Providence Center Announces RI's First Youth Recovery Center

Opening in 2018, The Jim Gillen Anchor Youth Recovery Center will provide access to age-appropriate recovery supports for young people, and connect them with peers to establish a network of friends who are understanding and supportive. The Center will be open every weekday after school and on weekends, the time periods teens report as being the most difficult time to abstain from using drugs and alcohol.

-2017: The Providence Center Announces Community Diversion Partnership with West Warwick Police

On Monday, May 8th, The Providence Center announced their new partnership with the West Warwick Police Department (WWPD). The initiative, known as the “WWPD Drug Overdose Prevention Pilot Program,” is part of TPC’s Community Diversion Program, which places clinicians in local police departments with the aim of diverting people away from the criminal justice system and into the proper services.The program has been successful in both the Providence and Warwick Police Departments, and the West Warwick Program will focus on preventing overdose and treatment for substance use disorders.

-2017: Anchor ED featured in the Addiction Policy Forum's "Focus on Innovation" series

The Addiction Policy Forum highlighted Anchor ED's great work in their "Focus on Innovation" series, which which recognizes programs that contribute to a comprehensive strategy to address addiction. Programs selected for the series are nominated by key stakeholders, community members and/or experts in the fields of addiction, and selected by the Forum’s advisory board. 

-2016: The Providence Center Selected for Partnership with the Rhode Island Foundation

The RI Foundation has selected The Providence Center, along with Amos House and Crossroads, to be part of a partnership designed to expand services in Downtown Providence. TPC will receive $80,000 to embed a second full-time clinician with the Providence Police Department, with the goal of diverting people from involvement with the criminal justice system to substance abuse and mental health treatment and other services. This partnership is part of a citywide effort to improve the lives of those who seek refuge in public spaces like Kennedy Plaza.

-2016: Anchor ED Featured in Kaiser Health News Story on

A story by Shefali Luthra of Kaiser Health News that explores the possibilities of peer recovery coaches as important aspects of treating substance abuse. Anchor ED is highlighted as an example of successful implementation of recovery coaches in hospital emergency rooms.

-2016: TPC Named one of Providence Business News's 2016 "Innovation Winners"

The Providence Center is among the 10 companies named the most innovative in the region by Providence Business News. Organizations were chosen on the criteria of “having a new product or process that has had a significant impact on the marketplace and/or the enterprise.”

As an example of this, TPC focused on its AnchorED program, which connects peer recovery specialists with overdose survivors in local ERs. Anchor ED’s recovery coaches are on-call at all the hospitals in the state, 24/7.

-2016: Anchor Wins Scattergood Foundation Annual Innovation Award 

TPC’s Anchor Recovery Community Center, and its “family” of related programs including Anchor DryDOC, AnchorED, and AnchorMORE, were recognized with this award and a $25,000 prize in recognition of the innovative use of recovery coaches, people with lived experience of addiction, in a wide variety of settings.  Anchor Recovery Community Centers operates:

  • A drop-in center in Pawtucket
  • A center focusing on the integration of recovery and wellness on the campus of the YMCA in Warwick
  • “Pop-up” centers in all units of the Department of Corrections, except maximum security
  • Recovery support services in collaboration with Thundermist Health Center in West Warwick
  • AnchorED, which dispatches trained recovery coaches to all hospitals in Rhode Island, 24/7, when emergency departments admit an individual with an opioid overdose
  • AnchorMORE (Mobile Outreach Efforts), which uses recovery coaches to reach out to people using substances in public places and known community “hotspots” where drug abuse is prevalent

Later this summer, Anchor will also open a new center in Providence focusing on the integration of recovery and the arts.

All of Anchor’s programs are led and staffed by individuals with lived experience of addiction. The credibility and trust they quickly develop with the people they serve has led to impressively positive outcomes in terms of maintenance of engagement in recovery supports and self-reported reductions in substance use.

-2016: TPC Wins National Council for Behavioral Health Excellence in Behavioral Healthcare Management Award

This award recognized the overall excellence of The Providence Center’s 60 programs serving over 13,000 adults, children and families by providing substance use disorder treatment, recovery supports, mental health treatment, wellness, and primary care services. The award provided special recognition for TPC’s implementation of the Health Homes program, which positively improves the overall health of clients with serious mental illness. The award brought with it a $10,000 prize.

-2016: Epic Systems Implementation 

Epic is the most used electronic health records system in the world.  With other Care New England affiliates, The Providence Center is transitioning to the Epic system and is scheduled to fully transition to the new EHR in September 2017.  In working with The Providence Center, Epic found that the workflows and processes it used were a marked improvement over those used as the backbone of Epic’s current ambulatory behavioral health module.  Epic and TPC are exploring how the ambulatory behavioral health module in its newest build might be based around TPC’s workflows.

-2015: National Council for Behavioral Health Award for Individual Achievement in Advocacy

James Gillen
Director of Recovery Services, The Providence Center

With Jim’s vision, The Providence Center opened Anchor, Rhode Island’s first recovery community center six years ago, serving more than 100,000 visitors in just its first year. He both secured the funding and fought for the policy changes necessary to launch Rhode Island’s recovery support movement.  Anchor now comprises six unique programs, all operated and led by individuals with lived experience of addiction and honoring all roads to recovery.  Shortly after receiving this award, Jim passed away following a long battle with lymphoma.

Watch TPC's Holly Fitting accept the award on James's behalf here.

-2014: Providence Business News Awards

In 2014, Providence Business News honored Denise Patnode as Rhode Island’s Chief Financial Officer of the Year for non-profit organizations and Deborah O’Brien, The Providence Center’s chief operating officer, as one of its Business Women of the Year.

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