Prisoner Health is Community Health: Bringing a Transitions Clinic to Providence

Location: Providence, Rhode Island, population 179,207

The Problem: Incarcerated individuals often come from marginalized communities, making it no surprise that prison populations have high rates of untreated chronic and communicable disease, as well as behavioral health disorders.

Providence health care signHealthiest Cities & Counties Challenge Approach: In Providence, Rhode Island, the community seeks to intervene in the high-risk time of prison reentry to engage those who are recently released from prison and have chronic illnesses, such as substance abuse and mental illness. These patients will be provided a healthy home, medical care, housing and employment, as well as assistance in navigating the health care system as they re-enter the community.

The Providence Transitions Clinic launched in Winter 2018 as a collaborative program of the Center for Prisoner Health and Human Rights at The Miriam Hospital, the Rhode Island Hospital Center for Primary Care, and the Lifespan Community Health Institute. Patients are currently seen in clinic for primary care appointments once a week, during which time a clinical team that includes a primary care physician, a social worker, two community health workers, and a pharmacist meet to discuss patient priorities and needs. Patients have access to the community health workers five days a week for assistance with medical follow-up and a variety of reentry needs. You can check out the Transitions Clinic team here.