Girls happily reading their books - at Orchard Place Des Moines

CEO Anne Starr's Email Update to Employees - April 1, 2020

CEO Anne Starr's Email Update

Dear All,

Today’s words of encouragement are from Reggie Jackson, Secretary/Treasurer of the Orchard Place Operating Board, and Reggie and his wife, Elsie, volunteer at the Campus. He reflects on how the OP team has stepped up in these difficult times.  

“This has been a time unlike any we have ever experienced. Yet, in these unprecedented times, it is inspiring to see how leadership and staff across the organization, continue demonstrating dedication, resilience, and compassion for each other and the children and families you serve. The way in which everyone is working together is impressive. You all embody Orchard Place’s mission and values for developing strong futures for children and youth. Thank you for all you do each and every day!” Reggie

Sanctuary on! Anne





· The US Census Bureau has extended the deadline for census data from April 1st to August 23rd, 2020, due to the pandemic. If you haven’t already submitted your census data, you can do so online at This is a great way to display social responsibility and aid democracy!

· I’m hearing from people that they are feeling more tired this week. The past two weeks, we were responding to the crisis and may have been in our flight/fight modes as we made huge adjustments. Now we feel tired and maybe a letdown. This is the time to get our daily routines in place; set daily rituals and self-care to help move through the longer-term adjustments. We are working through multiple layers of trauma- individual and organizational- and gratefully, we have the tools to do this. 

· Still no report of any staff or client coming down with COVID, and we are grateful for every day we can say that.


Campus Specific: 


· Campus had an admission yesterday, and all went smoothly, and we now have 87 youth in the residential program. It is a testament to the excellent communication and calm of the campus team that parents are able to feel their children are safe and secure in our program.   

· Campus was notified yesterday that the federal agency, Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services, has initiated pandemic audits for PMICs and other residential treatment facilities. This is a brand new type of review in response to COVID 19. The campus has done a great deal of planning and made significant changes over the past month. More to come on how the audit is conducted and what we learn. 


PACE specific:


· Substance Use referrals continue to stream into PACE. They completed 24 assessments through telehealth, which is more than preCOVID. The Hazelden Betty Ford Treatment Center in Minnesota referred three referrals yesterday alone for youth coming out of treatment from their facility.  


CGC Specific: 


• For families whom you work with who do not have internet access, below are some helpful resources: 

o Companies who are providing free or discounted internet services: AT&T, Sprint, Verizon - families should contact the individual provider to discuss options

o Families that qualify for free or reduced-price lunch can sign up for broadband service from Mediacom at no cost for up to 60 days and about 10 dollars per month after that. The speed of the service was also increased to 25 megabits per second

o Des Moines Public Libraries free wifi will still be available to the public even though their buildings are closed. If you can park close to one of the buildings you can use their wifi