Our Staff
Susan E. Stevenson, M.Ed., is executive director of FRIENDS WAY, and affiliate of Gateway Healthcare and Lifespan, Inc., where she is responsible for providing leadership for the program and administrative operations. Susan received her bachelor’s degree in elementary and special education from the University of Iowa (1974) and her master’s degree in behavior and learning disorders from Kent State University (1979). Her post graduate work has been done at Providence College and RI College in public policy and leadership. She serves on numerous boards of community organizations, and is active on state committees for policies affecting systems of care across service systems. She has taught courses and conducted workshops on early childhood, special needs populations, behavior analysis and positive behavior supports, and specialized treatment strategies. Susan has presented widely, directed numerous grants, and has publications in the areas of early childhood, behavior analysis, human rights, staff training, program design, systems of care, and management systems. She is also the executive director of Capital City Community Centers, a social service organization in Providence, RI, and the director for Child & Family Therapeutic Outreach Services, an intensive behavioral health program at Gateway.

OUR BOARD OF DIRECTORS

Volunteer!

ROBERT P. ANDRADE  Chair  
Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
Pawtucket Credit Union (retired)

MELINDA GAUDREAU Vice Chair 
Vice President of Branch Administration
Pawtucket Credit Union

MARK RUSSELL  Treasurer
Funeral Director, Monahan Drabble & Sherman


WALTER DIAS  Secretary
Chief Operating Officer, Butler Hospital (retired)

ALISON ALBANESE
Corporate Attorney - Adler, Pollock and Sheehan


LUIS FELICIO
Supervisor Enrollment & Billing, Delta Dental of RI


CAROLYN HAMES
Associate Professor/Nursing
University of Rhode Island

CAROLYN KYLE  
Director of Marketing, PR and Physician Relations
Landmark Medical Center/Prime Healthcare Services

PAULA PRATT
Vice President and Brand Manager
Bank of Rhode Island
                
JOSEPH RUGGIERO
Business Executive 

HENRY SACHS, MD
Chief Medical Officer of Child Psychiatry - Lifespan

JOSEPH VAN VLECK
Financial Advisor, Morgan Stanley

CHERYL WEESNER
former Finance Manager, Synopsys Corporation


  
Volunteers are the heart of FRIENDS WAY and the families are its soul. Approximately 15 volunteers each session night are needed to ensure the best quality of care for our families. We invite individuals who are caring, sensitive and committed to explore volunteer opportunities at FRIENDS WAY. Read more . . .
Ryan Loiselle, LICSW, is the program director for FRIENDS WAY. In his role, Ryan manages the day-to-day operations including intake, referrals and community outreach, as well as supervising the volunteer facilitators. Ryan began his tenure at FRIENDS WAY in 2001 as a volunteer group facilitator. 

Prior to joining FRIENDS WAY, he worked at Merrimack Valley Hospice with a concentration in pediatric palliative care and children’s bereavement. He also served as the program director of “Jeff’s Place”, a bereavement center in Wayland, MA created by FRIENDS WAY founder, Jenny Kaplan Schreiber. Ryan continues his role as program director with Manitou Experience, a free, one-week boys’ bereavement camp in Maine. 

Ryan studied at the University of Rhode Island and received his degree in Human Development and Family Studies, with a minor in Thanatology (the study of death, loss, grief, and bereavement). He went on to Simmons College in Boston, MA and received his masters in ​social work.

Additionally, he has presented at several conferences for NASW (National Association of Social Workers) and for NAGC (National Alliance for Grieving Children) on children's bereavement.