***PRESS RELEASE***

Bridgemark Addiction Recovery Services is the New Name of Kent House

Bridgemark Honors Key Supporters in Fight for Addiction Awareness including Congressman Kennedy and Senate President Paiva Weed During National Addiction Recovery Month


Warwick, RI –Today at the State House with nearly 100 advocates, elected officials, clients and staff in attendance, Kent House, a 30-year old, Warwick-based addiction recovery center, unveiled its new name: Bridgemark Addiction Recovery Services. With plans to increase outreach to those coping with addiction in this difficult economy and in recognition of National Addiction Recovery Month, Bridgemark also announced its advertising campaign, “I’m so glad you’re back,” focusing on life’s precious moments that may pass one by when coping with the disease of addiction. The campaign begins running on radio, in print and on buses today.

“We are excited and pleased to announce our new name, Bridegmark Addiction Recovery Services,” said Christine T. Harkins, president and ceo. “In this time of foreclosures, electricity shut offs and layoffs, people are more challenged than ever. Bridgemark has forged ahead, moving to create and implement new outreach efforts to be sure people know we are here to guide them.  We have guided people in recovery for more than 30 years and look forward to lending a hand to those in need during our next 30 years.”

Bridgemark honored five individuals for their advocacy, strength and voice on behalf of those coping with the disease of addiction. U.S. Congressman Patrick J. Kennedy received the Legislative Advocacy Award; Senate President M. Teresa Paiva Weed was honored with the Advocate Award; Fmr. Representatives Russell Bramley and Neil Corkery, executive director of the Drug and Alcohol Treatment Association (DATA), each received a Groundbreaker Award; and Victoria Quinn and her family were honored with the Courage Award. Additionally, Charles Cicero, a longstanding supporter of Kent House, was recognized as an outstanding volunteer.

“I have been proud and honored to be part of an organization that has provided 30 years of tireless work supporting Rhode Islanders coping with the disease of addiction. Addiction is a disease that affects people regardless of income, education or color, and Bridgemark will continue to  provide them with the tools they need to achieve success in recovery,” said Dan Pendergast, board chair.

Craig S. Stenning, executive director of the Department of Mental Health, Retardation & Hospitals discussed the changes and evolution of the mental health system in RI as well as the effect of a difficult economy. Two former Kent House clients who are now both counselors at Bridgemark were on hand to share their personal stories on recovery and discussed how Kent House helped them through the process.

“It was difficult to admit I had a drinking problem.  The supportive staff at Bridgemark pointed me in the right direction and led me to the process of recovery,” said Daniel Regan, former client.  “Five years later, I am pursuing a degree in social work with a concentration on addiction at Rhode Island College and I am a counselor in training at Bridgemark.  It’s the most enjoyable and rewarding job I have ever had.”

Bridgemark Outreach and Ad Campaign Launch
Showcasing a person in recovery coming back home, the new advertising campaign including radio, print and bus advertisements will be launched today. This disease can be difficult on families, and when a parent reaches sobriety, they truly return home – more aware and more engaged than ever. This ad campaign brings the message of recovery to Rhode Islanders.  Additionally, the ads point to the organization’s dedication to continue delivering the same quality services, stating, “Our commitment remains the same. Only our name has changed.”

Bridgemark also announced its new website, www.bridgemark.org. The website offers an easy to navigate design that provides a description of the organization, lists the services offered and other critical information to assist any concerned family member or person coping with addiction.

Along with the new name, a new brochure describing Bridgemark’s services has been produced and will be distributed throughout the state.

About Bridgemark Addiction Recovery Services, formerly known as Kent House
Bridgemark Addiction Recovery Services, formerly known as Kent House is a nonprofit addiction recovery center established in Warwick, RI in 1975 with more than 30 years of experience in treating drug, alcohol, and other addictions. Bridgemark offers outpatient, residential programs and a full continuum of non-medical behavioral health services. The organization is committed to providing a judgment free, stable, and safe environment for its clients to work toward a sober lifestyle.  Bridgemark is one of a few agencies to offer a fully funded D/deaf services program and all its services in Spanish. For more information, call  401-781-2700.

-30-