Archived News & Events - December 2019

December 31, 2019

Giving Gifts of Joy During the Holidays

For 10 years, employees from the Merakey older adult and Managed Long-Term Support Services in McMurray, PA have given holiday gifts to people supported in those programs. This year’s gifts also included winter necessities to keep everyone warm. This event is very meaningful to individuals in the programs since these gifts may be the only ones they receive. Many of the individuals are alone for the holidays, so they truly appreciate the support and comfort provided by Merakey staff members.

Consumers receiving their gifts could be heard stating, “Wow this is amazing, I cannot thank you enough”. “Now I will have something to put under my tree”, “No, I don’t want to see what is in it yet, I will wait till Christmas Morning”, and “Wait till everyone sees what I got, I told them Merakey was the best.” Staff members were equally as excited to share their thoughts, “It makes me feel happy to work for such an amazing company”, “Merakey really made her day, I was afraid she would have nothing on Christmas.”, “Thank you so much for allowing me to give this gift.”

Thank you, Merakey team in McMurray, for adding to the joy of the season by helping those you support!

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MLTSS
December 31, 2019

Creating Holiday Memories at Merakey Philadelphia

On December 19, the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities programs at Merakey Philadelphia hosted a holiday party for its day program and residential consumers. 4700 Wissahickon Avenue turned into a Winter Wonderland, complete with themed rooms, games, arts and crafts, music, and sweet treats. The fun-filled day included: a candy cane ring toss, holiday bingo, Oh, dreidel, pin the carrot on the snowman, make your own ornament, hot chocolate, and a tattoo parlor. While moving from one room to the next, over 150 consumers and 75 DSPs enjoyed the smooth sweet sounds of Drew Albert on the saxophone. An event this big simply had to have two Santa Claus! Everyone had a great time sharing in the holiday spirit.

December 31, 2019

Helping Our Individuals Stay Warm

During the month of December, staff members from Merakey Parkside Recovery, their family and their friends collected over 600 cold weather items, including hats, gloves, and scarves to give to the individuals served at the site on December 19. Individuals were grateful for the gesture and expressed their thanks as they chose one or two items from the donations to help keep them warm this winter.

Program Director Lori Gabert thanks everyone who donated and made this event so successful!

Parkside
Parkside
December 24, 2019

Congratulations, Lisa, on PAPRS Board Appointment

Congratulations!

Lisa Quintana, program manager of the Philadelphia Permanent Supported Housing program, has been accepted as a board member for the Pennsylvania Association of Psychiatric Rehabilitation Services (www.paprs.org). The 16-member board represents behavioral health professionals throughout Pennsylvania. Board members serve a three-year term after being nominated and accepted.

In addition to her new role as board member, Lisa oversees Mobile Psychiatric Rehab workers who provide skill building and supports to individuals with mental illness who are living in their own apartments. Lisa's department also includes Certified Peer Specialists and Tenant Services Coordinators, all of whom are also helping consumers integrate into their communities successfully and productively.

Merakey congratulates Lisa on this important board appointment!

December 23, 2019

Merakey in Fort Worth Hosts Holiday Family Fun Day

On Saturday, December 14, the Merakey Autism Center in Fort Worth, Texas hosted the 2nd Annual Holiday Family Fun Day with FEAT-NT. Families for Effective Autism Treatment-North Texas is a local DFW non-profit organization that provides advocacy and resources to support children and families affected by autism.

The 2019 Holiday Family Fun Day included holiday snacks, face painting, train rides, a bounce house, and a sensory-friendly Santa. The event would not have been possible without the Merakey Autism Center Fort Worth team and Mika Bradford, owner of MedWell Therapeutic Solutions, LLC. Special thanks to Merakey Autism Center’s Holly Salicco, Ryan Weiche, Jennifer Yarborough, and Bridget Fulmer for making it a fantastic day. Congratulations to our gift basket winners Susan and Ziggy Forsvall!

December 23, 2019

A Brighter Holiday for Children in Philadelphia

Merakey Children’s Reach hosted its 9th annual holiday party for nearly 400 children and their families on December 14 at its North Philadelphia location. Attendees received gifts, had their faces painted and enjoyed refreshments. Kids were especially excited to see Santa Claus, and to pose for pictures with the jolly man in the red suit! Special appreciation goes to the staff that work at 265 East Lehigh, Chief Financial Officer Derrick Yacovelli, staff from different offices throughout the Philadelphia area, and the Foundation Junior Board for your support during this special event. Also, thank you to staff members from Philadelphia Insurance Companies who helped decorate the site and prepare for the celebration the day before.

