Public Health and Government
The city of Ankeny is extending closures and cancellations of public facilities after the latest recommendations released by Gov. Kim Reynolds during the COVID-19 pandemic. A full list of facility updates is available online

Kemin launches $1 million bonus program for essential employees

Kemin Industries Inc. announced today it has launched a $1 million bonus program to express its gratitude to its employees who are required to work on-site at Kemin facilities during the coronavirus pandemic. As a manufacturer that produces ingredients and solutions used to protect the health and safety of the food supply as well as humans, pets and animals, Des Moines-based Kemin is part of a “Critical Infrastructure Sector” as outlined by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, permitting the company to continue operating with exemption during shelter-in-place and stay-at-home orders. The bonus initiative was created to show appreciation and thank team members in North America – including Canada and Mexico – who cannot work from home during stay-at-home mandates and shelter-in-place orders, the company said in a news release. Many of the essential jobs include handling inventory and equipment, production, research requiring a laboratory, security, facilities, process transactions, and those who facilitate the ability of other workers to do their jobs remotely. Kemin has implemented other bonus programs and initiatives to support teams at its global locations, including Europe, China and Singapore, the company said. 

Health care
UnityPoint Health 
has launched the WELL Rapid Release Program, a new texting platform to allow patients direct communication with their health care provider’s office while reducing person-to-person exposure during COVID-19, UnityPoint Health announced today. The platform would allow providers to create a virtual waiting room for clinics, and patients can notify the office when they arrive by responding to an automated appointment reminder. Patients would then receive text instructions on registration and when and how to enter the building. More information is available on service options online

UnityPoint Clinic – Pediatrics has opened a Pediatric Respiratory Illness clinic for pediatric patients suspected of having COVID-19 or other acute respiratory illnesses. The clinic will open April 8 and will see patients by appointment only; the pediatric clinic is adjacent to the Adult Respiratory Clinic, which opened March 25. Patients are asked to call 515-323-5680 or contact their primary care provider to schedule an appointment. 

Outlets of Des Moines will host an appointment-only LifeServe Blood Drive April 25 from 10 a.m.-2 p.m., the outlet mall announced Tuesday. The drive will be held in space 325 and organize will ensure all donors are socially distanced; appointments can be made online. LifeServe and other donation services have previously encouraged citizens to schedule an appointment to donate blood, saying that appointments have dropped significantly in the wake of canceled blood drives across the country. 

DMOS Orthopaedic Centers announced it has begun treating new and existing patients using telehealth technology. “Until recently, telehealth was not a viable option for us,” said Dr. Nicholas Honkamp, DMOS president. “However, with the COVID-19 pandemic this is one way we will be able to follow the progress of our surgical patients without putting them or our teams at risk for infection.” DMOS Orthopaedic says that nearly half of its providers are using telehealth to assess patients, and the majority of patients are post-surgical follow-up appointments ranging from two-week on one-year checks. The DMOS Orthopaedic Centers are encouraging patients to inquire about this technology at 515-224-1414 

Hope Hall Counseling, a service of Youth Emergency Services & Shelter (YESS) is launching a new series of videos aimed at helping adult caregivers support children. More information can be requested online