“Kevin began transforming New Jersey’s mental health system from the moment he joined the department five years ago. His constant focus on the important and innovative changes help people recover and resume productive lives,” said DHS Commissioner Jennifer Velez. “His vision and leadership in this new role benefits people here in New Jersey and throughout the country.”
“I am honored to help lead NASMHPD in shaping behavioral health policy for the country.” Martone said. “Given the convergence of the recession and healthcare reform, we are at a pivotal juncture in ensuring that people with mental illness benefit from the opportunities ahead of us.”
NASMHPD Executive Director Robert Glover said he was “delighted” Martone was elected and said his “outstanding leadership, positive energy, and recovery values are vital to the critical work ahead of us in ensuring behavioral health is included in all aspects of health care reform implementation."
Commissioner Velez, in February 2009, appointed Martone to serve as deputy commissioner, responsible for the Divisions of Mental Health Services (DMHS), Addiction Services, Deaf and Hard of Hearing, the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the Department’s Office of Emergency Management. He previously served as Assistant Commissioner of the Division of Mental Health Services.
Under Martone’s leadership, the Division has expanded supportive housing and consumer-operated services statewide, opened the new state-of-the-art Greystone Psychiatric Hospital while significantly reducing overcrowding in the State psychiatric hospitals in lieu of community placements for those ready for discharge, instituted wellness, recovery and smoking cessation programs in the five psychiatric hospitals and community system of care, and reduced overtime by roughly $10 million.
Martone’s one year term as NASMHMD president begins immediately. He had been serving an unexpired term as NASMHPD’s vice president since February, and has been a Board member since 2007.
In recent years, Martone also has been honored by the Coalition of Mental Health Consumer Organizations, the National Alliance on Mental Illness -NJ, the Mental Health Association of New Jersey, the NJ Association of Mental Health Agencies, and the Supportive Housing Association of NJ. He has taught in the Rutgers Graduate School of Social Work.
Prior to his appointment at DHS, Martone chaired the Housing Advisory Committee on New Jersey Governor’s Task Force on Mental Health, which made numerous recommendations developing more housing opportunities. He also served as the Vice President of the Supportive Housing Association (SHA) of New Jersey, where he played a key role in advancing the policy direction of SHA with both the state and provider community. He was formerly employed as the President/CEO for Advance Housing, a non-profit supportive housing provider in northern New Jersey, and guided its transformation into a leading supportive housing provider. His experiences at Advance Housing have afforded him a strong clinical background and an ability to influence complex systems that impact mental health consumers.
Martone, 39, is a Licensed Social Worker and has a Masters of Social Work degree from Rutgers University. He lives in Pennington with his wife and two children.