Archived News & Events - March 2019

March 29, 2019

Congratulations, Merakey Parkside Recovery


Merakey Parkside Recovery located at 5429 Germantown Avenue in Philadelphia, recently received EPIC EBP Program Designation for Prolonged Exposure (PE) in their Substance Use Disorder Services by the Evidence-Based Practices and Innovation Center from Community Behavioral Health. Merakey’s status as an EPIC EBP Program Designated Provider means that the Philadelphia location is now recognized by the city as a provider of evidenced-based practices in Prolonged Exposure, and it allows Merakey to better support individuals who may struggle with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. With many people who have addition-related disorders, they also have comorbid psychiatric challenges. PTSD can be a precursor to an addiction and can often lead many individuals to displaying negative coping patterns.

Prolonged Exposure has been shown to be effective at treating PTSD symptoms. By reducing symptoms, staff members can work better with the individuals to address their coping mechanisms. Prolonged Exposure, an intensive therapeutic treatment for PTSD, focuses on habituation, where controlled exposure to anxiety inducing stimuli over time can reduce the anxiety experienced by the individual. Many individuals with significant substance use histories have a history of trauma and PTSD.

Staff members trained in this therapeutic model include Hava Weber, Judith Bigley, Robert Dilenge, and Cristina Marino. Congratulations to these employees who have this additional expertise and to Merakey Parkside Recovery for receipt of this designation.

March 29, 2019

50th Anniversary Employee Spotlight - Taryn Barnes

Taryn Barnes

Many employees have been with Merakey for quite a number of years, and they deserve a special spotlight for all their hard work and dedication! Look for more employee spotlights in The Pulse, on digital signage, and on Facebook!

House Manager, Taryn Barnes, has worked with Merakey for 31 years and currently works in Philadelphia. Taryn states, “I work for Merakey because I want to train and develop staff with the same goal in creating a positive environment for the individuals to live and staff to work.”

Taryn’s favorite memory at Merakey is going on vacations with the individuals she supports. It was exciting to see the smiles on their faces and for them to be engaging in all prepared activities.

Merakey has taught Taryn to understand change, remain teachable, walk with integrity and implement the mission statement. Taryn hopes Merakey will continue to embrace the core values and to further educate staff on meeting every need of the individuals in our care.

March 11, 2019

Merakey Bowls for Gold!

Bowling alleys in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Virginia, Delaware and Louisiana were filled with hundreds of Merakey employees, individuals we serve, supporters, and friends for the Merakey Foundation’s 5th Annual Bowling Tournament this past Friday, March 8. This special event brings the organization together as a way to enhance the employment experience and to raise money for Merakey programs.

During the event, many showed tremendous spirit and pride by wearing t-shirts and glow in the dark bracelets in the Merakey colors. The event opened with a video message from CEO Joe Martz where he thanked everyone for their support and generosity. And, Facebook was all a buzz with live videos taken throughout the day. Be sure to check out the videos on our Facebook page!

The event was a huge success, raising more than $90,000 for the Foundation and Merakey programs! Thank you to our sponsors, volunteers, staff and consumers for making the 5th Annual Bowling Tournament the best one yet. Congratulations to our top team winners of the day from our PA locations:

East Norriton

  1. CNI Dogs
  2. Prophix Pin Pals
  3. Graham Quackers


  1. Gutterly Ridiculous
  2. Emerald
  3. Wing It


  1. Har-Burn Express
  2. The Quincy 6
  3. Splits N Giggles

Visit to view media coverage of the event. Check out pictures from all locations on Flickr at

Bowling 2019
March 11, 2019

Super Secretary - Breaking Through Stereotypes for Workers with Disabilities

Click below to learn about the incredible journey and success of one of our amazing individuals, Thomasina. Thomasina, winner of the 2018 Self-Advocate of the Year Award by Pennsylvania Advocacy and Resources for Autism and Intellectual Disability (PAR) has been working at The Graham Company in Philadelphia, Merakey’s insurance and risk management partner since last May. In less than a year, Thomasina has proven herself to be a valuable asset and contributing member of their workforce. Merakey and The Graham Company are very proud of Thomasina and all of her accomplishments!

March 11, 2019

March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month


Governor Tom Wolf recently designated March 2019 as Developmental Disabilities (DD) Awareness Month. Click here to view the full proclamation.

The goal for the month of March is to create awareness about developmental disabilities, teach the importance of inclusion within every aspect of life, and to share the stories of individuals with a disability to show that a successful life is possible. During this month, the organization behind the event wants people to share their stories, photos, and resources to expand the conversation of inclusion and accessibility. Participants are asked to use the hashtag #DDawareness19 throughout the month on any social media posts about the campaign. This NACDD will use this year’s campaign to feature artwork of advocates on social media. For more information, please visit

March 13, 2019

50th Anniversary Employee Spotlight – Lynette Dawkins

Lynette Dawkins

Many employees have been with Merakey for quite a number of years, and they deserve a special spotlight for all their hard work and dedication! Look for more employee spotlights in The Pulse, on digital signage, and on Facebook!

Shift Supervisor, Lynette Dawkins, has worked with Merakey for 32 years and currently works in at the Verree Road location in Philadelphia. Lynette states, “I enjoy serving the individuals and ensuring all of their needs are met.”

Lynette’s favorite memory over the past 32 years was her helping a family feel comfortable placing their loved one into the great care at the Verree location. This was especially meaningful because it reflected the important lesson of caring with compassion she has learned at Merakey.

The core value that means the most to Lynette is integrity, because she believes in doing the right thing even when no one is looking.