News & Happenings

Merakey Announces Acquisition of Dallas-Fort Worth Pediatric Home Care Agency Small Hands, Big Hearts

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PRESS RELEASE – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                           

The acquisition will name Small Hands, Big Hearts Co-founder, Melissa Gutzmer Executive Director of new Merakey company.

DALLAS (August 13, 2021) – Merakey, a national nonprofit provider of developmental, behavioral health, and education services, announced today the acquisition of Dallas-Fort Worth pediatric home health agency, Small Hands, Big Hearts Pediatric Therapy Management, LLC (SHBH). Effective immediately, it will be recognized as Small Hands, Big Hearts, A Merakey Company and will continue serving clients across the Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio region. SHBH co-founder, Melissa Gutzmer, will serve as Executive Director for the new organization, and will lead the transition of current staff and business operations to Merakey.

“I’m excited to welcome Small Hands, Big Hearts to the Merakey family,” said Merakey CEO Joe Martz. “The model of service that Small Hands, Big Hearts has created is centered on exceptional individualized care and has allowed them to become a trusted and reliable provider of therapeutic services for youth and their families. Together, we can continue to support the Dallas-Fort Worth region and all of Texas with the same level of care.”

Founded in 2010, SHBH provides physical, occupational, and speech therapy to children and young adults from birth to age 21 at home or at private school settings. With a diverse and bilingual (Spanish-speaking) staff, SHBH serves individuals in 19 counties in Dallas-Fort Worth and 28 counties in the San Antonio area, with an office location in Bedford, TX. Following a motto of “Helping Every Angel Reach Therapeutic Success,” SHBH has worked with more than 1,000 individuals since their opening.

“Small Hands, Big Hearts is an established provider of care for individuals in this region and we are proud to have them join Merakey,” said Merakey’s Senior Vice President of Children and Family Services Rebecca Mann. “As an organization, they have demonstrated a clear commitment to serving individuals and helping them to reach personal success with exceptional therapeutic service and compassion. With a shared focus on supporting the individual, their work is a complement to our existing services in Texas.”

“In partnering with Merakey, I knew that our children would be supported and cared for by an organization that was competent and compassionate,” said Gutzmer. “This acquisition will provide Small Hands, Big Hearts with a forever home and I’m excited that it is with Merakey.”

Merakey, which is headquartered in Pennsylvania, currently has an Autism Center in Fort Worth, TX that offers autism and behavioral health services for children and their families.

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Check out our SHBH branded PPE

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Check out this SHBH branded PPE (thank you Melissa for modeling). We also have some purple masks in a different style coming in. So for our next batch of PPE, our therapists can expect these goodies to be included.

Small Hands 10 Years Old!

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Small Hands, Big Hearts is Celebrating 10 years serving children with disabilities. We love and appreciate all those Families, Therapists, and Staff that have been part of our Journey!



Learning has never been this much fun!

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Today SHBH’s Melissa Gutzmer hosted a wonderful group of future Occupational Therapy Assistants from Dallas College Mountain View Campus for a workshop on using toys within a pediatric home health setting. Special thanks to professor Wendy H. for organizing and having such great students!


Fighting COVID-19 by sending out PPE

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With COVID-19 on our minds, our wonderful staff worked together to box up our PPE care packages today for our therapists!
Our therapist will soon get a supply of N95 respirator, disposable gloves, surgical masks, face shield, surgical gown, shoe booties, digital thermometer, alcohol wipes. So glad we can help keep our staff and families safe!

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Lobby day in Austin with SHBH Leadership and Senator Brian Birdwell

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Small Hands Big Hearts’ (SHBH) Leadership Team–Betts Hoover and Melissa Gutzmer–attended the 2013 Texas Association for Home Care and Hospice Winter Legislative Conference held in Austin, TX January 23-24.

The Texas Legislature only meets every two years in Austin, so Betts and Melissa took the opportunity to join other home care and hospice advocates at the Capitol and share the story of how home care is changing lives.

The 2013 Texas Legislative Session will be underway and lawmakers need to know that home health is the most cost-effective, patient-centered solution to health care reform. Betts and Melissa spoke with representatives from both the House and the Senate.

This photo was taken when Melissa met Senator Brian Birdwell in his office in the Capitol. The Senator was burned severely when an airplane hit the Pentagon on 9/11, so he has personal experience with physical and occupational therapy.

We were able to share the value our services provide to the individuals we serve as well as the importance of our program to the state of Texas as a whole.  Small Hands, Big Hearts will continue to fight for the rights of children with delays and disabilities in order for them to get the services they so desperately need.