Current News & Events

January 31, 2020

Celebrating Employees in Philadelphia’s Behavioral Health

On January 24, Merakey Behavioral Health Outpatient Program in Philadelphia held its annual employee recognition breakfast at the Philadelphia Cricket Club in Chestnut Hill, PA. Philadelphia program directors nominated one or more employees for their outstanding work in the past year. The employees were recognized at a breakfast celebration that included thank you remarks from their supervisors, a recognition certificate and gift, and a visit from President and COO Ted Dallas and EVP and Managing Director of Behavioral Health Mike Barton. Congratulations to these employees who go above and beyond to serve Merakey consumers! Special thanks to Executive Assistant and Administrative Supervisor La Shainnia Peaker for organizing this special event.

January 31, 2020

Merakey Cheatham Transition House Opens Their Doors

On January 30, Merakey celebrated the opening of the Merakey Cheatham Transition House in Baton Rouge, LA with a ribbon cutting ceremony and open house. The Chamber of Commerce, community members, and key stakeholders joined CEO Joe Martz, Vice President Becki Mann, Executive Director Steve Whitlow, and all the staff from Gateway Transition Services for the ribbon cutting and tours of the new home.   

The home will serve as a residential program for men with autism, ages 21 – 35, to live and learn in a safe and supportive environment and be challenged to grow as young adults.

The goal of the program is to provide education, tools, and resources to prepare residents for a more independent living environment, when they are ready to do so. The house will provide in-home support, a skills coach to assist with grocery shopping, cooking, and medication management, positive social interactions and community involvement, and vocational opportunities and training at Merakey Gateway Ink – their onsite t-shirt print shop.

The house is the first of its kind for Merakey, and it is a unique and innovative option for learning to live independently. This model demonstrates Merakey’s commitment to providing comprehensive and integrated services to individuals and communities across the nation. For more information, or to make a referral, please contact maggie.giles@merakey.org or 225-590-3124.

January 31, 2020

Faces of Greater Baton Rouge

The Merakey leadership team in Baton Rouge, Louisiana was featured in Parents Magazine this month.

Click here to read more!

January 24, 2020

Congratulations, Mike Barton, Winner of Community Behavioral Health Innovator Award

Merakey was well represented at the 2020 Greater Philadelphia Innovation Awards held on January 23 at the Independence Blue Cross building in Philadelphia. The 2020 Greater Philadelphia Social Innovations Awards celebrates Greater Philadelphia Social Innovators. Merakey congratulates Mike Barton, executive vice president and managing director of behavioral health, for winning the Community Behavioral Health Innovator Award!

Last month, Merakey employees were asked to vote for their colleagues, Mike Barton and Dr. Raymond Bobb, medical director at Merakey Parkside Recovery. Mike was honored to accept the award and to be recognized for being part of significant changes in the city during the last 31 years. As a reminder, Mike was nominated for the following contributions to addiction and treatment:

Mike’s team is changing how addiction is treated in Philadelphia. In response to the opioid epidemic, Merakey’s Parkside Recovery program has transformed to provide truly integrated care. From mobile services in the encampments in Kensington and throughout Philly, to on-site Medication Assisted Treatment combined with individual and group therapy, job coaching/placement services, and on-site child supervision, Mike’s team is caring for the whole-person and the whole-family. caring for the whole-person and the whole-family. Mike’s visionary leadership has made the Parkside Recovery transformation possible.

Congratulations to Mike on this well-deserved award and to Dr. Bobb for being nominated as a leader in supporting and providing quality treatment to all who enter Merakey Parkside Recovery. Merakey is proud of all their accomplishments in finding solutions to a growing challenge.

Special thanks go to all Merakey employees, families, and friends for voting and supporting their colleagues.

Mike Barton
Mike Barton
(1) Mike Barton Receiving the Community Behavioral Health Innovator Award
(2) L-R: Joe Martz, Dr. Murray, Dr. Bobb, Leah Pason, Derrick Yacovelli, Ted Dallas, Josh Vigderman, Jermaine Graham
Mike Barton
Mike Barton
(1) L-R: Dr. Murray, Jermaine Graham, Tamika Nared, David Malloy, Dr. Bobb, Mike Barton, Josh Vigderman
(2) Mike Barton with Dr. Bobb
January 24, 2020

MLK Day of Service

MLK Day of Service

Billie West, Director of Labor Relations and Co-Chair of the Merakey Diversity and Inclusion Council presented “Peace and Empowerment: Students of the Movement” which is based on the life of the iconic Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the significance of student activism during the early Civil Rights Movement. Students, Staff and families attended the event at the Friends’ Central School – Middle School in Philadelphia on January, 20 for MLK Day of Service.

