Photo credit: Kristin Chalmers

Sherman Pines

Newport, Rhode Island

Sherman Pines is an outstanding leader in efforts to improve health care for older adults and people with disabilities in Rhode Island, motivated daily by the personal satisfaction he derives from knowing his advocacy work helps so many people. He is the Chairman of the Implementation Council for Rhode Island’s dual eligible Demonstration Project, the Integrated Care Initiative (ICI). In that capacity, he has worked closely with state officials to involve consumers in oversight of the ICI.

Sherman has also been very involved with efforts in Rhode Island to improve the quality of Non- Emergency Medical Transportation in the state, working closely with both the Rhode Island Organizing Project and the Senior Agenda Coalition of Rhode Island on that issue. When Rhode Island switched to a new NEMT contractor last year, Sherman was determined to see them start on the right foot, so that the problems that had been rampant with the previous contractor would not be repeated. He took part in early listening sessions with the new transportation provider, later becoming a member of the provider’s advisory committee.

Thanks to the consumer feedback efforts that Sherman has helped to organize, the number of complaints has been dropping steadily. The NEMT provider has agreed to attend the ICI implementation council meeting every month to share statistics about the number of complaints, and what the company is doing to redress them.

Sherman says about his blossoming role as an advocacy leader over the past several years, “I fell in love with helping people. There’s nothing that means more to me than getting a question answered for someone, to resolve a problem they are having and improve their life.”