Health Reform Events in Rhode Island

Check out health reform events and meetings on HealthRIght's calendar.


Staff and Executive Leadership Team

Established in the Fall of 2006, HealthRIght is a statewide group that convenes key stakeholders to organize for the passage and implementation of comprehensive health care reform that will control costs, improve quality of care and health outcomes, and expand health coverage to all Rhode Islanders. 

Our Executive Committee members include Rhode Island health policy experts with experience in hospital leadership, the bio-medical industry, political leadership, insurance, patient advocacy, and direct medical and behavioral health service delivery. 

We are grateful to the Rhode Island Parent Information Network (RIPIN) for serving as our fiscal agent.



Katie Franklin, Executive Director

Katie is a trained Social Psychologist with a specialty in Quantitative Methods.  Throughout the span of her 30-year career, Katie has worked to improve organizational performance in both the public and private sector by employing her skills in business strategy, organizational development, marketing, communications, community and public relations, training, coaching, facilitation, event planning, and fundraising on issues such as homelessness, education, health care, and personal wellness in order to improve the world in which we live and to better individuals’ lives.  She is a published author, accomplished public speaker, and has appeared on both television and radio as well as testified before the State House.  Most recently, Katie served as the first Director of Development & Public Affairs at WellOne Primary Medical and Dental Care, Rhode Island's oldest community health center where she worked to increase access to health care amongst underserved populations. She recently also aided and educated individuals enrolling in HealthSource RI as a Mobile Enrollment Assister for the Rhode Island Parent Information Network.

Yao Liu, AB in Economics and Biology '15 - Research and Policy Assistant

Yao is a Senior at Brown studying Economics and Biology in the Program for Liberal Medical Education, an 8-year program combining undergraduate and medical education. Yao previously worked with the RI Lt. Governor's Office and the Advisory Board Company to conduct policy research in helping to craft Rhode Island's State Health Care Innovation Plan and apply for federal health care reform funding. His research and policy interests include health systems reform, cost-effectiveness, economic development, and global health. At Brown, he is involved with social entrepreneurship, works as a teaching assistant and peer career advisor, and enjoys student groups such as Orientation Welcoming Committee and Model UN. He is writing an Honors thesis in Economics on the long-term effects of Medicaid expansions.


Executive Committee

Ted Almon, President and CEO of Claflin, Inc & HealthRIght Executive Committee Chairman

Ted has been President & CEO of the Claflin Company since 1976, which is among the industry’s leading regional independent healthcare distributors. Almon has been an active participant in the contemporary healthcare reform scene and has been a frequent op-ed contributor to the Providence Business News on healthcare topics.  His unique perspective has sought to align the incentives of the business community with those of healthcare providers to accomplish fundamental reform in the areas of cost, quality and access. Almon is an appointee to the Governor’s Commission on Health Reform, the Expert Advisory Panel of the State’s Health Insurance exchange, Healthsource RI, and a member of the Advisory Board of the Rhode Island Health Information Exchange. He is a founding member and co-chairman of HealthRIght.


Lynn K. August - Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island

Lynn August is the Business Development Planning and Policy Project Lead at Neighborhood Health Plan of RI. Previously, she was the Principal Health and Human Services Policy Adviser at the Office of the Governor during Bruce Sundlun's administration, where she was instrumental in the creation and design of RIte Care. For over a decade, she has been involved Rhode Island health care reform and served as a policy consultant to HealthRIght before joining the Executive Committee. 


Lou Giancola, President and CEO of South County Hospital

Lou Giancola is president and CEO of South County Hospital, a small community, 100-bed acute care hospital in southern Rhode Island. He is on the Board of Trustees at the Hospital Association of Rhode Island. In addition, Lou is heavily immersed in health care reform issues in Rhode Island, participating in forums and statewide discussions on how to improve quality and reduce the cost of care. 


Craig O’Connor, Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island

Craig O’Connor is the Public Policy and Advocacy Manager at Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island (Neighborhood), a Medicaid-only health plan founded by Rhode Island’s community health centers.  Craig previously worked as Associate Director and Director of Organizing for Ocean State Action, a community organization that worked on affordable health care public policy issues. For over a decade, he has participated in drafting and enacting several pieces of significant health care reform legislation.  Craig has served on the Boards of several organizations, including the Advisory Board, New Leaders Council – RI Chapter, Board of Directors for Clinica Esperaza/Hope Clinic (a free health care clinic in Olneyville, Providence), the Coordinating Council for Urban Greens Cooperative Food Store, on the RI Clean Water Action Voter Education Board, and the Executive Committee of RI Jobs With Justice.


Maureen Martin, Secretary Treasurer of RI AFL-CIO 

Maureen Martin is the Rhode Island AFL-CIO secretary-treasurer, the Rhode Island Federation of Teachers and Health Professionals director of Political Activities and chair of the For Our Daughters organization.  





Tina Spears - Policy Manager, Rhode Island Parent Information Network

Tina Spears is the Public Policy Manager at the Rhode Island Parent Information Network, where she advocates and provides information and support to help all Rhode Islanders become their own best advocate at school and healthcare. She frequently represents the consumer voice at statewide health care policy forums and legislative hearings.


Mark Gray - Coordinator, ProvPlan's Health Insurance Small Employer Taskforce

Mark Gray serves as Coordinator for the Providence Plan’s Health Insurance Small Employer Taskforce, ensuring that the voices of small group market purchasers are heard in the healthcare debate. Mark is focused on how unsustainable health care costs are hampering economic development within Rhode Island’s small business sector.