Current News & Events

September 11, 2020

Direct Support Professional Recognition Week: September 13 – 19

This Sunday marks the beginning of Direct Support Professional Recognition Week, a week-long celebration of the incredible work that DSPs do every day for individuals in need.

Continuing his tradition, Pennsylvania Governor Tom Wolf signed a proclamation recognizing DSP Week 2020, noting the important work that DSPs do. Click here to read this year’s proclamation.

Merakey thanks all our DSPs and staff who work in direct-care positions! Look for stories of celebration in next week’s Pulse as we recognize our amazing DSPs.

DSP Recognition Week
September 11, 2020

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month

You Are Not Alone

September is National Suicide Prevention Awareness Month – a time to share information and resources in an effort to shed light on this highly taboo and stigmatized topic. Suicidal thoughts, much like mental health conditions, can affect anyone regardless of age, gender or background. This is why it is so important that individuals, friends and families have access to the resources they need to discuss suicide prevention.

Click here for more information, resources, and ways you can help others who are struggling with thoughts of suicide.

If you or someone you know is in an emergency, having thoughts of suicide, and/or talking about suicide, call The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or call 911 immediately.

September 11, 2020

National Hispanic Heritage Month: 9/15 – 10/15

You Are Not Alone

September 15 - October 15 is National Hispanic Heritage Month in the United States. It honors the achievements, contributions, culture, and history of Hispanic and Latinx American people. It’s an excellent time to explore the rich history and culture of Latinx people as well as the societal bias the community faces.

The month-long commemoration started in 1968 as Hispanic Heritage Week under President Lyndon Johnson and was expanded by President Ronald Reagan in 1988.

It was enacted into law on August 17, 1988. The day of September 15 is significant because it is the anniversary of independence for Latin American countries of Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Nicaragua. In addition, Mexico and Chile celebrate their independence days on September 16 and September 18, respectively.

This year's theme - Hispanic Americans: A History of Serving Our Nation - invites us to reflect on Hispanic Americans' service and contributions to the history of our Nation.

Click here for more information, and click here for ways to celebrate National Hispanic Heritage Month!

September 11, 2020

Using Remote Patient Monitoring: Improving Outcomes For Consumers With IDD

Open Minds, a national leader in market intelligence and management best practices helping organizations serve consumers with chronic conditions and complex needs, featured the use of remote monitoring tools to enhance service delivery in healthcare settings. Thank you, CIO Tom Morgan and Innovation Manager for IDD Services Shaleea Shields, for sharing your expertise and our experiences with remote patient monitoring at Merakey AVS. Click here to read the full story.

September 11, 2020

Merakey Heroes - Helping Individuals Grow

The residents and staff of IDD Philadelphia’s Worthington 20 home are making the best of current safety restrictions due to the pandemic. Every week this summer, they have enjoyed an outdoor BBQ. Direct Support Professional Sharbrea Ealey is known for her delicious grilled chicken. While enjoying the nice weather and good food, residents Holly and Onyai also enjoy making friendship bracelets and playing Uno. DSP Rasheedah Foster has been a consistent comfort to them on the first shift as they miss attending Merakey’s Philadelphia day programs.

When asked about her dedication and positive attitude during a pandemic, Sharbrea shared, “I like helping the individuals have a better quality of life. Everyone has such different personalities, and I am drawn to them. I have learned a lot about IDD with Merakey. Merakey has taught me a lot about how to take good care of people.”

When asked the same question, Rasheedah responded, “I like Merakey because I learn more skills every day. I use Avatar and am learning from it. I learn from the consumers every day, too. Watching them grow is the best. When I started working, Onyai spoke much less than she does now, one year later. That makes me feel like I am making a difference; I have something to do with her growth.”

Thank you, Sharbrea and Rasheedah, for being Merakey HEROES!

Merakey Heroes - Helping Individuals Grow
Merakey Heroes - Helping Individuals Grow
Merakey Heroes - Helping Individuals Grow
Merakey Heroes - Helping Individuals Grow
Merakey Heroes - Helping Individuals Grow
September 4, 2020

Diversity & Inclusion Workshops Held by Merakey’s Education Team

Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement, over the past several months, Merakey’s Education Team embarked on a series of diversity workshops. As a team of 20, the group met virtually and worked their way through key texts like “Me and White Supremacy” and films like Teach Us All and The Hate You Give. What started as a workshop series has become an ongoing commitment to dialogue and learning.

For more information about the Education team’s diversity, equity, and inclusion work, or for a list of recommended texts, films, and resources, contact Tara Quinn, Senior Executive Director of Operations - Education.

Diversity and Inclusion Workshop
September 4, 2020

September is National Recovery Month

National Recovery Month is a national observance held every September to educate Americans that substance use treatment and mental health services can enable those with mental and substance use challenges to live healthy and rewarding lives. Now in its 31st year, National Recovery Month celebrates the gains made by those living in recovery.

Merakey provides many services that support individuals with addictions and mental health challenges. Merakey Parkside Recovery is pleased announce new services opening this fall in Philadelphia to help individuals with substance use disorders reunite with their families, as well as Medication Assisted Services in Virginia to support the community of Petersburg and surrounding areas.

For more information about National Recovery Month, please visit

September 4, 2020

#MaskUpMerakey Campaign Continues

Thank you to everyone who has submitted selfies for the #MaskUpMerakey campaign!

We are delighted to see that so many employees and their families are committed to wearing masks in order to slow the spread of COVID-19. Keep up the great work!

Please help us to spread the word that masks help save lives! To participate:

  1. Wear a mask!
  2. Make a sign with a message of why you wear a mask
  3. Take a selfie photo while wearing your mask and holding up your sign
  4. Submit your selfie photo to (preferably in a large size – select ‘large’ or ‘actual size’ when sending from your iPhone – view options. If sending from an Android, the photo should automatically be sent in a large size)
September 4, 2020

Congratulations, Chris, on Graduating from ITS

Congratulations to Chris, a participant from Merakey’s Intensive Treatment Support (ITS) program in Southern California, for recently graduating from the program. A virtual graduation ceremony, complete with music, dancing, and the awarding of a graduation certificate, was held for Chris. Chris has faced some major challenges throughout his life. However, through it all, he is excited to be living independently in his home, without the need for ITS services.

Thank you to the Merakey ITS team at the Southern California office for your support of Chris over the years and for celebrating this special event with him, and congratulations to Chris for accomplishing a significant goal!