The Story of PACE-RI

PACE-RI was founded to help local elders live safely at home, stay out of the hospital and nursing home, and reduce strain for their caregivers. We have had steady growth since opening our original center back in 2005. Since then we have added new centers in Westerly (2013), Woonsocket (2016), and Newport (2023). Our flagship center and administrative offices were relocated to East Providence in 2021.

PACE-RI has 173 staff members who speak a total of 9 languages, and we are proud to be one of the fastest growing companies in Rhode Island (Providence Business News, 2020)

PACE Nationally

Program of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE)

Started in 1973 in San Francisco, PACE health plans believe that successful aging means moving away from institution-based, long-term care toward a community-based model that provides affordable, comprehensive, and integrated health care and social services. Now, there are independently owned and operated Programs of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly in 31 states, serving over 50,000 participants. Fundamental to the PACE model is the Interdisciplinary Team (IDT) which is comprised of 11 specialists and ensures each participant gets care and attention tailored to their unique needs.

Mission, Vision, and Values


To respect all older adults by hearing their voice, healing their hearts, building community, and delivering exceptional and equitable healthcare.


Providing quality care to ensure everyone ages with the autonomy they want, support they need, and dignity they deserve.


  • Kindness
  • Learning
  • Wisdom
  • Listening
  • Each Other

Leadership Team

Joan Kwiatkowski

Chief Executive Officer
Joan has worked as a healthcare administrator since the early 1980s in hospital settings and community mental health clinics. Joan has served as CEO since PACE-RI was founded in 2005.

Joan has a degree in psychology and philosophy from Boston College, a Master’s of Social Work from Boston University, and a certificate in Advanced Graduate Studies in Nonprofit Administration from Stanford University School of Business. From 2013-2016 Joan served as the Chair of the Board of the National PACE Association, and currently serves as the board’s treasurer.


Craig McAnaugh

Chief Financial Officer
At PACE, Craig is a member of the executive management team.  Craig provides oversight for the organization’s financial management and financial reporting requirements to CMS and EOHHS. 

Craig has decades of experience as a leader in the field of healthcare finance.  He has worked in senior management positions for both insurers and healthcare providers. 

Craig received bachelor’s degree in business administration with a focus in accounting from the University of Massachusetts/Lowell.  


Elena Marchand

Chief Human Resources Officer
As Chief Human Resources Officer, Elena is responsible for talent acquisition, employee relations, payroll, staff education and the retention of the PACE-RI workforce.

Elena joined the HR team at PACE-RI in 2017 and was promoted twice before assuming her current CHRO role. Elena's career, prior to and including her tenure at PACE-RI, has been spent dedicated to working within the nonprofit sector in various administrative, training, and healthcare management roles.

Elena received her bachelor’s degree in human services administration from Springfield College and her MBA in nonprofit leadership from New England College. She is a certified member of the Society for Human Resource Management.


Dr. Nicholas Nikolopoulos

Chief Medical Officer
Dr. Nicholas Nikolopoulos, DO, serves as a member of the PACE-RI executive management team. He is responsible for providing medical direction and supervision of primary care and allied health services at PACE-RI. As Chief Medical Officer, Dr. Nikolopoulos oversees quality improvement through the development of protocols, education, and best practices.

Dr. Nikolopoulos previously worked as a physician with Oak Street Health, South Shore Medical Center, and Prima Care. He received his degree in osteopathic medicine from the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his residency at Kent Hospital. He is certified in both Rhode Island and Massachusetts and has served on the board of directors of the Rhode Island Society of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons.


Michelle Lupoli

Chief of Clinical Services
Michelle has decades of experience in the healthcare industry having worked in both direct patient care and in management positions. .

At PACE, Michelle is a member of the executive management team and oversees the nursing, social work, home care, rehabilitation and nutrition components of our program.  Michelle promotes team integration for quality participant experiences, and also ensures that regulatory and contractual responsibilities are upheld.

Michelle received her associate’s degree in nursing from the Beth Israel School of Nursing in New York before studying at St. Joseph’s College in Brooklyn, New York for her bachelor of science degree in health administration.  She also holds a master’s degree in health services administration from Salve Regina University in Newport, Rhode Island.  


