Archived News & Events - October 2019

October 28, 2019

Merakey Walks with Philadelphia Autism Speaks

More than 40 students, teachers, families, and friends from Merakey’s Education and Autism Center in Philadelphia participated in the 2019 Autism Speaks Walk at Citizen’s Bank Park in Philadelphia on Saturday, October 19.

Throughout the year, Autism Speaks hosts Walks around the country to raise awareness and funds for autism research. Led by Maryann McEvoy, Philadelphia Education Center Director, Team Voices-Merakey surpassed their fundraising goal of $1,000 and contributed a total of $1,817! Congratulations, Team!

October 28, 2019

Merakey Participates in Montgomery County Wellness Fair

The Montgomery County Wellness Recovery Team participated in the Montgomery County Wellness Fair on Saturday, October 19. Held at the Plymouth Meeting Mall, in Plymouth Meeting, PA, Merakey was one out of 63 vendors who participated.

Thank you to our navigators; Jessica Lees, Joyce Snyder and Suzanne Martorella who represented Merakey by providing information and blood pressure readings to the public.

Montgomery County Wellness Recovery Team

October 28, 2019

Merakey and Pacifico Marple Ford Distribute Warm Coats for the Winter

On October 23, the Merakey Foundation helped to distribute more than 100 brand new winter coats to children who receive services at Merakey in North Philadelphia. The coats are provided by Pacifico Marple Ford through their Auto Dealers Caring for Kids Foundation.

Children between the ages of two and 10 who are participants of the PACT (Parents and Children Together) and Children’s Services Outpatient programs were grateful for the warm coats.

Since 2010, Merakey has partnered with Pacifico Marple Ford Lincoln through the Auto Dealers Caring for Kids Foundation and the “Driving Away the Cold” effort to provide new coats to children in need just in time for the winter. Thank you, Pacifico Marple Ford Lincoln, for your generosity and support.

Check out media coverage from this special event: CBS3 News (Article) | CBS3 News (Video) | NBC10 News

Coat Drive
Coat Drive Coat Drive Coat Drive
Coat Drive Coat Drive
October 28, 2019

Published Research Article: Predictors of Treatment Attendance

JournalA recent study, "Predictors of Treatment Attendance in Cognitive and Dynamic Therapies for Major Depressive Disorder Delivered in a Community Mental Health Setting" was published in the June edition of the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology. Senior Executive Director for Innovation and Clinical Support Services Don Thompson, PhD, was one of the authors who contributed to this important study.

To read the full study, click here.

Congratulations, Don, for being part of this important study!

October 18, 2019

Merakey Comes Together to Celebrate Meaningful Anniversary

Last week, Merakey celebrated 50 years of exceptional care and services. Programs across the country participated in different activities, such as Office Olympics, potluck lunches, selfies with a specially designed frame, dressing in fashion from the late 60s and early 70s, and much more. Lots of amazing pictures were submitted, and from the looks of them, everyone had an exciting week celebrating in their own way.

Thank you for all that you do to help Merakey be a leading provider of services to children, adolescents, adults, and their families. We truly are grateful for your commitment to the Merakey mission, vision, and core values.

Please take a moment to review all the photos received from last week.

Merakey 50th Anniversary Celebrations

October 18, 2019

Merakey in Louisiana Walks with NAMI

Merakey staff members from the Assertive Community Treatment Teams in Lafayette, LA participated in the NAMI Walk Acadiana on October 5. Staff members, their friends and family raised $755 for NAMI’s mission to support individuals diagnosed with mental illness. The staff participate in this event every year. Thank you to Program Assistant Kayla Labit for organizing the staff’s registrations and their t-shirts.

Merakey in Louisiana Walks with NAMI
Merakey in Louisiana Walks with NAMI

Merakey in Louisiana Walks with NAMI

October 18, 2019

Parkside Joins Public Safety Day

On October 5, staff at Merakey Parkside in Philadelphia participated in the 3rd Annual Public Safety Awareness Day. Hosted by the Business Association of West Parkside, Merakey staff conducted Mental Health Screens, promoted Merakey services, and provided valuable information and resources to the West Parkside Community.

