Founder and CEO, ResponderStrong
Rhonda Kelly is founder and CEO ofResponderStrong, which works across branch boundaries of law enforcement, fire, EMS, and dispatch to improve mental health supports for responders and their families. Kelly was a firefighter and paramedic with Aurora Fire in Colorado for 17 years, while working part-time as an emergency room and psychiatric ER nurse. As health and safety officer for her agency, she recognized that responder mental wellness required larger support, and proposed the initiative that evolved into ResponderStrong, now housed at the National Mental Health Innovation Center at University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Kelly was previously a seagoing oceanographic technician and spent four years in the Antarctic working aboard icebreakers.