Ryan Girard

Chief of Operations
Over the past 20 years, Ryan has helped a vast array of individuals in the human services field. He began his career working with children as a home-based therapist and moved into the mental health field as a case manager and advanced to the title of program manager where he was responsible for running several facilities.

Ryan joined PACE-RI in 2013 as the day center director for the Westerly location and moved to the Providence site in 2018. Ryan now serves as the chief of operations and oversees the operations across all PACE-RI sites. Ryan received his bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from the University of Rhode Island in 2003.


Tom Boucher

Chief of External Affairs
As Chief of External Affairs, Tom is responsible for community & government relations and grant writing for PACE-RI. He also contributes to the organization’s business development and strategy.

Tom’s public affairs experience spans more than 20 years. He has been accountable for improving brand experience and managing constituent engagement in health care, technology, and government settings. He earned his B.A. in Political Science from Fairfield University, and completed a certificate in project management at Bryant University’s Executive Development Center.


Liz Boucher

Chief of Organizational Performance
Liz oversees professional development and compliance at PACE-RI. Previously, she worked at CareLink as chief operating officer and in clinical and project management positions, and at Boston College Graduate School of Social Work in project management.

Liz obtained a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University, an M.S.W. at Boston College, and a certificate in project management from Bryant University’s Executive Development Center. Liz is also a licensed, certified social worker.


Maryellen Girard

Chief of Growth
Maryellen has worked in the health and human services industry for nearly 20 years. She began her career in the mental health sector in 2003—working with adolescents in a therapeutic residential facility in Connecticut. In 2006, Maryellen moved to Rhode Island to serve as a case manager at an adult group home facility.

Maryellen joined PACE-RI in 2008 as an intake coordinator before moving into the role of health center manager and now serves as Chief of Growth. Maryellen received her bachelor of science degree in therapeutic recreation from the University of Connecticut in 2003.


Executive Committee


Danielle Kopf, CIA, CFSA, CRMA

Internal Audit Manager

Beacon Mutual Insurance Company


Dalissa Kelly, PharmaD

Director, Regulatory Pharmacy & Operations Pharmacy

Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island


Kim Denny

Training Specialist

Easter Seals RI


David DeJesus

Graduate Program Director

Healthcare Administration and Management

Salve Regina University

Board Members

Candidus Nwakasi, PhD

Assistant Professor

Department of Health Policy and Management

Providence College

Edward D’Arezzo

Retired Health Administrator


Marianne Raimondo, PhD


School of Business

Rhode Island College

Jeffrey Meyer

Information Technology Consultant


Whitney Mills

Investigator in the Center for Innovation in Long-Term Services and Supports

Providence VA Medical Center

Carlos Galiano

Director of Programs, Platforms and Payload Integration Department

Naval Undersea Warfare Center Division

Megan M. Herne, PHR, SHRM-CP

Director of Human Resources and Social Responsibility

Cooley Group

Ellen L. McGough, PhD, PT

Professor and Chair

Department of Physical Therapy

University of Rhode Island

Yasin Abul, MD

Assistant Professor of Medicine, Clinician Educator

Department of Internal Medicine

Alpert Medical School

Brown University

Mitchell Wice, MD, PhD

Assistant Professor of Medicine

Division of Geriatrics and Palliative Medicine

Alpert Medical School 

Brown University

Marie Ganim, PhD

Adjunct Assistant Professor of Health Services, Policy and Practice

School of Professional Studies

Brown University

Ellen McCreedy, PhD

Assistant Professor 

Center for Gerontology and Healthcare Research

School of Public Health

Brown University

Jayne Pawasauskas, PharmaD, BCPS

Clinical Professor 

College of Pharmacy

University of Rhode Island

Participant Advisory Committee

PACE-RI’s Participant Advisory Committee (PAC) gives participants a place to talk to other PACE-RI participants and to our staff. The PAC gives you the chance to think about our health plan and how we can make improvements to benefit all participants. To join our PAC, contact your day center director or social worker to learn more.