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Posted 11/22/2023

Merakey AVS Slippery Rock Program Center Instructor Megan Jesteadt and her aide Christie Laderer assisted their area in making and decorating wooden pumpkins. Many of the individuals thought it would be nice to use them as centerpieces for their Thanksgiving tables. The beautiful pumpkins add a festive fall touch to everyone’s holiday décor.

Crafting Wooden Pumpkins (November 2023)


Happy 12th work anniversary, Liz! Liz, a resident at Merakey AVS in Pittsburgh, has held many professional paid positions during her career, including Merakey Clerical assistant, staff trainer, and her latest role – Peer Advocate, working with Clinical Directors from Merakey’s IDD Clinical Team. As a Peer Advocate, Liz asks great questions and frequently gives solid recommendations for the team to follow. Along with a busy work schedule, Liz also volunteers with her supports on the Merakey Pittsburgh Human Rights Committee, the IM4Q Advocacy agency, the Pittsburgh Food Bank, Meals on Wheels, and the Caring Heights Community Care and Rehabilitation Center. Congratulations, Liz, and thank you for all that you do at Merakey AVS!


Congratulations to Dr. Michael Benjamin May for winning this year’s National Association for the Dually Diagnosed (NADD) Earl L. Loschen Award for Clinical Practice! Dr. May is the Clinical Director of AVS East ICF programs, where he is supported by his team and colleagues, all of whom are very proud of his achievement. This honor is bestowed annually to a person whose contribution in the area of clinical practice has resulted in significant improvement in the quality of life for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities as well as mental health needs. Dr. May will receive his award at the 40th Annual NADD Conference this December in Nashville, Tennessee. Well done, Dr. May!


Pittsburgh Campus Horticulture Coordinator Aaliyah DiMarco planned a fun fall day at Freedom Farms in Butler, PA. Individuals and staff fed the animals, went on a hayride, and explored the many activities on the farm.

Fall Day at Freedom Farms (November 2023)


Merakey AVS participants Anna and Tanya from Clearview home and Colleen and Laura from Ohioview home recently visited Keystone Safari in Grove City, PA. The ladies enjoyed feeding the animals on a beautiful fall day.

Visit to Keystone Safari (November 2023)