Posted 5/31/2024

The Merakey IDD Clinical Leadership Grows

Through the combination of retirements and continued expansion of Merakey IDD Services, the Clinical team has adjusted to meet the behavioral health needs of the program. Rather than looking outward for hiring, the clinical department actively fulfills the Merakey strategic plan by unlocking leadership excellence and creating career paths for the hard-working Clinical Directors, BCBAs, and behavior professionals within the department. Last year Paola Ortiz was promoted to Executive Clinical Director of California with BCBAs, and Julia Miracle and Alex Compton were promoted to report to her as Clinical Directors of Southern and Northern California respectively. This year the retirement of Clinical Director, Dr. Marie Dube, (still providing supervision and services as a consultant) resulted in Clinical Director Cheryl Schoell being promoted to provide Clinical leadership over New Jersey and Delaware as she reports to Executive Clinical Director Robin VanEerden. The recent retirement of Clinical Director Judy Maradin resulted in the promotion of Behavior Specialist Danielle Britton as the Clinical Director of the Pittsburgh and the Patricia Hillman Campuses. Danielle continues to report to Karie Lyons who was promoted to Senior Clinical Director. Karie joins Robin and Paola as direct reports to Senior Executive Director of Clinical Services Dr. Tim Barksdale. Karie ensures that the programs in Pittsburgh, Slippery Rock, and Hummelstown continue to receive needed clinical supports.

Congratulations to Merakey’s newest batch of leaders.

Kregg, James, Jonathan, and Keith from Merakey Wildwood had a fun visit to The Andy Warhol Museum with staff members Christian, Jamie, and Wendy.

Trip to Andy Warhol Museum (May 2024)

Several Residential Managers at Philadelphia Campus were spotted out shopping for the individuals in their apartment, just in time for the Memorial Day holiday. Each month, staff at the Campus will be celebrating a different Merakey Core Value. The Value of the month for May is Compassion.

A big THANK YOU to the staff at Philadelphia Campus!

Shopping for Memorial Day Holiday (May 2024)

On Memorial Day, the guys from Merakey AVS Branchton Home attended the Memorial Day Parade in Harrisville, PA. They saw a familiar face as he marched past with the American Legion-Former HSS Terry Mack. After the parade, he stopped by to say hello to the guys. Thank you for your service!

Last week, Slippery Rock Program Instructor Megan Jesteadt and her aide Christie Laderer did several Memorial Day inspired activities with their area. They helped individuals design red, white, and blue flag images on t-shirts. Each person used a personalized design to give their t-shirts flair. While they waited for their shirts to dry, the area enjoyed a picnic lunch out in the sensory garden. Everyone was excited to have their t-shirts in time for Memorial Day.

Memorial Day Inspired Activities (May 2024)

Many Merakey AVS Special Olympics athletes celebrated their abilities at the 2024 Allegheny County Spring Invitational Games. Events included javelin, softball and tennis ball throw, wheelchair races, and running and walking track events.

Congratulations to all the athletes who participated!

Allegheny County Spring Invitational Games (May 2024)

Screams of “Bingo!” were heard all throughout Merakey AVS Verree Road in Philadelphia during the monthly Bingo Party. The individuals and staff teamed up to get their Bingo boards covered, as the master of ceremony, Tabatha Johnson, called the numbers. Prizes were awarded to all the winners. This event reinforced the individuals’ leisure, social, and functional academic skills through these excitingly competitive Bingo games.

Bingo Party (May 2024)

The gentlemen from Merakey Wildwood had an exciting day at Living Treasures Animal Park. They fed and learned about many animals, pet a baby kangaroo, and enjoyed a picnic lunch.

Trip to Living Treasures Animal Park (May 2024)