Delivery of Care

Calling Dr. Fine

Dr. Michael Fine to serve in new capacity as health liaison for Pawtucket

Photo by Richard Asinof

Dr. Michael Fine speaking at the 2016 groundbreaking of the Neighborhood Health Station in Central Falls.

By Richard Asinof
Posted 9/2/19
The decision by Pawtucket to retain Dr. Michael Fine as health liaison to develop a community health plan creates some intriguing opportunities for collaboration.
Is Mayor Grebien prepared for the potential results of a community health plan if they differ from his current health care priorities related to emergency services? Is there ongoing tension between the Neighborhood Health Station in Central Falls and the HEZ serving Pawtucket/Central Falls?
The current Pawtucket downtown is in desperate need of a redevelopment plan that creates a hub around a more vibrant place to live and work. What can be learned from the experiences of ONE Neighborhood Builders in Olneyville and the West Elmwood Housing Development and its Sankofa Initiative in reshaping Pawtucket’s downtown?

PAWTUCKET – The news release told the basics of the story: Dr. Michael Fine has been retained by the city of Pawtucket to serve as the health liaison, a new position created by Mayor Donald R. Grebien, with the task of assisting the community to improve its access “to good and affordable health care services,” according to Grebien.

Fine also currently serves as the senior population health and clinical services officer at Blackstone Valley Community Health Care, as well as the health policy advisor to Central Falls Mayor James A. Diossa.

ConvergenceRI was curious about how those different positions would complement the new position as health liaison with Pawtucket, and followed up with some questions.

ConvergenceRI: As the new health liaison to Pawtucket, will you be looking to create neighborhood health stations similar to the one that recently opened in Central Falls?
FINE:
Of course! But first we are developing a detailed community health plan to understand neighborhood needs.

ConvergenceRI: What kinds of data are you currently researching in Pawtucket? What students are you working with?
FINE:
The broad range of demographic data, drilled down to the neighborhood level when we can get the data, and as long as it is statistically meaningful.

ConvergenceRI: Will you be looking to provide similar training to what was provided to Central Falls EMS technicians around primary care, and what are the best options for patients related to emergency transports to hospitals?
FINE:
We’ll first see what the needs and opportunities are. We have access to that curriculum, should it be useful in Pawtucket.

In regard to emergency transports, the best options for people who are having a medical emergency is a transport to a hospital Emergency Department. The best option for people with ambulatory sensitive conditions is to see their personal primary care clinician.

ConvergenceRI: Are there potential conflicts between your role with Pawtucket and your role with Central Falls? Or, do you see them as complementary?
FINE:
I see them as complementary

ConvergenceRI: What kinds of coordination opportunities are there to work with the Health Equity Zone for Pawtucket/Central Falls?
FINE:
Many opportunities over time. The HEZ in Pawtucket does not include all of Pawtucket, however. The city has to pay attention to every resident of Pawtucket.

ConvergenceRI: As health liaison for Pawtucket, have you considered specific outreach efforts/opportunities for the elderly high rises?
FINE:
I haven’t thought about that yet. Once we complete data gathering for the Community Health Plan, we’ll start work on recommendations, strategies and tactics.

ConvergenceRI: In 2017, the year before it closed, the leading incidence for EMS transports to Memorial Hospital was alcohol intoxication. Will you plan to address that in your new capacity?
FINE:
I’m hoping we'll be able to address all significant causes of mortality and morbidity in Pawtucket in the community health plan.

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