Billie was invited by Merakey colleague Minu Naik, Sr. Director IT-ERU, a lead coordinator of the event, to participate in this year’s annual Friends’ community service activities. The school held an assembly and an 8th Grade Jazz Band performance. They then delivered over 650 baskets of food and toiletries to the Bethesda Project, who support homeless families throughout the city.

January 10, 2020

Congratulations, Carol Johnson – One of 2019’s Most Influential Corporate Board Directors

Congratulations to Carol Johnson, member of the Merakey Board of Directors, for being named one of 2019’s Most Influential Corporate Board Directors by WomenInc. (see page 20). As a leading business magazine reporting on women’s success and achievement, this issue includes the most comprehensive list of women executives, influencers and achievers contributing their leadership skills, experience, and expertise to corporate boards. Carol and the other talented women in this special edition of WomenInc. are being recognized at an important moment in time when diversity and inclusion are not only celebrated, but are embedded into the culture of many organizations, including Merakey.

Since joining the Board of Directors in 2017, Carol has experienced Merakey’s focus on enhancing diversity and inclusion throughout everything we do. Whether it was visiting the Autism Center in Fort Worth, TX last fall, or participating in the Foundation’s Bowling Tournament, Carol has shared in Merakey’s embrace of inclusivity, a desire for a unified culture, and a commitment to an environment that is welcoming to all.

Merakey is incredibly proud of Carol’s accomplishments and honored to have her as part of the Merakey family.

Carol Johnson

Carol Johnson (center) visited the team and toured the Autism Center in Fort Worth, TX this past fall.

January 10, 2020

Secret Angel Project

Check out the video below to learn how Merakey’s Foster Care program in Stroudsburg, PA made a difference this past holiday season in the lives of children in our program.

 
Can't see the video? Click here to view it on YouTube!
 
January 3, 2020

Giving Back to the Community

This year, the Merakey Autism Center team in Flint, MI wanted to give back to the community and chose to gather donations for Whaley Children's Center, a local organization that provides treatment to at-risk children and their families. Staff collected donations for the children throughout the month of December. Merakey commends the Merakey Autism Center team in Flint for their charitable spirit.

Flint Gives Back
Flint Gives Back
Flint Gives Back
Flint Gives Back
January 3, 2020

What's Happening in Michigan?

Merakey Autism Center in Dearborn Presents at Career Day

Jacklyn Carrillo, lead behavior technician and Erin Burnette, program director for Merakey Autism Center in Dearborn, MI presented at Fordson High School's Career Day. Students were eager to learn more about career options in applied behavior analysis and what it takes to be a behavior technician.

Jacklyn Carrillo

Congratulations on your BCBA Certification, Andrea!

Andrea Bailey, clinician at Merakey Autism Center in Grand Rapids, MI passed the Behavior Analyst Certification Exam and is now a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). Congratulations to Andrea for all her hard work. The participants and staff at the Grand Rapids, MI program appreciate all that she does. Her daughter, Charlize, is very proud and got an awesome new onesie out of the deal!

Andrea
Andrea
January 3, 2020

4th Annual Holiday Door Decorating Contest

Merakey staff and students from the Education and Autism Division engaged in a friendly competition for the fourth year running, to deck the halls of Merakey programs. Contest submissions were taken over a period of two weeks, and winners were evaluated based on visual impact, creativity, and craftsmanship.

Thank you to our 2019 Holiday Door Decorating participants for making the season merry and bright for the individuals at Merakey!

Door Decorating
  • 1st Place Winner - Merakey Autism Center Philadelphia - Green Room – Staff and Students: Galinda, Deja, Kathy, Marjorie, Malissa, Theresa, Kevonna
  • 2nd Place Winner - Merakey Education Center Leechburg - The Nightmare before Grinchmas -Staff: Sarah Hepler, Meg Bracken Students: Jayden, Mario, Alaya, Price, Antario
  • 3rd Place Winner - Merakey Education Center Greensburg - Room 103- Staff; Cindy Coulson, Norma Moore, Kelli Milne Students: Joseph, Jon, Kirkland, Jacob, Thomas, Owen
January 3, 2020

Board Member’s Family Visits Woodhaven Center for the Holidays

The family of one of Merakey’s Board of Directors member, David Volpe, visited the Merakey Woodhaven Center on Christmas Day, as it has every Christmas for the past several years. Karen Volpe and her daughter, Laney, enjoyed spending time with individuals and staff and handed out gifts to everyone present. The Volpe family has a long history of good works and is grateful to be able to continue the tradition with their children. The caring, commitment, and generosity of the Volpe family is very appreciated by Merakey. They have become part of the family. Individuals and staff were delighted and thankful for their visit and their generous gifts.

Woodhaven Visit
Woodhaven Visit