About our Organization

Merakey is a leading developmental, behavioral health, and education non-profit provider offering a breadth of integrated services to individuals and communities across the country. We leverage our size and expertise to develop innovative solutions and new models of care to meet the needs of individuals, their families, public and private healthcare funders and community partner organizations. We recognize that complex needs require a holistic approach. With our experience, expertise and compassion, we empower everyone within our communities to reach their fullest potential.

At Merakey, we do not have to refer individuals out of our system for additional services, but rather we can design a system around that person. Merakey continues to be the safety net for people who otherwise could not afford care. In spite of financial challenges and dwindling resources, we continue to pursue excellence in all aspects of care and treatment. The work of Merakey is anchored in the firm belief that it is every individual’s right to achieve growth, dignity, and fulfillment in their lives. Surrounding professional staff with the best in technology and supports, Merakey is a leader in the industry and remains committed to helping people...one individual at a time.

Our name, Merakey, is inspired by a modern Greek word, meaning to put something of yourself into your work, or to do something with soul, creativity or love. This concept illustrates the compassion and integrity that underscores everything we do. The inclusion of the word “key” in the name also positions the organization as a key to helping individuals and communities open doors to their future. At Merakey, we put our heart and soul into exceptional care and services.


CPC seal

Merakey has adopted a culture where everyone is committed to providing high quality and compliant services to individuals in our care, where they feel safe and empowered to thrive as contributing members of their communities. The Quality and Compliance Organization (QCO) was created to ensure we are monitoring and evaluating our services from a quality, compliance, safety, and privacy perspective. This comprehensive evaluation allows Merakey to streamline the data collected and use it in a targeted fashion to monitor quality, performance and outcomes, and to ensure we remain competitive in our industry. For the past six years, Merakey is proud to have been recognized by the Council of Ethical Organizations – Health Ethics Trust (HET) for its commitment to quality and compliance throughout the organization. HET is a division of the Council of Ethical Organizations (established in 1980) and provides advisory services, a full agenda of educational programs and conferences, training program design and delivery, hotline support, hotline training, video production, compliance risk assessment, and survey research on ethics-compliance issues. With the recent implementation of the QCO, we asked for a more in-depth review of our services, and we are extremely pleased to announce that effective February 1, 2016, we have once again received three-year certification from the HET! Click here to read the complete certification letter from the HET.

NADD Accreditation

NADD: The National Association for Persons with Disabilities and Mental Health Needs was developed to improve the quality and effectiveness of services provided to individuals with a dual diagnosis utilizing competency-based professional standards and through promoting ongoing professional and program development. Merakey is proud to have our Dual Diagnosis Treatment Teams (DDTT) at Merakey Allegheny County in Pittsburgh, Merakey Highpoint Center in Dubois, and Merakey Schuylkill Mountain Center in Pottsville, Pennsylvania accredited by NADD.

COA logo

COA: As an accrediting body of social service organizations, the Council on Accreditation aims to help behavioral health professionals strengthen the lifeline they provide to thousands of individuals each year. Improving services for individuals with behavioral health conditions has long been one of COA’s primary goals. Merakey Parkside Recovery programs in Philadelphia are accredited for the Medication Assisted Therapy (MAT) methadone maintenance services.

COA logo

CARF: The Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities, is an international, non-profit organization that was founded in 1966. Accreditation assists service providers to improve the quality of their services and meet internationally recognized standards. Merakey’s Community Housing programs for Adults with Autism are CARF Accredited and are recognized for their dedication and commitment to improving the quality of the lives of the persons served.

Veteran ready certification logo

VETERAN READY (by PsychArmor): Fresh Start Foundation, a Merakey program, achieved certification in PsychArmor, a well-known Veteran training organization recognized by the Veterans Administration and the national veterans’ service continuum. Fresh Start Foundation received this certification in recognition of the dedication of their staff and volunteers, and their commitment to supporting Veterans and the military community.

Sanctuary® Model

The SANCTUARY® MODEL is a blueprint for clinical and organizational change which, at its core, promotes safety and recovery from adversity through the active creation of a trauma-informed community. A recognition that trauma is pervasive in the experience of human beings forms the basis for the Sanctuary Model’s focus not only on the people who seek treatment, but equally on the people and systems who provide that treatment. Our Extended Acute Care programs in Lehigh County, PA are certified in the Sanctuary Model.

URAC’s Specialty Pharmacy Accreditation

URAC’s Specialty Pharmacy Accreditation helps specialty pharmacies position themselves and demonstrate their value in delivering these specialized clinical services. Many payers and manufacturers recognize the URAC Specialty Pharmacy Accreditation as a key differentiator and independent validation of quality – often including this accreditation as a requirement to participate in their network. As a URAC Accredited Specialty Pharmacy, Life Tree Pharmacy, a for-profit subsidiary of Merakey, has demonstrated a comprehensive commitment to quality care, improved processes and better client outcomes.

Merakey is always looking for quality organizations who may want to join our family of companies.
If you are interested in learning more about mergers, affiliations, or partnership opportunities, please contact BusinessDevelopment@merakey.org.


Enriching lives by providing exceptional services through an individualized approach.


Creating communities where everyone is empowered to take meaningful steps toward reaching their fullest potential.

Core Values

Merakey core values


The Merakey legacy in the mental health movement is a direct result of the foresight of the creators of John F. Kennedy's New Frontier and the resulting Community Mental Health Act of 1963 which provided federal funding for community mental health centers. When legislators in Pennsylvania announced the availability of those funds, Philadelphia established the Office of Mental Health and Mental Retardation in 1968 to coordinate and administer services and funding to the mentally disabled. A group of professionals in the northwest section of the city wrote a grant proposal and the Northwest Center became one of the first three base service units in Philadelphia.

The Northwest Center opened its doors at 27 E. Mt Airy Avenue in Philadelphia in October 1969 and provided five mandated services: inpatient, outpatient, partial hospitalization, information and referral and community organization and outreach. That rich history and tradition continues to this day. From one site in Philadelphia, Merakey has grown to a multi- state, multi- service system, non- profit provider of human services, one of the largest in the country. While the geography and services have changed and expanded over the years the mission has remained firm and committed.

Today, Merakey is still the safety net for people who otherwise could not afford care and who often "fall between the cracks" of bureaucracy and red tape. In spite of financial challenges and dwindling public resources, Merakey continues to pursue excellence in all aspects of care and treatment. Surrounding our professional staff with the best in technology and supports Merakey is a leader in the industry and remains committed to helping people...one individual at a time.

Effective April 1, 2018 NHS has changed its name to Merakey! NEW NAME, SAME MISSION.


Merakey employs over 10,000 of the most committed, qualified individuals in the education and human services industries. The synergy between program and support staff has allowed Merakey to excel in the quality of care and treatment, information technology, facility improvements, human resources, compliance and communication. Merakey staff are known for exceeding expectations in providing the highest level of care and for developing program models to meet the needs of each individual. Merakey staff have logged in countless hours and traveled thousands of miles to establish programs throughout the Merakey service system which now incorporates multiple states. Merakey staff are committed to continuous professional improvement and career development to ensure that the organization always provides state of the art, cutting edge programming.