2019 President's Pursuit of Excellence

President's Pursuit of Excellence Honorees
From left: Ed Iannuccilli, MD; Robert Vincent, Chairperson, IGT Global Solutions Corporation; and Diane N. Weiss.

Champions Honored during President’s Pursuit of Excellence Dinner

Celebrating those who help to make Rhode Island Hospital a special place of healing, Lifespan president Timothy J. Babineau, MD, welcomed more than 500 guests for the President’s Pursuit of Excellence Dinner. Held at the Rhode Island Convention Center on Nov. 21, the signature event cast light on recent hospital accomplishments and honored three community champions for their significant contributions.

The event was chaired by Elizabeth and Michael Huber, and Donna Paolino Coia and Arthur Coia. Presenting sponsors Belvoir Properties, LLC, Brown Physicians, Inc., Citizens Bank, and University Orthopedics, and Platinum sponsors Paolino Properties, and Rhode Island Medical Imaging were among its nearly 100 supporters.

“Standing here tonight, I would like to thank all of our doctors, nurses, clinicians and administrators at Rhode Island Hospital for the care and compassion you provide to our patients, “said Dr. Babineau. “I would also like to thank all our donors who help to make so much of our work possible. Medicine, as I am fond of saying, is a team sport. And the team at Rhode Island Hospital is among the best in the country.”

Among the accomplishments shared at the event were IBM Watson naming Rhode Island Hospital among the top 50 cardiac hospitals in the country for the fifth time, and the Cardiovascular Institute receiving a national designation as a “Blue Distinction Center for Cardiac Care” by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of RI. Special guest speakers, hospital oncology nurses Ashley Kelley and Alissa Lambert, and grateful patients Beth and John Bruscato, took to the stage to share their personal journeys.

Together, Ashley and Alissa recounted their care of a 20-year-old patient diagnosed with an aggressive form of leukemia and how the connection they forged had a tremendous impact on all their lives. “She showed us in a very profound way just how much we – as people – matter to our patients. We are more to them than just caregivers,” said Ashley. Added Alissa, “Although this beautiful girl lost her battle with cancer, she taught us that an open heart helps ease the burden of pain, even when things were at their bleakest. She reminded us that it’s the strength of relationships that carry us – what a wonderful gift she left all of us in the cancer center.”

Beth and John Bruscato shared their story of heart issues that prevented them from being able to do many of the things they enjoyed and compromised their quality of life – until they received the surgical procedures at Rhode Island Hospital that gave them their lives back.

“Without the amazing surgeons and the incredible care we received at Rhode Island Hospital, we not only wouldn’t have been able to walk those few steps up to this podium, we probably wouldn’t be here at all,” said Beth. “And that’s what Rhode Island Hospital does – they solve problems and make things better,” added John.

The event continued and concluded with the recognition of Rhode Island Hospital’s 2019 Champions, shared through videos.


In one of the night’s emotional moments, grateful patients Beth and John Bruscato shared the story of their heart issues and how the surgical procedures they received at Rhode Island Hospital gave them their lives back.

President's Pursuit of Excellence 2019
Rhode Island Hospital oncology nurses Ashley Kelley and Alissa Lambert (center) are joined by Kathleen (far left) and Greg Greenberg (far right) at the recent President’s Pursuit of Excellence Dinner. During the event, Ashley and Alissa recounted their care of the Greenberg’s daughter and the tremendous connection they forged prior to her passing from an aggressive form of leukemia.

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