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2023 Walk to Cure Arthritis Honorees


Thomas Barrett, MD
University Orthopedics
Medical Honoree

Dr. Thomas Barrett is a board-certified fellowship trained Adult Reconstructive Surgeon at University Orthopedics. Dr. Barrett has devoted his practice to the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis, including first time and revision hip and knee replacements, as well as partial knee replacements. He specializes in direct anterior total hip replacements, robotic hip and knee replacements and same day discharges. Dr. Barrett completed medical school and residency at Albany Medical College. After residency Dr. Barrett was selected for an advanced joint reconstruction fellowship training at Baylor College of Medicine. In 2023 Dr. Barrett was named Rhode Island Monthly Top Doctor.


Brenda J. Burke, DO
Ortho Rhode Island
Medical Honoree

Dr. Brenda Burke is a board-certified rheumatologist specializing in the diagnosis and treatment of arthritis and other diseases of the joints, bones, and muscles. She treats a broad base of rheumatologic disease including osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and more.

Dr. Burke is inspired by her patients, whose courage and perseverance are qualities she believes everyone can learn and grow from. She finds the challenge of rheumatology rewarding – while many rheumatologic diseases have excellent treatment options, they are often difficult to diagnose. Dr. Burke also prizes the collaborative nature of her practice, as teamwork results in better patient outcomes.


Sabina Matos
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Community Honorary Chair

Sabina Matos is the 70th Lieutenant Governor of Rhode Island. She is the first person of color to hold this post and the first Afro-Latina to hold statewide office in America. She has lived with rheumatoid arthritis for over a decade. As Lieutenant Governor, she works to create affordable housing and chairs the Long Term Care Coordinating Council.

Sabina was born in the Dominican Republic and emigrated to America in 1994. Before becoming Lieutenant Governor, she served as a Providence City Council member from 2011 until 2019 and as Providence City Council President from 2019 until 2021.


Lee Costa
Rheumatoid Arthritis
Adult Honoree

Since Lee was 33, she's been living with rheumatoid arthritis. Her treatment journey includes various prescriptions and biologic injections to multiple surgeries – all of which had/have benefits and downfalls. Lee is a mom of 3-year-old twins and works full time while trying to co-manage a blended household including stepchildren (more twins!). Rheumatoid arthritis doesn’t define who she is but it certainly impacts her life. Having children was a gift that definitely came with sacrifices. But with these challenges, Lee is a firm believer of taking it one day at a time, living in the moment and looking forward and upward.


Grace Tokarski
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis
Youth Honoree

Grace Tokarski is 16 years old and has had juvenile idiopathic arthritis since she was 11. In middle school, she started to experience joint pain and a plethora of other symptoms. After many specialist appointments, and a surgery, she finally received her arthritis diagnosis. In the coming years Grace would also be diagnosed with celiac disease, amplified musculoskeletal pain syndrome, postural tachycardia syndrome, cavus foot, chronic fatigue, and chronic hypertension. It can be very difficult, as a young woman, living with all these conditions, but arthritis does not define Grace and she is ready to fight for a cure.