CEO Anne Starr's Email Update to Employees - May 27, 2020

CEO Update

Dear All, 


The last session in NAMI’s “8 Weeks of Inspiration” speaker series will feature Lt. Col. Waldo Waldman today at noon.  Orchard Place has partnered with 106 other agencies and companies in this eight week series and are grateful for NAMI’s leadership during this important time. 

Lt. Col. Waldo Waldman led missions worldwide as a decorated fighter pilot & is the author of the New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestseller Never Fly Solo®. Waldo has been inducted into the National Speakers Association Speaker Hall of Fame, an honor bestowed on less than 200 speakers including Colin Powell, Zig Ziglar, and Ronald Reagan. He is also the author of Never Fly Solo.  This looks like it will be outstanding.  

Register here:


You can hardly watch a moment of television or listen to the news without hearing debates about “reopening” from the COVID pandemic.  There are high emotions pro and con about “reopening”.    We can watch those intense emotions play out on an international basis;  we see dysregulated individuals, parallel processes, and trauma re-enactments.  Already we have layers of stress we must contend with, and, we have the potential to make it far worse by how we all deal with it.    

Our primary objective is to keep everyone safe.  We are monitoring the current data about the spread both in Polk County as well as across the state.   As Polk County opens up will there be an increase in positive cases?  There are many factors that contribute to, and frankly, confound the data.   So, even with the data, it is not an exact science to say when is the exact right time to open back up.  

There is an amount of risk in all we do in daily life.  My hope is to take what we are learning about the COVID and containment and limit our risk to a level we have in our typical day to day living.   We will use masks, handwashing, hand sanitizer, monitoring of temperatures, social distancing and testing resources that have become more accessible to help limit our risk.  Remember, we can be the very best at virus containment and that is a great goal to strive for.  Will there be risk?  No question there will be risk, and, no question we will be ready when the time comes to open the doors again.  

Your branches are prepping for what needs to be put into place for reopening.   Each branch has its own programs and plans.  There will be overlapping practices across all branches.  Each branch is working with the OP Safety Committee in making preparations to reopen, return to face to face contact with our children and families, return to regular visiting between our residential youth and their families.       

How can you prepare yourself?  You can use what you already know about what will be in place when we reopen.  We can visualize what the new environment will be like and check in with ourselves about how we believe we will experience that, both positive and the negative experiences.  That’s where the SELF tool is so important.  SELF can help us detail out our safety concerns, emotions, losses, and get to what we want to do to shape the future.  You can use SELF  individually, in supervision, and in your teams.  SELF brings with it that precious self-awareness and priceless ability to see that we can shape our future.  SELF is the perfect tool for us to use to prevent and minimize dysregulation, parallel processes, and re-enactments.   One to two hours of SELF is a great investment as it far outweighs the negative cost of spending time dysregulated.  

My faith and hope for coming through this is based on the strength of us all, together, using the tools.  We can and will be safe, secure, calm and well.  

Sanctuary on!