Meet the Staff

Over 60 years combined experience

Susan Merenstein

RPh / Owner

Participating Provider for Hillman Cancer Center Integrative Oncology

What jump-started your career as a pharmacist?

I took my first steps in my father's corner drugstore Drug Lane in Washington, D.C. and as a kid I ran up and down the wide planked floors to the soda fountain where I stood on an old wooden box to "serve" the customer a cold root beer float. My dad was called “Doc” and mixed up concoctions for cough/cold, aches and pains, and dished out TLC when needed. He knew all of his customers by name and their families too! As I got older I worked as a front end clerk, clean up girl, and as a pharmacy technician. I decided to go to pharmacy school at the University of Pittsburgh and graduated in 1981 to work at a small independent pharmacy where we stilled typed RX labels on a Corona typewriter! Since then, I have advanced technologically, but I will never forget my independent roots!

What training and experience do you have?

I have been a practicing pharmacist for 35 years and I became a compounding pharmacist 15 years ago. I received my Bachelor of Science degree from University of Pittsburgh and my area of study was Pharmacy. I have an active license to practice pharmacy in the state of Pennsylvania.

I have obtained more than 300 hours of continuing education in hormone balancing and compounding, holistic approaches to individual patient problems with focus on the biochemistry and interactions of thyroid, adrenals and sex steroids.

Are you a member of any professional organizations?

I am currently involved with The International Academy of Compounding Pharmacists and The Professional Compounding Centers of America as well as the National Association of Professional Women. I was chosen as the 2011-2012 VIP Business Woman of the Year by the National Association of Professional Women for my hard work and dedication to the pharmacy profession as well as credibility in business ownership.

Do you support or give back to any organizations or your community?

I am a Participating Provider for Hillman Cancer Center Integrative Oncology and a Proud Provider of LDN (Low Dose Naltrexone) through the LDN Trust. I have been featured in Whirl magazine and Pittsburgh Pet Connection magazine, and have been involved with several events including Pittsburgh Earth Day and Greyhounds in Gettysburgh. We held an event at the Apothecary in which we raised nearly $1,000 in donations to Dreamchasers Horse Rescue & Rehabilitation for Premarin Rescue Horses. I was interviewed and featured in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette on Animal Compounding. I frequently teach community health seminars and have been an instructor for adult education classes in the OSHER program. I have also lectured about hormone balancing to physician assistant students at Chatham College. I have taught elective classes on pharmacy compounding and alternative therapies for pharmacy students at Duquesne University School of Pharmacy and University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. I am a preceptor for pharmacy students on clinical rotation for the University of Pittsburgh School of Pharmacy. I have also been a presenter at annual meetings of the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists & Western Pennsylvania Dental Hygienists Association.

What inspires and motivates you?

In life, there are only challenges and opportunities. I am motivated by both! My creative inspiration comes from listening to people. My brain is always humming with ideas to help people face health challenges.

What do you like to do on your personal time, when you’re not at the Apothecary?

My hobbies and special interests are family and my new grandson, reading on my Nook, walking my adopted rescue dog, Ralph, on the beautiful trails of Pittsburgh, photography, movies, live shows, and plays.

How has owning a small business changed your life?

Opening a small business enhanced my passion for helping, educating and guiding people in their quest for health. "I love being able to help patients achieve balance, quality of life, and lasting health".

LuAnn Beres

CPhT, Compounding Lab Technician

After 10 years of raising my 3 children, I decided to reenter the workforce. I was offered a position at my local pharmacy as a pharmacy technician. After several years, I had the opportunity to attend PCCA compounding training in Houston, TX. I thoroughly enjoy being a compounding pharmacy technician and in 2007, I moved with Pharmacist, Susan Merenstein, to open Murray Avenue Apothecary. Along with my husband of 38 years, we enjoy traveling, bicycling but most especially our six precious grandchildren.

Karen Vivas

BS, CPhT, Head Compounding Lab Technician

My name is Karen Vivas and I am a Certified Pharmacy Technician and head of the compounding lab. I research, formulate and compound the medications, here, at Murray Avenue Apothecary. I’ve been compounding and working with Susan Merenstein since 2003. I am recently married and I am an avid movie buff and animal lover.

Trish Domis

Customer Service Clerk

I am the front clerical person at MAA, so I will be the first happy face you see when walking through the door! I take care of all the customers that come to visit the pharmacy. I enjoy working with everyone!

I came to MAA by accident. I was at Starbucks in Squirrel Hill and I met an employee of MAA at the time. As we were chatting, she said I have the perfect job for you and your personality! And as they say, the rest is history! I started 5 years ago and I love my job! I learn something new each day from our owner and pharmacist Susan Merenstein.

When I am not at MAA, I enjoy traveling, sports (especially the Penguins) and watching old movies.