A few reasons to be cheerful in RI


Big quantities of red ink will remain the focus when the General Assembly resumes business this afternoon, but there's some good news to be found beyond the anticipated election of the first female Senate president, not to mention the first Asian-American leader of a Rhode Island community.

The folks at Advocacy Solutions sent this out this list as part of a recent holiday greeting:

Rhode Island is number one in adult flu vaccinations
The Department of Health announced that Rhode Island had the nation's highest rate in 2007 for influenza vaccination among adults 65 years and older. According to the CDC's 2007 Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance Survey (BRFSS) data, Rhode Island's 2007 rate is 80%; the national average for influenza immunization is 72%.

The 2008 State New Economy Index named Rhode Island a top performer
According to the 2008 report, Rhode Island ranked:

  • As the "Top Mover" in the nation for inventor patents
  • 2nd in the nation for health IT
  • 2nd in the nation in broadband communications
  • 3rd in the nation for industry-performed research as a percentage of total worker earnings
  • 4th in the nation for non-industry investments into Research & Development
  • 5th in the nation for scientists and engineers as a percentage of the state's workforce

Rhode Island has one of the best Medicaid health plans
In a survey conducted jointly by the National Committee for Quality Assurance (NCQA) and U.S. News and World Report, Rhode Island's three Medicaid health plans were ranked among the best in the nation.  The Medicaid plans of Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island (4th), Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island (8th), and United Health Care of New England (10th) were all ranked in the top 10.  The annual rankings are based on consumer assessments and measures of success in regards to both treating and preventing illness. Out of a possible score of 100: Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island received a score of 89.1; Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Rhode Island received a score of 88.0; and United Health Care of New England received a score of 86.8.  By comparison, the top Medicaid plan, Fallon Community Health (Massachusetts) received a score of 89.8.

Rhode Island is one of the best places in the country for marine businesses
Thanks to our rich maritime heritage, large coastline, and cooperation between government agencies, private companies, and educational institutions, Soundings Trade Only magazine has recognized Rhode Island as one of the best places in the country for marine businesses.

Rhode Island has one of the lowest rates of uninsured children in the nation
According to a report by Rhode Island Kids Count, Rhode Island continues to have one of the lowest rates of uninsured children in the nation.  Only 6.9% of Rhode Island's children were uninsured in 2007, compared to a national average of 11%.  According to the Kaiser Family Foundation, that puts Rhode Island among the top-10 for lowest rate of uninsured children.

Rhode Island was first in e-prescribing
Rhode Island was the first state in the nation to implement true electronic prescribing. Rhode Island selected by SureScripts as the national beta test site and birthplace of electronic prescribing. In 2006, Child Magazine ranked Rhode Island as the safest place in the nation to raise a child...listing our e-prescribing initiative as one of the reasons why.

Rhode Island has great bike paths and beautiful scenery
The East Bay Bike Path runs 14.5 miles from East Providence to Bristol almost all along the water. Users can enjoy the sights, sounds and smells as the path takes them by coves and marshes, over bridges, and through State Parks. The state has similar paths elsewhere - in places like Coventry and South County.

Rhode Island was first to declare independence
Rhode Island's tradition of independence and dissent gave it a prominent role in the American Revolution. In 1772, the first bloodshed of the American Revolution took place in Rhode Island when a band of Providence residents attacked a grounded British ship for enforcing unpopular British trade regulations. This incident would come to be known as the Gaspee Affair. Keeping with its culture of defiance, Rhode Island was the first of the original thirteen colonies to declare its independence from Great Britain on May 4, 1776.

We're home to the first champion in baseball history
The Providence Grays won the first World Championship in baseball history in 1884. The team played their home games at the old Messer Street Field in Providence. The Grays played in the National League from 1878 to 1885. They defeated the New York Metropolitans of the American Association in a best of five game series at the Polo Grounds in New York. Providence won three straight games to become the first champions in major league baseball history.

Babe Ruth played for the minor league Providence Grays of 1914 and hit his only official minor league home run for that team before being recalled by the Grays parent club, the Boston Red Stockings.

We never agreed to this one!
Rhode Island never ratified the 18th Amendment establishing national prohibition of alcohol.

Rhode Island has more donuts than the other guys
Rhode Island features both the highest number and highest density of coffee/doughnut shops per capita in the country, with 342 coffee/doughnut shops in the state. Thank you, Dunkin Donuts.

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