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Sunday, July 22, 2018

Wood River Health Services names Wakefield resident new President and CEO

Changes at the top at Wood River Health Services
By Dave Henley

New CEO and President
Wood River Health Services Board of Directors Chair Robin Devin announced this week that Alison Croke, of South Kingstown, will be the new President and CEO of the health center starting in September. Croke is currently vice president of Medicaid-Medicare integration at Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island.

 “The Board is very pleased to have a seasoned healthcare professional such as Alison as the next leader of WRHS,” Devin said.

“Alison has over 23 years of experience in various positions in the healthcare field including healthcare research, policy analysis, consumer engagement, project management, NCQA accreditation, Medicaid and Medicare services and benefits management, and healthcare advocacy. She has been engaged in program management, primary care program development, health policy work, strategic planning, staff management, and other critical areas to support the delivery of healthcare and related services to safety net patients and their families.”

Croke will replace Michael Lichtenstein, who has led the health center since 2010. 

He is taking a position as CEO for an Accountable Entity assisting a number of Community Health Centers, Community Action Programs, and Community Mental Health Centers in RI to transition to a new, value-based, outcomes-focused model of care for the State’s managed Medicaid population.
Outgoing chief Michael Lichtenstein

“Alison brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise that will greatly benefit Wood River Health Services and the community we serve,” Lichtenstein said. “I am delighted with the Board's selection, and I look forward to working with Alison to create a smooth transition of leadership for the organization.”

Prior to her current position at Neighborhood Health Plan, Croke worked with the Rhode Island Executive Office of Health and Human Services as an Assistant Project Manager and as Senior Health Program Development Specialist, developing new managed-care programs for Medicaid clients such as RIte Smiles and Rhody HealthPartners.

Croke has also worked as a senior project manager at Neighborhood and as Program Officer at the Center for Health Care Strategies in Princeton, N.J., developing systems of care for for people with chronic illness and disabilities, children with special needs and other vulnerable populations.

She holds an undergraduate degree in biological sciences from the University of Vermont and a master’s degree in health administration from the Virginia Commonwealth University Medical College of Virginia.

“In addition to her professional expertise, she is a thoughtful, engaging and a genuinely nice person,” Devin added. “I fully expect that she will build on what the staff has accomplished in recent years, and she will continue the fine work of leading this outstanding community health center well into the future.”

Wood River Health Services is the Federally Qualified Community Health Center for southwestern Rhode Island and southeastern Connecticut, providing medical and dental care and social services to over 7,000 area residents.

The center also administers the area WIC (Women, Infants and Children) Nutrition Program, provides a nationally recognized chronic disease management program, has available onsite lab testing in cooperation with Westerly Hospital, including blood work, x-ray and mammography, and provides behavioral and mental health counseling and referrals.

Sliding scale payments are available to those who qualify.

Wood River Health Services is located at 823 Main St., Hope Valley (on Route 3 south of the village, just off Route I-95 at Exit 2). For more information, call (401) 539-2461 or visit