Our Story

  • 1980

    Formerly operated as a Bed & Breakfast, Merry Meadow Farm was first licensed as a Therapeutic Community Residence by the State of Vermont in 1980.

    Betty Williams, a Social Worker by trade, recognized the need for a bridge between the custodial care of a hospital and the rigors of independent living. Working in the community, Betty was disturbed by the number of individuals in the community needing regular hospitalizations, not able to live independently. Betty slowly began matriculating individuals needing assistance with a mental illness into her home.

  • 1985

    As the Main Farm House filled, Betty needed to expand in an effort to offer more people this opportunity. In 1985, Betty opened the Gray House. The Gray House offered the same care as the main house in a slightly smaller setting. All activities and opportunities were open to either house, interaction was frequent between individuals of both houses, continuing the family model.

  • 1991

    In 1991 the Bradford house was opened. The Bradford House, licensed as a Residential Care Home, is fully handicap accessible and completely remodeled. The Residential Care home model focuses more on the needs and issues surrounding extended care.

  • 1993

    In 1993 the Hanover House opened. Just off the campus of Dartmouth College, the Hanover House offers a different culture, increased vocational possibilities, public transportation and unlimited entertainment.

Meet our Clinical Team

William R Keller

Primary Psychiatrist

William Keller is a board certified psychiatrist with over 10 years of experience providing evidenced based mental health care. His primary goals are improving the delivery of mental health care within a system, advancing treatment for the seriously mentally ill, and consistently providing high quality care with a personalized approach. William’s current position as medical director of inpatient psychiatry at DHMC and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at Dartmouth’s Geisel School of Medicine draw upon his vast experiences within a multitude of mental health settings. Previous employment settings include large academic centers with a predominant research focus, community mental health clinics, freestanding psychiatric hospitals, state psychiatric hospitals, Veterans Affairs Hospitals, and the United States Army. He completed a National Institute of Mental Health training fellowship with an emphasis on research and treatment of psychotic disorders. He has published over 12 scientific peer reviewed journal articles and received research funding from the American Psychiatric Association.

William completed his psychiatric training at the University of Maryland School of Medicine and world-renowned Maryland Psychiatric Research Center. He holds a Medical Doctorate from UT Southwestern in Dallas Texas and a BA in Mathematics from the University of Maryland Baltimore County.

Douglas L. Noordsy

Consulting Psychiatrist

Douglas L. Noordsy, MD, is Clinical Professor, Director of Sports Psychiatry, and psychiatrist on the INSPIRE Early Psychosis Clinic in the Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Sciences at Stanford University School of Medicine

In addition to being the previous Medical Director at Meadow Farm since 2010, Douglas L. Noordsy, MD, was Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Director of Psychosis Services at Dartmouth Medical School, and an Investigator with the Dartmouth Psychopharmacology Research Group. Dr. Noordsy earned a Bachelor of Science in Chemistry at St. Lawrence University, and a Medical Doctorate at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri. He completed residency in Psychiatry at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center and has served on faculty at Dartmouth since.

Dr. Noordsy provided psychiatric care and medical leadership at Dartmouth-affiliated CMHCs from 1989-2003. He currently serves as Attending Psychiatrist at Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center. He is a reviewer for multiple journals, including The American Journal of PsychiatrySchizophrenia Research, and The Journal of Clinical Psychiatry. Dr. Noordsy received the Exemplary Psychiatrist Award from the National Alliance for the Mentally Ill in 2001.

Dr. Noordsy’s research interests are in treatments for people with comorbid substance abuse and severe mental illness, and in synergistic effects between medications and psychosocial rehabilitation that may facilitate recovery from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. He is co-investigator on several randomized, blinded trials of second-generation antipsychotic medications funded by NIMH, NIDA or NIAAA comparing vocational, symptom, and substance use outcomes of various agents among individuals with both first-episode and chronic schizophrenia.

