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Thursday, February 9, 2023

Wood River Health hires new Chief Medical Officer

Dr. Jonathan Gates, South County born and bred, takes up the challenge 

Wood River Health announces it has hired a new Chief Medical Officer. Jonathan Gates, MDCM joined its leadership team in January 2023. 

“Dr. Gates is an experienced and effective health care leader,” stated Alison L. Croke, President and CEO of Wood River Health. “His level of expertise will be instrumental in helping us to achieve our mission to provide high-quality and affordable health care services through a compassionate, team-based approach. Under his direction, our health center will continue to evolve as a patient-centered medical home.” 

Dr. Gates’ initial strategic initiatives during his Wood River Health tenure include identifying and prioritizing rising risk patients for care; developing and implementing quality workflows; and enhancing patients’ experience at Wood River Health. He will also provide medical services at Wood River Health’s new Express Care Clinic at its Hope Valley site.  

Dr. Gates trained at McGill University Faculty of Medicine and completed residency at Maine Medical Center in Portland, Maine. Board certified in Internal Medicine, he formerly served as Chief Medical Officer for Accountable Care at Providence Community Health Centers. 

During his tenure, he garnered over $24 million in net-new Medicaid revenue for the center while increasing patient safety and equity of health care access using proactive care management and flexible processes for primary care teams.  

South County born and raised, Dr. Gates practiced hospital medicine and obstetrical medicine consultation in the Care New England health system for 15 years. He was awarded the inaugural “Kent Hospital Physician of the Year” before moving to outpatient practice. 

Ultimately becoming Chief Medical Information Officer, he worked to empower providers in the new build and design of Epic Ambulatory. Dr. Gates’ career-long interests and expertise in Reliability and Patient Safety in systems of care delivery have resulted in a 32-83% reduction in avoidable ER use and a six-fold reduction in dangerous 30-day readmissions.  

Dr. Gates and his family are well known to the members of the local community. He is the son of (the late) John Milton Gates, Ph.D., a professor of resource economics at the University of Rhode Island for 39 years, and (the late) Jane Susan (Krohn) Gates, a speech pathologist. Upon her passing, South County Hospital flew their flag at half-mast to commemorate the loss of a woman who made an indelible impact on the lives of her patients. 

About Wood River Health 

Since 1976, Wood River Health has delivered medical, dental and social services to the communities of southwestern Rhode Island and southeastern Connecticut. Its mission is to provide its patients with high-quality and affordable health care services through a compassionate, team-based approach. Its vision is for every member of its community to experience physical, emotional and social well-being. 

A private, non-profit Community Health Center, Wood River Health is devoted to providing quality patient care to over 8,600 patients. It is recognized by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) as a Patient-Centered Medical Home. As a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), Wood River Health receives funds from the HRSA Health Center Program to provide primary care services in underserved areas.