Community Partner Updates

Beginning this month, Connelly Law Offices, Ltd. will do a monthly blog that includes news from our community partners about upcoming fundraising events, special projects, volunteer opportunities, and community announcements that are of importance to our senior population and their families.

Our blogs and monthly newsletter covers essential issues impacting our senior communities including assisted living, nursing homes, low-income senior housing, and those aging in place. Our blog reaches thousands of people in Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Massachusetts including nonprofits, religious organizations, business leaders, volunteers, government officials, and seniors and their families. If you would like to submit information to us that reaches this important audience, please send it to

First, we have a special article from the Rhode Island State Ombudsman, Kathleen Heren. Kathy is now doing a once a month "Ombudsman Report" on Connelly Law's Southcoast Seniors Radio Magazine heard every Thursday from 4 pm - 5 pm on am790, WPRV in Providence.

Christmas is Like No Other

by Kathy Heren, RI State Ombudsman

When I write my December article each year I always spend time listing the do and don’ts that families should follow when visiting their loved ones in a facility. This year there is no need since this Christmas will be like no other. After just going through Thanksgiving Day and having to be without our families for the turkey dinner, we all have that empty feeling. We all revisit past holidays in our minds that everyone would be going to high school football games, only to return home to a house filled with the smell of turkey. This year we have smelled turkey but for many, it didn’t have the same meaning. There are those families who have lost a family member to Covid so the pain is more intense as that person is gone no matter whether the virus is or not.

Kathleen Heren

As we approach Christmas the loss of family and tradition becomes even more painful. We wonder what our mother or father or grandmother is thinking this Christmas. Do they wonder what they did wrong that you are not there? Has the dementia resident missed out on seeing you on a holiday that could be their last? We all tend to project which leads to sadness, anger, then resentment. If there are children in your family at least you can keep some Christmas spirit going on. If you have a call scheduled by zoom, make sure the little ones can be seen and let them talk. Elders are sometimes happier to see their grandchildren more than us. Please remember the people who work in long term care. The administrators, nurses, activity directors, and nurse assistants are doing the best they can to make the residents happy. Wait to see what you will be able to send your family member. This will apply to packages, food, and/or plants. Sometimes people assume that what their sending is fine only to find out the home cannot accept it. Now you have angry family members hurt and resentful. Look for ways you can brighten your family members' holidays. Cards, drawings from the grandchildren, or family pictures.

My staff and I wish you all our best at this most difficult holiday season. If any of you need to reach out for help over Christmas, I can be reached by e-mail: I will contact you if you include a telephone number in your e-mail. Let’s hope that by next Christmas we will have returned to some type of normalcy.

Oak Street Health Opens in Woonsocket

Founded in 2012, Oak Street Health is a network of value-based, primary care centers for adults on Medicare. With a mission of rebuilding healthcare as it should be, the company operates an innovative healthcare model focused on quality of care over volume of services, and assumes the full financial risk of its patients. Oak Street Health currently operates more than 65 centers across Illinois, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, Indiana, North Carolina, Rhode Island, Tennessee, and New York.

Now open in Woonsocket

On November 6, Oak Street Health expanded access to more older adults in Rhode Island with the opening of its newest center at 2000 Diamond Hill Road, Suite 18 in Woonsocket. The new center brings the number of Oak Street Health centers in Rhode Island to four, joining two existing centers in Providence and another in Warwick. ​“We are excited to bring access to our high-quality, value-based care to members of the Woonsocket community with the opening of this new center,” said Tamara Jurgenson, Chief Growth Officer of Oak Street Health.​“We care for the most vulnerable patients, the majority having two or more chronic conditions. As our organization continues its mission to rebuild healthcare as it should be, we look forward to improving patient outcomes in Rhode Island and helping older adults live their healthiest lives.” Oak Street Health patients can expect an unmatched healthcare experience that includes quality time with their provider in-person or via telehealth visit; a 24⁄7 patient support line; individualized, preventive care plans; and access to transportation to and from the center for eligible patients. Additional services, such as behavioral health care and social health support, and Medicare education classes, are also offered to help older adults meet their unique needs in one convenient location. Since its founding in 2012, Oak Street Health has driven an approximately 51 percent reduction in patient hospital admissions compared to Medicare benchmarks, 42 percent reduction in 30-day readmission rates, and a 51 percent reduction in emergency department visits, all while maintaining a Net Promoter Score of 90 across patients. Oak Street Health will accept multiple health plans at all locations, including traditional Medicare. To learn more about Oak Street Health’s value-based primary care model, click here.

Next up is information on the annual Elves for Elders program.

Elves for Elders Continues Despite Pandemic

Elves for Elders is a non-profit that strives to provide Christmas gifts for senior citizens who live in Rhode Island-based nursing homes and assisted living facilities who otherwise might not have any presents during the holiday season. Appearing recently on WPRI's Rhode Show and Connelly Law's Southcoast Seniors Radio Magazine on WPRV, Maxine Hutchins spoke about the changes this year due to the pandemic. For additional information, please read the flyer below. If you’d like to get involved please contact community liaison, Maxine Hutchens, via phone at 401-286-3821 or by email at

Happy Thanksgiving from RJ Connelly III and the Connelly Law Team

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