8-22-18 Press Release

Published: August 21, 2018

Kelly Martin headshot


Bridgewell Mourns Loss of CEO Kelly J. Martin

Peabody, Mass. – August 20, 2018 – It is with great sadness that Bridgewell announces the death of its president and CEO Kelly J. Martin. Ms. Martin passed away peacefully on August 18.

“Bridgewell has lost a true visionary and leader, and the community has lost an amazing person,” said Robin Sutherland, chair of Bridgewell’s Board of Directors. “Kelly has been an integral part of Bridgewell for more than three decades, working diligently to protect the rights of people with disabilities and other life challenges, and we have all been so fortunate to know and work with her. We have not only lost a colleague and mentor, but a dear friend.”

Ms. Martin joined Bridgewell as a college student 35 years ago. Even at a young age, Ms. Martin knew she wanted to be part of an organization that was empowering people with life challenges to lead self-directed and independent lives. Ms. Martin’s impact on the organization was immediate; after starting as a direct support professional she quickly advanced in a variety of direct care, management and leadership roles.

As chief operations officer, Ms. Martin oversaw the growth and expansion of services to meet families’ needs, such as developing Bridgewell’s autism division and establishing three separate day programs and 10 community residences in just five years. In addition, Ms. Martin played a key role in the successful merger with Project COPE, expanding Bridgewell services to include substance use disorder and recovery programs. In September 2017, Ms. Martin was named president and CEO of Bridgewell after serving in an interim role as the successor to Robert S. Stearns.

Ms. Martin earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Work from Suffolk University in Boston and an MBA from Salem State College. She was a surveyor for the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), a member of the Association of Developmental Disabilities Providers (ADDP) Board of Directors, the North Shore Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, The Provider’s Council Board of Directors and member of several committees of ADDP, The Provider’s Council and the Association for Behavioral Health.

“Words cannot adequately express this loss to our organization and our community,” said Christopher Tuttle, interim CEO of Bridgewell. “Kelly embodied Bridgewell’s mission to enrich the lives of those we serve, and we will be forever indebted to Kelly for the vision, service and quality of care that she brought to everyone here at Bridgewell.”

Ms. Martin is survived by her husband, three daughters, stepson, mother and brother.

Visiting hours will be held at Cuffe-McGinn Funeral Home, 157 Maple Street, Lynn, Mass. on Tuesday, August 21, from 12:30 p.m. to 3 p.m. and from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. In lieu of flowers, Ms. Martin has asked that donations be made to Bridgewell at bridgewell.org/online-donations.


About Bridgewell

Bridgewell is a nonprofit social and human services organization dedicated to strengthening communities. Headquartered in Peabody, Mass., Bridgewell empowers people with disabilities and other life challenges to live safe, self-directed and productive lives. Bridgewell delivers support through community housing, day programs, outpatient treatment, recovery services, education and employment training. Bridgewell’s staff of more than 1,400 professionals serves approximately 6,300 people and their families. Bridgewell is accredited by the Commission on the Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) and fully licensed by the state. For more information, visit bridgewell.org.


MEDIA CONTACT                                                                                                            

Ryan Levasseur

Greenough, on behalf of Bridgewell

(617) 275-6522

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