Elizabeth A. Macaulay, MA, LCMHC

Clinical Director

 

Liz joined Averte in January 2012 to implement clinical programming and individualized treatment for residents. She received her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Boston College, during which time she first began to provide individual therapy to individuals diagnosed with major mental illness. Liz spent four years working with young adults coping with symptoms of psychosis at the Commonwealth Research Center at Harvard Medical School before moving to the Upper Valley in 2002. Liz served as the director of adult services at a community mental health center in Vermont for the following nine years. Liz’s clinical interests include diagnostic evaluation and treatment of a variety of psychological issues including psychotic, mood and personality disorders.  She utilizes a cognitive approach to the conceptualization and treatment of each individual, emphasizing the importance of collaboration with the client to understand and respond to symptoms that interfere with quality of life. In addition to providing individual and group therapy, Liz oversees all aspects of clinical programming. She facilitates the integration of a multidisciplinary approach to treatment that includes collaboration with specialists in vocational, health and wellness, and other areas of specialty to most effectively support each client’s goals. Liz has been credentialed as a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor by the state of Vermont since 2007.

Liz can be contacted via email or phone to discuss details of our clinical programming, the cognitive-behavioral approach to treatment, and to answer questions about how these supports may promote wellness and achievement of personal goals.

Amy Woodward, MS, LCMHC

Clinical Program Coordinator

Amy joined the Averte team in 2012 to continue developing the clinical program and individualized treatment for its participants. Amy began working in the mental health in 2004, working as a case manager for adults diagnosed with chronic mental illness at the community mental health center in Bradford, VT. For the next several years, Amy continued her work at the community mental health center, additionally serving as the Vocational Specialist and Access Specialist, providing her a diverse background in the provision of mental health services. Amy received her Master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from Plymouth State University, in Plymouth, NH. Amy is credentialed by the State of Vermont as a Licensed Clinical Mental Health counselor. Amy’s professional interests include providing individual therapy services, utilizing cognitive behavioral and dialectical behavior treatment modalities, as well as facilitating a variety of therapy groups. Outside of her commitment to work, Amy enjoys traveling with family and friends, being outdoors, and introducing new experiences to her son.

Rebecca Schramm, BSW

Rebecca has been with Averte since 2003. Rebecca began her career with the Head Start organization in the 90′s then took the Directors position with the Orange County Parent and Child Center. Upon starting a family Rebecca chose to scale back to part time and carries a small caseload at Averte, which has now grown into more direct contact hours as well as leading and co-leading groups at several houses. Rebecca lives in Bradford with her husband and two children.

Kathy Rathburn

Skills Specialist

Kathy began her professional career working as a nursing assistant for 15 years. She then enrolled in Springfield College, focusing on completing her Human Services degree. Next, she spent two years working with individuals with development disabilities before finding her place at Averte. Initially, Kathy served as the receptionist at the Main House. Within this role, she had constant interaction with residents, family members, and colleagues alike, and showed great interest and ambition in developing more clinical knowledge and skills. She began training to facilitate various milieu groups, as well as a completing a comprehensive Dialectical Behavior Therapy course and becoming an individual DBT skills coach and group co-facilitator. She transitioned into her current role as Skills Specialist within Averte’s clinical team. She has been with us for four years and thoroughly enjoys the challenges, opportunities, and sense of community that Averte inspires.

Meet our Administation Team

Steven T. Williams

President/Co-Owner

Steven has been involved with Averte from its inception. Steven lived at the Farm as his Mother, Betty Williams, opened Merry Meadow Farm, now Averte.

Steven works full time in our business office and is the person to contact about billing issues. Steven can be reached at (802) 222-9393 and you can email him from the contact page. Steven, his wife Kate, and their children Connor & Meaghan live in Bradford.

Stephen J. Schramm

Vice President/Co-Owner

Stephen was with Merry Meadow Farm, now Averte for a few years in the late eighties and has been back since 1993 when he returned as a case manager, later becoming Assistant Director.

In 1999, Stephen took over the duties of Director. Stephen works out of an office in Bradford as well as traveling to the other houses throughout the week. Stephen, lives with his wife and children in Bradford.

Matthew Daly

Assistant Director

Matthew joined the Merry Meadow team in 2007 after a 12 years working for Upper Valley Services. Matt became house manager at the Gray House in 2008 and remained in that position until transitioning to Assistant Director in 2015. Matt lives in North Haverhill with his wife and four children.