Governor tours Tri-County Community Action Agency in Johnston


There was some interesting and important conversation last Thursday morning inside the Tri-County Community Action Agency located at 1128 Hartford Ave. in Johnston.

Discussion centered around addressing low-income families in the state and the role CAP agencies and community health centers play in the response, particularly lingering effects of the pandemic.

Joseph R. DeSantis, President and CEO of the award-winning Tri-County Community Health Agency, COO Brenda Dowlatshahi and Medical Director Wilfredo-Giordano-Perez MD welcomed a special visitor — Gov. Dan McKee — for what resulted in a memorable meeting.

The visit began with DeSantis and Dr. Perez taking the Governor, who was accompanied by this Deputy Chief of Staff Rev. Dr. Chris Abhulime, on a tour of the impressive two floor facility.

“CAP agencies are essential partners in connecting families in the Rode Island Rent Relief Program,” McKee said. “In the last 15 months since I came into office Rhode Island has increased COVID vaccination rates to the point where we now lead the nation and that is largely due to the efforts of the Rhode Island Department of Health and community partners like Tri-County.”

The Governor also toured Tri-County’s impressive Dental and Oral Health areas where he enjoyed the opportunity to talk with people who were waiting for their appointments.

Meanwhile, DeSantis told the Governor: “Dental services are in high demand for our residents and particularly for those individuals on Medicaid.” He added that there are limited dental providers in the state that accept Medicaid and Tri-County is well aware of the need for dental expansion, “which we hope to expand in the near future.”

In addition to touring the spacious dental area, McKee visited the health center and was impressed to learn it is under current renovations and that Tri-County has plans to expand services in primary care, behavioral health and substance abuse treatment.

Moreover, while the tour continued, DeSantis said: “We anticipate that our interior renovations will wrap up early in the fall of 2022 and we are excited to welcome two additional nurse practitioners around that time that will allow us to increase access to quality medical care for all.”

McKee presented DeSantis with a special recognition citation for what he said was “the work done by the entire Tri-County staff in support of the agency’s mission to empower and create opportunities for vulnerable individuals and families within the community to become socially and economically self-sufficient through integrated social, educational, heath, prevention and other basic need services.”

McKee concluded by telling DeSantis: “You have my very best wishes for continued success and in gratitude for providing the citizens of Rhode Island with empathy, innovation, integrity, respect, collaboration and passion, I am pleased to issue this certificate of special recognition to the Tri-County Community Center Health Agency.”


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