M. Teresa Paiva Weed, the state’s first woman to serve as President of the Senate in Rhode Island and state senator from District 13 (Newport, Jamestown) since 1992, announced today that effective May 1, 2017, she will accept the presidency of the Hospital Association of Rhode Island (HARI), a statewide non-profit organization dedicated to assisting member hospitals to meet the health care needs of Rhode Islanders. Her resignation as Senate President will occur over the next month or so, as will her resignation from the Senate.
“This has been a very special time in my life, having had the opportunity to represent the residents of Newport and Jamestown for the past 25 years,” said President Paiva Weed. “I am both humbled and grateful for the faith and trust they have placed in me, and it has been my privilege to be their voice in the Rhode Island Senate. With their support, and with the active involvement of my colleagues in the Senate, I am immensely proud of the accomplishments we have achieved together.”
She continued, “After much soul searching, I believe it is time to take on new challenges. Perhaps at no other time in our history has it been so critically important to ensure the vibrancy and affordability of hospitals and our overall health care system. The Hospital Association of Rhode Island is tasked with making sure access and affordability to quality care is available to all, and I’m pleased to assume the responsibility of being an advocate for all Rhode Islanders when it comes to their health care needs.”
President Paiva Weed’s legislative accomplishments are vast and far-reaching. Early in her legislative career she spearheaded efforts to reform the state’s welfare system and was she was instrumental in the passage of legislation that changed the manner in which judges are selected to a merit-based process. In other landmark legislation, she established the property tax cap, created the Family Independence Act and restructured the Victims Compensation Fund. She championed green jobs legislation, education and job training initiatives, and legislation to improve the state’s business climate. She most recently championed funding for the relocation of the Newport Pell Bridge ramps.
As President of the Senate, Paiva Weed shepherded into law legislation to address the opioid overdose crisis, and this session has supported a package of legislation to improve access to mental health treatment and preventative services, as well as legislation to reform the state’s sentencing and probation system.
First elected Senate President in 2009, Paiva Weed was re-elected to that post by her colleagues in 2011, 2013, 2015 and 2017. In referencing her colleagues in the Senate, President Paiva Weed said, “It’s been my absolute honor to serve with so many extraordinary people over the years, from my colleagues in the Senate to my talented staff. I could not have asked for a more dedicated, civic-minded group of extraordinary people, all working to serve their constituents in the best possible manner. I will forever be grateful for their support by re-electing me as their president over these many years, and could not be more proud of our collective accomplishments.”
Senator Paiva Weed will become the first woman in the history of HARI to serve as its president. In that capacity, she will oversee day-to-day operations and direct member services. Her appointment as president was unanimously approved by the Board of Trustees. Founded over half a century ago, the Hospital Association of Rhode Island (HARI) is a statewide trade organization that assists member hospitals in effectively meeting the health care needs of Rhode Island through advocacy, representation, education and services. HARI ensures the needs and perspective of members are heard and addressed in state and national health policy development, legislative and regulatory debates, and system transformation matters.