SMITHFIELD, R.I. – Rhode Island Free Clinic Chief Executive Officer Marie Ghazal, DNP, RN, will receive the 2019 New England Businesswoman of the Year Award at the Bryant University Women’s Summit® on March 15, themed “Move Forward and Make Change Happen!” This annual award recognizes excellence in leadership by a business or professional woman, and it will be presented at the Women’s Summit luncheon at 12:15 p.m.
The Rhode Island Free Clinic is a nationally recognized model of free, comprehensive health care for Rhode Island’s uninsured, low-income, working poor, and unemployed adults. Under Ghazal’s leadership since 2010, the clinic has expanded access to health care, specialty services, and training to provide 10,000 patient visits annually with a dedicated statewide corps of 800 volunteers and an annual budget of only $1.2 million. A much-needed dental program for uninsured adults was added last year.
“We are pleased to present the 2019 New England Businesswoman of the Year Award to Marie Ghazal, a tireless and dedicated advocate for health care for those in need,” says Women’s Summit® Director Kati Machtley. “She is shining example to all on how to drive meaningful change that makes a positive difference in the lives of so many.”
Ghazal currently serves on the Rhode Island Action Coalition, Future of Nursing, Strategic Leadership Committee; Corporations Board, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island; and the Primary Care Population Health Programs Advisory Committee of the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She has also served in leadership positions at Providence Community Health Centers, Inc., the Department of Health and Human Services, Blackstone Valley Community Action Program, and the Pawtucket Heart Health Program.
Her civic involvement includes, among others, the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce Board of Trustees, and the Rhode Island Public Health Association. Her numerous honors include Rhode Island Monthly’s 2016 Excellence in Nursing Award/Nurse Leader of the Year.
Ghazal holds a Doctorate of Nursing Practice, University of Rhode Island, and a Master’s of Nursing in Community Health, Boston University.
- 2018 Suzanne Bates, CEO of Bates, a Wellesley-based global leadership development firm
- 2017 Katryn “Trynka” Shineman, former CEO of Vistaprint
- 2016 Colette A. M. Phillips, president and CEO of Colette Phillips Communications
- 2015 Martha Sullivan, president and CEO of Sensata Technologies
- 2014 Cheryl Merchant, president and CEO of Hope Global
- 2013 Karen Kaplan, president and CEO of Hill Holiday
- 2012 Navyn Salem, founder and CEO of Edesia
- 2011 Constance Howes, former president and CEO of Women and Infants Hospital
- 2010 Maryanne Cataldo, former CEO and founder of City Lights Electrical Co.
- 2009 Cheryl Watkins Snead (1958-2018), former president and CEO of Banneker Industries
- 2008 Merrill Sherman, former president and CEO of Bankcorp Rhode Island and Bank Rhode Island
- 2007 Cheryl LaFleur, former Acting CEO for National Grid U.S. Energy Distribution
- 2006 Kathleen Hittner, M.D., former president and CEO of Miriam Hospital, educator and clinician
Bryant University in Smithfield, R.I., is a leading private university offering an innovative and uniquely integrated business and liberal arts education. The University's 3,700 undergraduate and postgraduate students study in an intensive and immersive learning environment that has been purpose-built for high achievement. Bryant’s groundbreaking academic programs have been nationally recognized by organizations including the Davis Educational Foundation and Hanover Research. Founded in 1863, Bryant is recognized as a leader in international education and regularly receives top rankings from U.S. News and World Report, College Factual/U.S.A. Today, Bloomberg Businessweek, Forbes, and Barron’s. Visit innovation.bryant.edu