Parkside Joins Public Safety Day
Parkside Joins Public Safety Day
October 18, 2019

50th Anniversary Employee Spotlight – Joyce Thomas–Cooke

Joyce Thomas-CookeMany employees have been with Merakey for quite a few 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! Program Manager Joyce Thomas-Cooke has worked with Merakey for an amazing 27 years in the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Division. Joyce states, “It gives me great pleasure to see someone learn a new skill or become independent in a quest to reaching their full potential. I also enjoy the interpersonal relationships I have established over the years as a Staff, Program Specialist and now a Manager.”

Joyce’s favorite memory with Merakey was her first day as a Program Specialist. She was assigned to a classroom with a resident who displayed erratic behavior, which included running around the facility all day long. This resident’s actions made her first day very tedious (and tiresome), but over time, the resident became one of Joyce’s favorite people. When the resident passed away years later, Joyce recalls that she had become calmer and friendlier with her peers. “I truly enjoyed the ride with her as I could see changes in her demeanor just from simply engaging and encouraging her positively.” Joyce commented.

Thank you, Joyce, for putting your heart and soul into exceptional care and services!

October 18, 2019

Merakey Hosts 6th Annual Community Health Fair in Delaware County

The 6th Annual Community Health Fair at Merakey Delaware County, held on October 2, included free health screenings, healthy foods, and nearly 50 vendors that provided literature on positive lifestyle tips, resources, and giveaway items to attendees. The Sharon Hill facility was awarded a grant to become a Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinic (CCBHC), providing an integrated care model, where individuals have the ability to see a primary care physician, a psychiatrist and a therapist in one location, as well as to have their prescriptions filled by Life Tree’s onsite Pharmacy. CEO Joe Martz welcomed the attendees and thanked the vendors for their support again this year. Executive Director Chante Smith-Roberson introduced La Chanetta, a Certified Peer Specialist, who bravely spoke of her personal experiences with recovery.

Special thanks to Chante Smith-Roberson, Sharon White, Ann Brown, Anna Katenta and all the staff at Merakey Delaware County who helped facilitate the fair and to the vendors for their participation!

Check out media coverage from the event here: NBC10 | 6ABC

6th Annual Delaware County Community Health Fair

October 4, 2019

NADD Clinician of The Year

Robin Congratulations to Clinical Director Robin VanEerden for being selected as the recipient of the NADD 2019 Earl L. Loschen Award for Clinical Practice!

The Earl L. Loschen Award is given annually by the National Association for Dual Diagnoses (NADD), to a clinician whose work has resulted in significant improvement in the quality of life for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities as well as mental health needs.

Robin worked for Merakey when it was NHS, from 2000 to 2012 in various roles before leaving to further develop her therapy, assessment skills and experiences. She returned to Merakey in 2018 as Clinical Director for the IDD PA North/Central Region.

Robin will receive this very high honor at the 2019 NADD Annual Conference in New Orleans, LA on October 25. Congratulations, Robin and thank you for all that you contribute towards the quality of services provided to individuals with Intellectual and Development Disabilities!

October 4, 2019

Merakey Autism Center in Texas Receives Surprise Visit

Merakey Board Member Carol Johnson recently stopped by the Autism Center in Forth Worth, Texas to visit with staff and to take a tour of the building. The team was excited to showcase all the hard work they have put into the Autism Center since Opening earlier this year. Thank you, Carol, for stopping by the Autism Center and for your continued support of Merakey’s mission.

Carol in Texas
October 4, 2019

Joe Martz Visits Williamsport and Coal Township

CEO Joe Martz and Vice President Suzanne Campbell recently visited staff members in the Behavioral Health Outpatient and Substance Use programs in Williamsport and Coal Township, PA. Joe toured the facilities and thanked staff for their continued hard work and support of individuals in their programs.

Williamsport Team: L-R - Joe Martz, Dana Luce, Kari Ulrich, April Loftus, Chloe Smith, Vanessa Shellman, Jenn Troxel, Heather Harbert, Nicole Klees, Heather Joscelyn, Adrienne Phillips, Sara Phillips, Sara Cecchini, Dawn Warren, Melinda Ross
Coal Twp
Coal Township Team : L-R - Dana Luce, Lee Potteiger, Heather Harbert, Kamryn Brennan, Jacquelyn Wiker, Tanya Stravinsky, Shawn Griffiths, and Joe Martz. Seated - Suzanne Fisher
October 4, 2019

IT C.A.R.E.S for Individuals in Merakey IDD Programs

On October 1, the Information Technology team came together for their fourth annual “ALL IT Meeting”. IT uses this time each year to celebrate past accomplishments and talk about important upcoming projects for the current fiscal year. This year’s theme was “Why IT Matters to Merakey”. CIO Tom Morgan shared with the team how the work done in IT helps the rest of Merakey staff have more time and energy to spend with our consumers. Brandon Fisher, SVP of Quality and Compliance also spoke about the importance of quality and data analytics. This was followed by lunch with CEO Joe Martz. Thank you to Joe and Brandon for joining the meeting!

