Rhode Island: CDC State Funded Programs

Level 2: 2 Year funding

Lead Agency

Rhode Island Department of Health
Disability and Health Program
3 Capitol Hill Room 302
Providence, Rhode Island 02882
Main Contact: Michael Spoerri, PT, MPH, Program Manager
Phone (401) 222-4616
Deborah Garneau, MA, Principal Investigator
Phone (401) 222-5929
Hanna Kim, PhD, Program Epidemiologist
Phone (401) 222-4607

Collaborating Agencies

  • Brown University Population Studies and Training Center
  • Rhode Island Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics
  • Healthy and Ready to Work
  • Family Voices of RI
  • Neighborhood Health Plan of RI
  • PARI Independent Living Center
  • Rhode Island Office of Rehabilitation Services
  • Rhode Island Department of Health, Office of Womens Health
  • Rhode Island Department of Health, Division of Disease Control and Prevention
  • Rhode Island Department of Health Healthy Rhode Islanders 2010
  • YMCA of Greater Providence
  • Rhode Island Hospital, Department of Rehabilitative Medicine

Project Goal

To promote the health of people with disabilities, prevent secondary conditions, and reduce disparities between people with and without disabilities in Rhode Island.

Major Program Activities

  • Living Well with a Disability for Vocational Rehabilitation clients: In collaboration with the Office of Rehabilitation Services the DHP will administer the Living Well with a Disability curriculum to clients participating in the state Vocational Rehabilitation Program.
  • Living well with a Disability for adolescents and young adults with disabilities: The DHPwill also administer the Living Well with a Disability curriculum to young adults with disabilities during a 10 week summer session.
  • Partnership for Health Care Transition: The DHP leads two efforts that aim to achieve seamless transition from pediatric to adult health care services. The emphasis of these efforts is on primary care transition and rehabilitative medicine transition.
  • Access to fitness and exercise opportunities: The DHP in collaboration with the YMCA of Greater Providence plans to make several fitness facilities accessible to individuals with disabilities through facility renovation projects, purchasing universally designed fitness equipment, and fitness facility staff training.
  • Integration of individuals with disabilities into existing health promotion initiatives: TheDHP will work closely with the Office of Womens Health, Minority Health, Injury Prevention, Tobacco Control and Prevention, the Healthy Weight Initiative, and the Healthy Rhode Islanders 2010 initiative to integrate people with disabilities into outreach and education strategies.


DHP utilizes several population-based, administrative, and program-based data sets to measure prevalence, health risks, health status, and health care access. These data sets include:

  • Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)
  • Rhode Island Health Interview Survey (RIHIS)
  • National Survey for Children with Special Health Care Needs
  • Rhode Island Hospital Discharge Data
  • Rhode Island Medicaid Data
  • Rhode Island Vocational Rehabilitation Program Data
  • Traumatic Brain Injury/ Spinal Cord Injury Registry

Materials and Publications

Reports and Publications

Association between disability status and cigarette smoking in Rhode Island 2005
Rhode Island Children with Special Health Care Needs: Findings from the 2001 National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs 2005
Impact of caring for Children with Special Health Care Needs: Results from the National Survey of Children with Special Health Care Needs 2004
Access to Health Care for Persons with Disabilities in Rhode Island: Results from the Primary Care Practitioner Survey, Medicine and Health/ Rhode Island, May 2004; 87(5): 139-141.
Disability Prevalence in Rhode Island: A comparison of BRFSS data with Census data April 2004
RI Disability Facts: Census 2000 2003
Use of BRFSS data to measure health disparities among Rhode Island adults with disabilities September 2002
Access to Services and Assitive Technology in Rhode Island. Medicine and Health/Rhode Island, September 2001; 84(9):304-306.
Rhode Island Disability Chartbook June 2000