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Merit Resources: (509) 837-7700

Substance Use or Mental Health Crisis Line: 988

Serving Central Washington for Over 40 Years

About us

What Is Merit Resource Services?


To support recovery for all in need by providing access to quality assessment, education, integrated treatment services and co-occuring services for substance use disorders and behavioral health needs.

The basics

Our corporate name is The Valley Alcohol Council, Inc. We were founded in 1979 as the first outpatient alcohol and other drug treatment provider in the lower Yakima valley. We began to provide services as Merit Resource Services in 1992. Merit is a nonprofit organization governed by a volunteer board of directors. In July 2015, Merit Resource Services merged with Alcohol Drug Dependency Services in Ellensburg and will continue to provide all programs as Merit Resource Services in Yakima and Kittitas counties. In February 2017 Merit Resource Services expanded into Benton County and opened up an office in Kennewick and in 2020 opened an office in Pasco.

More about us

We are members of The Washington State Alcoholism and Addictions Programs (AAP), The Washington State Association of Independent Outpatient Provider, The Central Washington Chemical Dependency Treatment Providers Alliance and The National Association of Addictions Treatment Providers

All six of our sites are state-approved by The Department of Behavioral Health and Recovery

Merit Resource Service’s professional staff is made up of Washington State Department of Health certified substance use disorder professionals and substance use disorder professional trainees

We are the sole provider of outpatient services to the Yakima County Drug Court Program, the Yakima County DUI Court Program and to the United States District “Step Program” Drug Court in Yakima County

We are a partner agency with The United Way of Central Washington

In addition to all phases and services for an outpatient provider, we have been offering student assistance programs on-site at local school districts for over 20 years

We were the first agency in Washington state to provide services in Spanish

Ethical Code of Conduct

MERIT’s leadership embraces the values of accountability and responsibility. Our agency strives to provide the highest level of professionalism and ethical conduct. MERIT is a member of the National Association of Addiction Treatment Providers (NAATP). MERIT adheres to the NAATP ethical codes of conduct. Please click on this link to read the code of ethics:

Merit resource services management team

Shereen Hunt – Executive Director

Pedro Lopez – Treatment Director

Loretta Olivares – Operations Manager

Lorraine Bramstedt – Business Manager

Caroline Wilson – Billings & Data Manager

Melissa Denner – Mental Health/Co-Occurring Manager

Treva Harmon – Clinical Supervisor (Wapato/Toppenish)

Chad Morris – Clinical Supervisor (Kennewick)

Victor Hunt – Clinical Supervisor (Pasco)

Jill Stanton – Clinical Supervisor (Sunnyside)

Bobbie Turner – Clinical Supervisor (Yakima Clinical Supervisors)

Jonathan Carlson – Clinical Supervisor (Ellensburg)

Reach Out for More Information

Get in touch with our kind and caring staff about treatment services and for more information about what we do. Steps to a brighter tomorrow start now.

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