What made this year’s meeting extra special was spending time with individuals with IDD at the Merakey Woodhaven Center in Philadelphia. In the afternoon, the IT team broke into four groups each with a different theme – music, arts and crafts, gym time and technology. The individuals rotated through each group as the IT team interacted with them.

“Interacting with the individuals really challenged me to come out of my comfort zone, however, what impressed me even more was getting to see some of my coworkers in a different light. I was blown away by their compassion in engaging with the individuals. Really awesome,” Commented Carla Swift, Merakey Network Administrator. The IT team also came away from the meeting with a greater appreciation for the hard work that our DSPs put in every day. They are the true heroes of Merakey. Special thanks to Samantha Warner, Paula Nerone and the entire team at the Merakey Woodhaven Campus!

If you are interested in learning more about the IT Department’s upcoming projects, please tune in to Tom Morgan’s upcoming Town Hall meeting where he will discuss what IT has in store for this fiscal year.

IT C.A.R.E.S at Woodhaven

October 1, 2019

Partners in Caring at Merakey’s First Outpatient Site in Philadelphia

Merakey’s Behavioral Health Services, located at 27 E. Mt. Airy Avenue, welcomed nearly 100 employees, corporate vendors and individuals served to the 2019 Partners in Caring event on Friday, September 27. Partners in Caring is an opportunity for Merakey employees, who work in corporate and administrative positions, to support our mission by participating in an all-day, on-site service and clean-up effort.

Volunteers braved the heat to participate in various improvement projects, including painting, landscaping, and general clean-up around the building. Councilwoman Cindy Bass and Donna Clement Jackson, Director of Constituent Services for Councilmember Derek Green attended and volunteered their time and painting skills to the event. Philadelphia Insurance Companies, The Graham Company, Ann Green's Weeding Friend-Z & Gardening Landscaping, and Sherwin Williams showed their support of the Merakey mission by volunteering their time, skills, and resources to ensure a successful day was experienced by everyone in attendance.

The Mt. Airy site was the very first location for the behavioral health organization, providing Outpatient services as well as information and resources, referrals, and community outreach to the Philadelphia area. Today, the same location continues to provide behavioral health and addiction services to children, adults and families in the community.

Merakey thanks all the volunteers for making this year’s Partners in Caring a huge success. The staff who work at the site and individuals who receive services there are grateful to everyone for helping to spruce up the building and surrounding landscape.

Check out the photo album and click this link for 6ABC Action News' coverage of Partners in Caring!

Partners in Caring 2019

October 1, 2019

Cleaning Up at Merakey Parkside Recovery

The Merakey Foundation Junior Board continued Partners in Caring with a second cleanup event on September 28th at Merakey Parkside Recovery in Philadelphia. The goal was to provide a cleaner and safer environment for individuals who receive services there and for Merakey employees who provide valuable services to the community.

Parkside CleanUp

October 1, 2019

Thank You, Representative Mary Jo Daley!

Representative Mary Jo Daley, 148th District in Montgomery County, PA, stopped by the Merakey corporate office in Lafayette Hill on September 30 to learn more about Merakey’s services and how we are helping individuals and families in her community.

Merakey is grateful to Representative Daley for supporting our integrated behavioral and physical health care model and for her continued advocacy of these services to residents throughout Montgomery County!

Mary Jo Daley
October 1, 2019

50th Anniversary Employee Spotlight – Mary Tate

Mary Tate

Many employees have been with Merakey for quite a few 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!

Program Coordinator Mary Tate has worked with Merakey for an incredible 28 years in the Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Division. “My passion is to provide care, support, and make the individuals I care for smile, feel safe, and loved.”

Mary’s favorite memory with Merakey has been teaching individuals how to stand and walk. Working with Merakey has taught Mary new skills and helpful communication tips. She takes a lot of pride in being a small part of the success of the individuals she supports.

Thank you, Mary, for putting your heart and soul into exceptional care and services!