Merakey Allegheny Valley School


As of April 1, 2018, NHS Allegheny Valley School changed its name to Merakey Allegheny Valley School (AVS).  This is a name change only…there is no change in our ownership, management, staff or range of services that we offer.  New name – same mission!

Merakey AVS has been providing lifelong opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities (IDD) since 1960.  Today, Merakey AVS offers a variety of residential and therapeutic programs to more than 800 adults through 125 programs and facilities in nine Pennsylvania counties.  Merakey AVS cares for some of the most vulnerable citizens in our communities.  In 2008, Merakey AVS joined Merakey, a leading developmental, behavioral health and education provider offering a breadth of integrated services to individuals and communities across the country.

Proceeds from the PVGP are used to cover critical expenditures that Medicaid, our primary funding source, does not reimburse, including therapeutic equipment, new program development, facility improvements and renovations, and so much more.  The PVGP’s support is incredibly important to us and helps us to make a difference in the lives of so many in western Pennsylvania.

Merakey AVS provides a comprehensive continuum of services to support each person and help the individual continue to grow and learn at every stage of life.  Each person is cared for with individualized services ranging from physical, occupational and communication therapies to special education and vocational training. To enhance services provided, Merakey AVS has developed, implemented and distributed an innovative sensory program.  The program provides a variety of activities and settings to help the individuals to interact more comfortably within their surroundings.  Innovative sensory rooms, gardens and specialized activities have made a real difference in the lives of the individuals.

AVS Chimes and waterfallSensory Garden

One recent project of the PVGP is an outdoor learning and sensory environment at Kennedy Program Center.  This beautiful three-season space includes a pavilion, musical instruments, a fountain, a variety of plants, and more.  “For years we’ve wanted to expand our program to the outdoors,” comments Program Director Jan Harvilla.  “The Pittsburgh Vintage Grand Prix’s generosity has made this dream a reality.

Whenever the weather permits, the individuals love spending time in the garden – listening to the wind chimes, potting plants, smelling the variety of herbs and flowers, playing the bells, and feeling and breathing in the fresh air.  THANK YOU!”

Dorothy Gordon/AVS Interview

Terry McNelis/AVS Interview

Merakey AVS has applied PVGPA support to numerous projects including most recently:

Smart Home II  – Allegheny County – Funding helped us to design, build, equip and open our 2nd western Pennsylvania Smart Home in 2018. 

Patricia Hillman Miller Campus – Allegheny County  Industrial dryer for the laundry facility at PHMC. We also purchased a laptop for use with equipment used by the residents.

Patterson – Beaver County  Flooring in group home.

Slippery Rock Program Center – Butler County  Funds were used to help establish a senior center .

Our Mission:  Enriching lives by providing exceptional services through an individualized approach.

Our Vision:  Creating communities where everyone is empowered to take meaningful steps toward reaching their fullest potential.

Our Core Values:  Compassion, Diversity, Integrity, Quality, Safety, Trust

To stay up to date with news and events, visit their website.  In addition, please friend them on facebook.

To arrange a personal tour please contact Dorothy Gordon at 412-299-7777.