Business Spotlight

Business Spotlight


Westerly Hospital appoints new director of rehab services

WESTERLY — Chris Smith, MSPT, has been named Westerly Hospital’s manager of rehabilitation services. Smith is a graduate of the University of Connecticut and is a master’s-prepared physical therapist with more than 10 years of clinical and managerial experience.

Smith will oversee Westerly Hospital’s comprehensive outpatient therapy services at its 81 Beach St. location, as well as inpatient services at Westerly Hospital. Outpatient services include physical therapy, aquatic therapy, wound care, occupational therapy, and speech and language pathology services for all ages.

Prior to his new position, Smith provided clinical rehabilitation services at Lawrence + Memorial’s Flanders outpatient rehabilitation facility and inpatient services at L+M Hospital in New London.

For more information on Westerly Hospital’s rehabilitation services, call 401-348-3346 or visit

Wash. Trust announces four promotions

WESTERLY — The Washington Trust Co. has announced the following promotions:

• Dawne M. Breen, of Charlestown, has been promoted to assistant vice president, Retail Lending Systems, and is responsible for maximizing system effectiveness, strengthening data integrity and improving the end-user experience. A Washington Trust employee since 1988, Breene holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration from the University of Phoenix and a master’s in business ethics and compliance from New England College of Business and Finance (NECB). Additionally, she serves as an adjunct professor for NECB, and was recognized with the 2012 Faculty of the Year Award.

• Christopher M. Grasso, of Mystic, has been promoted to business banking officer, and is responsible for managing and retaining relationships with existing business banking customers in southeastern Connecticut, Westerly and Richmond. A Washington Trust employee since 2005, Grasso holds a bachelor’s in marketing from Bryant University.

• Erine E. Lewis, of Westerly, has been promoted to assistant BSA/AML compliance officer, and is responsible for working with key members of other bank departments to develop and implement Bank Secrecy Act and anti-money laundering policies and procedures. A Washington Trust employee since 2011, Lewis holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Rhode Island and is an anti-money laundering certified associate. She is also a member of the Jonnycake Center board of directors.

• Lori J. Siciliano, of Westerly, has been promoted to vice president, portfolio manager in the bank’s Commercial Lending Department, and is responsible for preparing detailed credit analyses and assisting loan officers in underwriting commercial loans. A Washington Trust employee since 1991, Siciliano holds a bachelor’s degree in accounting from the University of Rhode Island.

Koi Japanese restaurant opens in downtown Westerly

WESTERLY — Koi Japanese restaurant, the only Japanese restaurant in downtown Westerly, has opened at 65 High St.

Koi has the area’s most diverse selection of Japanese cuisine: sushi, steak, seafood noodle soups and more. The chefs use fresh, high-quality brand products to create a memorable dining experience.

Koi offers a full-service bar and is open seven days a week. It also offers free delivery within 10 miles of downtown.

The restaurant is open Monday through Thursday, 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.; until 10:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday; and from noon to 9:30 p.m. on Sunday. Call 401-348-8886. Koi will be serving New Year’s Eve. Visit

Charter Oak awards $371,100 in Gold Rewards bonuses

GROTON — Charter Oak Federal Credit Union has awarded $371,100 in annual $100 cash bonuses to its Gold Rewards members, which is the largest payout since the credit union created the member-appreciation program in 2010.

In total, Charter Oak has paid out more than $1.5 million in annual cash bonuses and ATM rebates to Gold Rewards members since the program’s inception.

“The size of this year’s cash bonus is indicative of both our financial success and our deep appreciation of our Gold Rewards members,” said Brian A. Orenstein, Charter Oak’s chief executive officer. “Gold Rewards is our special way of rewarding, and thanking, our members who make Charter Oak their primary place to bank. It’s also our way of saying happy holidays to our Gold Rewards members.”

Charter Oak, which is eastern Connecticut’s largest credit union, established its unique Gold Rewards member-appreciation program in September 2010 to add value and financial rewards for those members with important account relationships. Gold Rewards offers a host of benefits, including the annual bonus, ATM rebates, special rates on deposits, and discounts on new personal loans and auto loans.

Mystic Marriott donates $1,000 to Ronald McDonald House

GROTON — On behalf of the associates at the Mystic Marriott Hotel & Spa in Groton, the Waterford Group Charitable Foundation recently made a donation of $1,000 to the Ronald McDonald House of Connecticut, as well as a donation from the hotel associates of canned food and other non-perishables to the organization’s food pantry.

