Girls happily reading their books - at Orchard Place Des Moines

CEO Anne Starr Email Update to Employees

CEO Anne Starr email Update
Dear All,
We want to be very transparent with you all about decisions being made and the why behind those decisions. Whenever possible, we are gathering input from across the organization and from other organizations that are learning their way through the pandemic.
Thus far, OP has placed 12 employees on temporary layoff due to the change in their work due to COVID 19. Eight employees are located within CGC, and three are located at corporate.  We look forward to their return.
There have been no layoffs at PACE, and six PACE employees have volunteered to work at the campus, filling vacant living unit positions. There have been no layoffs at the campus where all roles are essential to the delivery of 24-hour care.
These employees will continue to receive OP insurance during this time, will file for weekly unemployment payments, and can return to work as soon as processes return to normal. With temporary layoffs there is not a change to accrued years of service, benefits, etc. upon their return.
OP is balancing the needs of our clients, employees, and the organization as a whole in making these difficult decisions. We have a rich heritage of making it through difficult times and continuing to provide high-quality services.  There is every reason to believe we will come through this as we have come through every other challenge. We will leverage public dollars, such as unemployment benefits, to help us all get through this.
We have more than 100 employees trained and equipped to engage clients through telehealth services. We need this new method of service delivery to be successful in reaching out to our youth and families during this difficult time. Their mental health needs are likely to worsen as they deal with the challenges and uncertainty of COVID. Supervisors for those 100+ employees will be monitoring and supporting telehealth. Supervisors will need to be assessing the effectiveness of the approach, and that assessment has already started. Supervisors need to be able to see data over the next two weeks that illustrate we are reaching our clients. Productivity data will likely change.  A mental health clinic here in Des Moines that switched to telehealth last week is finding that clients are enthusiastic about the telehealth and that the sessions are about half as long in duration. This makes sense. Our sessions may also shorten, may be more frequent, etc. Ultimately we want telehealth to keep us in contact and supporting clients. If it is not an effective approach and we aren't reaching that goal, we have to know and reassess if telehealth is the best strategy for every employee.

This is the time, if you are now providing telehealth, be sure you ask for the supports you need to do your best work. Your supervisor is along beside you to help you be successful in the "new normal."
Tomorrow's edition will cover reminders about reporting your time, using paid leave, and staying in touch with your supervisor when you are working from home.
Take care and Sanctuary on! Anne