Paul Bridgewater is President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Detroit Area Agency on Aging (DAAA), one of 16 Area Agencies on Aging in the state of Michigan and 622 in the nation. DAAA is a regional senior planning, funding and advocacy agency. Bridgewater is proud to assist older persons, adults with disabilities and family caregivers by removing social, economic, physical and psychological barriers.
He began his career at the DAAA as a gerontologist in 1980. By 2007, he became the President and CEO of the multi-million dollar non-profit organization. Under his leadership, the agency has grown from having 12 to more than 150 employees with an annual budget of over $50 million and the operations continue to substantially expand.
Bridgewater is credited for his many accomplishments; establishing one of the country’s largest Meals on Wheels programs, operating Michigan’s top care management and home care support services, developing the first Area Agency on Aging in the country that targets Medicare recipients with diabetes regardless of age, creating a Metro Detroit region-wide Medicare/Medicaid counseling program, forming the Detroit Long Term Care System Change Task Force to engage stakeholders in the reform of skilled nursing facilities and spearheading the research on health disparities among Detroit’s elderly for the award winning report Dying Before Their Time I & II.
Bridgewater has received much recognition for his significant work, including the Women’s Informal Network “Men Who Support Women” Award, the ElderLaw Vanguard Award, Who’s Who in Black Detroit, the Adult Well-Being Services Outstanding Media Advocacy Award, the Alpha Kappa Alpha Foundation of Detroit Award, the Detroit Community Health Connection Partner of the Year Award, the Black Family Development, Inc. Dr. Gerald K. Smith Humanitarian Award, the Wayne State University School of Social Work Alumni Association’s Citizen of the Year Award, the Saginaw Valley State University Distinguished Alumni Award, the New Metropolitan Detroit Club of the National Association of Negro Business and Professional Women’s Club, Inc. Fredrick Douglas Award, the University-Community Senior Fellow from Michigan State University, the Black Slate Lifetime Achievement Award.
He has served as a member of the National Caucus and Center on Black Aged, president of the Michigan Area Agencies on Aging Association, chairperson of the Michigan Minority Aging Network, president of the Michigan Society of Gerontology and co-chair for the Detroit Branch NAACP 55th Annual Fight for Freedom Fund Dinner.
Bridgewater received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Saginaw Valley State College and a master’s degree in Public Administration from Oakland University.