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Our work


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Russell Palk

Board Chair, 2021-22

As I transition out of the Chair of the Board of Directors for Bridges for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, I am excited to reflect on what 2021-2022 brought to the communities we serve as we continued to navigate a global pandemic.  We found our “new normal” and continued our standards of excellence and relationship while also leveraging the innovation and agility we have continued to demonstrate.   

The Bridges’ mission is meaningful to me because I am deaf.  Thirteen years ago, I lost my hearing. Having lived as hearing person into adulthood, it was a dramatic change for me, but I now successfully use a cochlear implant.  Searching for a way to serve the deaf and hard of hearing community, I found Bridges three years ago and immediately knew I had found my “home.”  Serving on a very talented, diverse Board of Directors that prioritizes leadership representation from the D/deaf and hard of hearing communities and working with great leaders like Nancy Denning-Martin, I continue to be excited about the future of Bridges for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing and the growth and leadership of the communities we serve both in Middle and West Tennessee. 

We are continuing a trajectory of growth in the depth, quality, and number of programs and services we offer from birth through elder years and in our physical reach to deliver those programs and services. It’s an exciting time to be part of the Bridges family. I look forward to leading and serving and hope you will become a part of our family, too.   --RP


Veronica Mallett, M.D.

Board Chair, 2022-23

As I transition into the role of Chair for this dynamic board of directors, I recognize how fortunate Bridges for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing is to have strong, consistent leadership. As we have seen during the pandemic, we are more than prepared to meet the challenges before us. I am excited about our growth this past year and look to this year with great anticipation and energy. Our services will continue to grow and thrive, our reach into rural areas ever expanding, new access created by Access on Demand, new awareness of the necessity of including disability in diversity initiatives. 


I see Bridges for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, in Middle Tennessee and West Tennessee and the bordering states we serve, as a connector of communities, one that actively seeks opportunities to share communication, to raise awareness, and to build understanding. Through programs that support the youngest to the eldest, Bridges offers tools and interventions to navigate many of this world’s complexities and to build a more just and inclusive world for all. As a physician, a leader, and the daughter of a late deafened father, I have many perspectives on how outstanding this nonprofit corporation really is. 


The board of directors is engaged and dedicated to support this incredible team as we navigate what challenges may come and seize all the opportunities before us. We believe great things are happening and will happen, and we invite your support and participation.        --VM

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Nancy Denning-Martin,

President & CEO

Recently, someone from one of the major sports teams in Nashville reached out and wanted to visit us to learn more about who we are and what we do. During that visit, I asked, since he had no direct connection to the communities we serve, what drew him to us. He said he had been searching for the place where he wanted to get involved, and he found us online and started digging through our website and our social media. He watched an interview from a couple of years ago, and then he said, "I love what you do and the way you do it. There's a glow about this place." 


He's right. There is a glow about this place, this work, and this community, and I forget sometimes just how much it can strike someone who's never experienced anything like it. Six years ago, when I walked through the doors, I was excited to be here and for the opportunity to serve this mission. Six years later, I call this my happy place. Each and every day, we push ourselves to be more and to do more. You won't find a more strategically, efficiently, or effectively run business, and you won't find one run with more compassion, empathy, ethics, connection, and fun. Here, I have experienced the real power of community. I’ve found that everything I had done previously has served me well here but has been amplified by the immersion in a welcoming, joyful, proud, encouraging, resilient community that had, and has, so much to teach me.

We continue to define this civil rights work and to seek to engage and empower the community that leads us. From birth through elder years, we identify barriers and needs, removing the former and meeting the latter, and all of it is done on a foundation of excellence, innovation, and love. I am thankful for the privilege of leading and serving, and I am thankful for every staff member, board director, volunteer, community member, and supporter who helps shape our work so generously. I look forward to each and every day and all the years to come. 


to build access, equity, and inclusion in partnership with the D/deaf, Deaf-Blind, and Hard of Hearing communities through advocacy, education, empowerment, and effective communication


 a more just and inclusive world with no barriers


In our service and decision making, we strive to remain faithful to and to express these values:

Integrity, acting with fidelity to our values 


Intention, acting with purpose and meaning

Honesty, valuing truth

Relationship, being in community with one another

Respect, acting with honor and kindness for all

Stewardship, respecting and utilizing wisely those precious resources of time, talents, people, and finances entrusted to us

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935 Edgehill Avenue

Nashville, TN 37203

615.248.8828 (voice)

615.290.5147 (video phone)


2655 Union Avenue Ext.

Memphis, TN 38112

901.701.6800 (voice)

901.61203416 (video phone)

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