Girls happily reading their books - at Orchard Place Des Moines

CEO Anne Starr's Email Message to Employees - April 7, 2020

CEO Anne Starr's Update

Dear All,  

Our encouragement today comes from Andrew Boscaljon, Orchard Place Operating Board member and parent of a young person with mental health challenges.  

The work of Orchard Place has never been more important than right now.  We are all experiencing new challenges and adversity on many levels.  Unlike any other time in our lives, we must bring our leadership in all places.  Thank you for bringing your courage into the world every single day.

Now is the time to be Sanctuary.  Make courageous choices to stay connected to others – even when that connection is virtual.  Be inspired and create into the essential work of Orchard Place.  Do unprecedented things that match the nature of these times.  I see you.  

Thank you for reaching inward and outward to bring your fullest expression and contributions.  Like no other time, you are doing this for yourself and so many others. “ 

With profound gratitude,




Organization wide: 


·         We want to keep as many children and families engaged in mental health services and support as possible.  Although how we do this looks different today and some of our outreach may not be billable, we are keeping families from isolation and having to go this time of uncertainty alone.   Now more than ever we need to be in touch with these families.  If you are struggling with finding ways to keep some families engaged, be sure you use your team and a supervisor to problem solve.  And, don’t give up.  We have to bring the hope and optimism.  

·         OP has applied for a grant through the Paycheck Protection Program offered through the SBA and congressional appropriation in the CARES act.  The funding is available on a first come ,first serve basis, so Val has already submitted the application for a little over $3MM dollars to assist with payroll, rent, mortgage fees, utilities etc. over the next two months.  The PPP funding helps small businesses such as OP to keep people working.  It will help keep us strong in delivering on mission.  

·         Here’s a reminder to make time for self- care.  For the next eight Wednesdays (first one tomorrow) NAMI of Greater Des Moines is offering#WeAreHereWithYou.  We heartily support this on-line series and hope you will join.   You can have a planned self-care hour every Wednesday for the next eight weeks to feed your heart and soul! Check it out and register now!

·         Unity Point Health has COVID testing for OP healthcare workers.  If you have COVID symptoms (fever, etc) you must:

o   First call one of these two UnityPoint Clinics: 515-323-5680 (Ingersoll) or 515-256-4242 (Southglen) to request testing.

o   On the call the tell them you must let them know you are a “healthcare worker.”

o   The UnityPoint team member will give directions on how/where to get testing.


Hope your Tuesday is rich and full!  Sanctuary on!   Anne