And, thank you to everyone who contributed toys, games, and other fun activities, making this event another huge success!
Click here
to view photos from the event!

 
 
December 23, 2019

Congratulations, Dr. Johnson

Merakey congratulates Dr. Nettie Johnson for receiving a special Congressional Recognition from PA Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick for her outstanding service to the Liberia Medical Mission. Dr. Johnson, along with 20 other medical specialists from across the United States, volunteer every two years to go to Liberia to provide free medical services. This work has contributed to the advancement of care to the most vulnerable populations in Liberia. Dr. Johnson is a Behavior Specialist who works with the Merakey Allegheny Valley School Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (IDD) Clinical Team with Dr. Michael May, Courtney Chambers and Mikahail Douglas.

The Merakey IDD Department is extremely proud of Dr. Johnson!


Fresh Start Veterans
Fresh Start Veterans
December 23, 2019

Congratulations, Graduates of “Recovery through Work”

On December 13, the third group of graduates from the “Recovery Through Work” Program at Merakey Parkside Recovery received their certificates of completion and other awards. Hosted by Merakey Parkside Recovery in Philadelphia, the graduates were joined by President and COO Ted Dallas, President and CEO of Philadelphia Works Patrick Clancy and staff from Merakey Parkside Recovery. In partnership with Philadelphia Works and CareerLink, participants learn job ready and employment skills to help them obtain and keep jobs in the community.

To better understand the positive impact of the Recovery Through Work Program, check out the images of the participants from this most recent group. Click here to watch a video showing the program in action!

Merakey Parkside Recovery

December 23, 2019

Happy Holidays from the Thibodaux ACT

Instead of driving his usual red sleigh, Santa Claus gave his reindeer the day off and arrived in Thibodaux, Louisiana in a fancy red Corvette! Merakey’s Assertive Community Treatment (ACT) Team also showed up to work in style by wearing specially monogramed holiday t-shirts.

The ACT Team in Thibodaux wishes everyone at Merakey a very happy holiday season and a Happy New Year!

Happy holidays!
Happy holidays!
December 23, 2019

A Fresh Start Resident Prepares for Community Living

Anthony Brown

Anthony Brown, a 61-year-old double amputee-Veteran, prepares for his departure to live out in the community after two years of care and treatment.

Click here to learn about Anthony’s story of hope and how Merakey’s Fresh Start program in Coatesville helped him to get there.

December 16, 2019

Merakey Superheroes Spotted in West Chester!

Chase, a Merakey superhero and student from the Education Center in Philadelphia, met his hero, 6ABC Action News weatherman Adam Joseph at the 40th Annual QVC West Chester Christmas Parade on December 6. Click here to view a short clip of the encounter! Chase and Adam had the opportunity to meet prior to the parade starting, and their interactions with each other enhanced the holiday spirit. Chase’s family was extremely grateful to Merakey for arranging the introduction.

More than 40 students and staff from Merakey participated in the parade. When they walked past Adam at the start of the parade, he announced the organization and then told everyone on air about his meeting with Chase. Chase gave out high-fives to spectators lined up on the streets, while the crowd chanted “Mer-a-key”.

December 6, 2019

Thank you, Local Men's Ministry!

The Men's Ministry of St. Martin de Porres Catholic Church, a local North Philadelphia church started collecting clothes and toiletries from their congregation. Partnering with Merakey IDD Executive Paul Dixon, the church worked with Fresh Start Program Director Douglas Spegal and donated the items to the Fresh Start veteran's program in Philadelphia. The first drop off of donations was in October, and they continue to bring donations on a monthly basis for the Veterans.

Thank you, Men's Ministry!
Thank you, Men's Ministry!

1st picture is IDD Divisional executive Paul Dixon (left) and Fresh start veteran's program Director Douglas Spegal (right). 2nd picture is program's location.

December 3, 2019

Merakey Foundation’s #OpenYourHeartChallenge

Today, December 3, is Giving Tuesday. Instead of asking for donations, the Merakey Foundation wants to challenge you to perform acts of kindness, to share those acts on social media, and then to challenge three others to perform acts of kindness. The goal is to promote random acts of kindness through a viral campaign that begins today and runs until the end of this year. This all starts with YOU.

Check out the video below to learn how to participate!

 
 

Don't forget to use the following hashtags so that we can see how far and wide this campaign is shared:
#MerakeyFoundation #OpenYourHeartChallenge #GivingTuesday