The Ronald McDonald House of Connecticut is located in New Haven and provides rooms to families of children who are being treated at nearby hospitals and healthcare facilities.

R.I. Senior Care office aims to hire 20 caregivers

NORTH KINGSTOWN — The Home Instead Senior Care office serving Rhode Island has announced that it expects to add 20 caregivers to its existing staff in the remainder of 2013.

The company’s anticipated growth is a key indicator of the increasing demand for home-care professionals and the strength of the industry. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of personal-care aides is expected to grow by 70 percent from 2010 to 2020, much faster than the average for all occupations.

“The rate of aging adults is increasing faster than the economy, and talented caregivers are in great demand,” said Gary Leiter, owner of the Home Instead Senior Care office serving Rhode Island.

The majority of the positions will be part time, offering great flexibility to those managing busy schedules.

The growth of the Home Instead Senior Care franchise network is particularly good news for older Americans searching for second careers. Franchisees anticipate mature workers will fill many of the job openings. Currently, about 30 percent of the network’s employees are 60 and older. For many, serving as a Home Instead caregiver helps them fulfill personal desires to give back, while offering job flexibility frequently sought by retirees. Many part-time opportunities are available for those seeking to stay active professionally, at reduced hours.

Home Instead CAREGiver positions also represent viable career paths for younger Americans who want to help others or pursue caregiving careers. Personal experiences inspired a large number of the current employees to pursue caregiving careers.

For more information about current employment opportunities, call 401-667-2923.

Bank earns 15th consecutive ‘superior’ rating

WILLIMANTIC, Conn. — Savings Institute Bank & Trust has been recognized for the 15th consecutive quarter as a superior five-star rated bank by BauerFinancial Inc., a national bank rating and research firm. Bauer Financial’s rating system is based upon an analysis of current financial data as supplied by federal banking regulators, with the five-star rating indicating the bank’s solid capital position, profitability, sound asset quality and balance sheet strength.

“The board and I commend the bank’s staff for their exceptional service,” said Rheo Brouillard, bank president and CEO. “Our officers and employees are difference makers not only on behalf of the bank, but of the community”

New England housing market recovery progressing

NATICK, Mass. — The Re/Max of New England November Monthly Housing Report indicates that while home sales are seasonally slowing, median prices are up by 2.6 percent and pending sales are up 30.2 percent over November 2012. Vermont is the only state in the region showing a home-sales increase, year over year. Every state except New Hampshire and Vermont have less inventory year over year.

“The New England housing market recovery has progressed on many fronts,” commented Dan Breault, EVP/regional director of Re/Max of New England. “As we look to the new year, we need to keep an eye on the new mortgage rules and how they could impact home buyers able to enter the market.”

Overall home sales show decreases month over month, an expected trend for this time of the year.

In Rhode Island, home transactions fell 10.3 percent, while median price rose 6.5 percent. Pending sales were up 7.7 percent year over year. In Connecticut, the number of total transactions is down 2.5 percent year over year, while the median price is down slightly at 1.3 percent. Pending sales were up 7.7 percent year over year.

Miriam Hospital recruiting patients to test C. diff vaccine

PROVIDENCE — The Miriam Hospital is recruiting patients for a study to test the effectiveness of a new vaccine to treat Clostridium difficile infection (CDI).

CDI, commonly known as C. diff, is a severe intestinal disease caused by bacteria. Symptoms range from mild diarrhea to life-threatening bowel disease and often include dehydration, abdominal pain and spasms. Risk of C. diff infection increases with age, antibiotic treatments and time spent in hospitals or nursing homes, where multiple cases can lead to infection outbreaks. Each year, 14,000 American deaths are attributed to C. diff.

The fight against C. diff has become a global effort among researchers because it is such a significant health care concern. Now, the American Food and Drug administration has approved a Phase 3 research trial to study the efficacy of a new vaccine called “Cdiffense.”

The Miriam Hospital is one of many sites worldwide taking part in this research study. The hospital is currently recruiting volunteers to evaluate the effects of the vaccine for the prevention of CDI episodes in at-risk individuals. Individuals who are 50 or older and planning hospitalization of more than 72 hours for surgical procedures or who have had at least two hospital stays, each lasting more than 72 hours, and have received systemic antibiotics in the past year, may qualify to participate.

To inquire about eligibility, call Pamela Poethke at 401-793-4971.

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