The Hospital Association of Rhode Island yesterday named as its new president M. Teresa Paiva Weed, who has served as a state senator for more than two decades, most recently as Senate president. Paiva Weed joins HARI following the departure of Michael Souza who has served as president since 2014. “We believe her skills, insight and dedication to our state make her the ideal candidate as we work to ensure access to affordable, quality health care for all Rhode Islanders,” said Christopher Lehrach, M.D., chair of the HARI Board of Trustees. As a legislator, Paiva Weed was a major developer of the state’s Medicaid managed care program (RIte Care), lead sponsor of legislation creating a statewide health information exchange (CurrentCare), and played a key role in bills addressing mental health, substance abuse and lead poisoning. “Hospitals not only care for Rhode Islanders in their greatest time of need, they are also central to a strong economy,” Paiva Weed said. “I look forward to working to protect this important mission.”