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HopeHealth Gala Raises $300,000 to Support Patients in Need

Photo, above: HopeHealth celebrates excellence and compassion at its annual gala, “An Evening of Hope & Gratitude.” From left to right: Patrick Wallace, CHPNA, received the Spirit of Hope Award. U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse was presented with the Distinguished Advocate Award.The Ninth Human Dignity Award was presented to Richard W. Besdine, MD, and Terrie Fox Wetle, PhD

HopeHealth’s annual gala, An Evening of Hope & Gratitude, raised $300,000 in support of HopeHealth’s mission of providing compassionate care, support, and education to hospice and palliative care patients and their families. In addition to tickets and sponsorships, dollars raised at the event will support the Arthur S. Robbins Hope Fund, which helps patients who are uninsured, underinsured or cannot afford the cost of hospice care.

“Our gala, ‘An Evening of Hope & Gratitude,’ continues to uphold the essence of HopeHealth’s mission: to provide unparalleled comfort and dignity during the most pivotal moments of life,” said Diana Franchitto, president & CEO of HopeHealth. “The remarkable support of this event has been truly inspiring, and we extend our heartfelt appreciation to all those who contributed to the realization of our goal.”

Presenting sponsor for An Evening of Hope & Gratitude was Swipe for a Cause. Lead sponsors included Husch Blackwell, Brown University, Lifespan and Arthur Coia and Donna Paolino Coia/Paolino Properties.

The gala, which took place on June 8 at the WaterFire Arts Center in Providence, hosted nearly 300 guests who enjoyed cocktails, a three-course dinner, live music and a “Mystery Box” drawing to win a getaway at Newport’s Wellington Resort.

During the gala, HopeHealth honored outstanding individuals with three unique awards:

The Human Dignity Award was presented to Richard W. Besdine, MD, and Terrie Fox Wetle, PhD, of Barrington, RI, who have dedicated their careers to research, education and policy to improve the care of people at end of life. Dr. Besdine, until stepping down from leadership in 2020, was inaugural Greer Professor of Geriatric Medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and Interim Dean of Medicine from 2002 to 2005. Dr. Wetle, a gerontologist, was founding dean of Brown University’s School of Public Health.

U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse was presented with the Distinguished Advocate Award in honor of his longtime support of end-of-life care in the U.S. Senate, emphasizing Rhode Island as a leader in patient-centered care. He is known on Capitol Hill for his passion about care at the end of life and his work to make healthcare better for all Rhode Islanders and Americans.

The Spirit of Hope Award recognized HopeHealth hospice aide, Patrick Wallace, CHPNA, of Pawtucket, RI, whose commitment to patients and families embodies hospice and palliative care at its best. Employed at HopeHealth since 2007, Wallace was nominated by his peers who praised his expertise and leadership. One nominator commented that he is “a shining example of the HopeHealth spirit.” 

“The support of our community makes it possible for HopeHealth to provide important services, such as grief support, veterans’ programs, Alzheimer’s and dementia services and free care for the uninsured,” says Suzanne Fortier, chief philanthropy officer at HopeHealth.

For more information about “An Evening of Hope & Gratitude,” please visit

About HopeHealth

For more than a century, HopeHealth has provided high quality, compassionate care to people in various stages of illness in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Its roots began in home care in 1908 and then in hospice in 1976, coming together as HopeHealth in 2011 as a provider of home care, palliative care and hospice care. As the second oldest hospice in the country and one of the largest not-for-profit providers of palliative and hospice care in New England, HopeHealth has set the gold standard in serious illness and end-of-life care. HopeHealth is the major teaching affiliate for hospice and palliative care of The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University.

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