Marie Ghazal, RN
CEO - Rhode Island Free Clinic
Marie Ghazal is a proven leader in the health care field, highly respected for over 40 years of dedication and service to improving health care, reducing health disparities, and increasing access to quality, comprehensive, and affordable care for Rhode Island’s most vulnerable residents. Throughout her career, Marie has demonstrated her commitment to the mission of providing health care access to all in both clinical and non-clinical settings. In 2017, Marie will receive a Doctorate of Nursing Practice from the University of Rhode Island.
Through her accomplishments as a registered nurse, health center director, administrator and now Chief Executive Officer of the Rhode Island Free Clinic (RIFC), Marie exemplifies a strong leader contributing to the national discussion on collaborations, community partnerships and a robust, cost-effective health care delivery system.
As CEO of the RIFC, Marie leads the clinic’s volunteer provider/community partnership model; a model that dictates health care for uninsured and working poor will be increased through expanding and strengthening volunteers and strategic community partnerships and alliances. An investment in RIFC promotes healthy patients, active volunteer service, and health care professionals trained in a dynamic, community-based clinic.
Marie has championed a number of projects that had instrumental effects on the community. She was the Director of the Central Falls Health Center for almost five years. During her time there she secured federal funding for the merger of the Central Falls and Pawtucket Health Centers. For nearly twenty years she served as the VP of Patient Care and Chief Nursing Officer at Providence Community Health Centers where she spearheaded major programs including the operations of The Health Center for the Homeless at Crossroads RI, Dental Clinic for low-income children and pregnant women, an MET school-based Health Center, Rhode Island Sexually Transmitted Disease Clinic, and Family Planning Services for inner-city residents. She is also involved with Leadership Rhode Island, The Rhode Island Public Health Association, and The National Association of Free Clinics.
Marie has been recognized for her leadership and awarded for her accomplishments numerous times. She is currently serving on the Strategic Leadership Advisory Committee for the Rhode Island Action Coalition for the Future of Nursing, the governing board for the Medicaid Accountable Care Organization of the Integra Community Care Network, the advisory committee for the Primary Care Population Health Programs of the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University, and she has been on the Board of Directors at the Rhode Island Quality institute since 2006.
Marie was recently honored as Rhode Island’s 2016 Nurse Leader of the year by Rhode Island Monthly. She was a semi-finalist for the Robert Wood Johnson Executive Nurse Fellows Program in both 2002 and 2013. In 2011, she was the recipient of the Harvard Business School’s Strategic Planning for Nonprofits Program scholarship. That same year she was also the recipient of a State Advocate Award from the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners and was recognized by Providence Business News as a Woman Industry Leader in Health Care.