Johnston’s Ellipsis honored with national accreditation, noted as a ‘central driver of community change’

DES MOINES, Iowa (May 18, 2022) – If there’s one thing the Ellipsis leadership and staff know how to do, it’s celebrate the good news that happens within their organization.

That’s why, when Ellipsis CEO Chris Koepplin received the accreditation report from Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) International, she knew just how much the details of the report would resonate with leaders and staff. One line into the email, and Koepplin — along with a dedicated staff of therapists, counselors, case workers, and youth care workers — were jumping for joy.

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Ellipsis CEO Chris Koepplin

“CARF awarded us the three-year accreditation, which is the highest level of accreditation an organization can receive,” Koepplin said. “Through an extensive review process and on-site visit, the CARF officials saw how our staff put forth outstanding care and treatment to our youth and families.”

Ellipsis is a privately-run youth residential facility located within the Johnston Community School District boundaries. It serves more than 750 kids and their families with residential care and treatment, counseling and therapy, behavioral health intervention services, care coordination and family support. In doing so, Ellipsis is helping kids and families overcome turbulent pasts to build successful, rewarding futures. All of the programs on the Ellipsis campus have the end goal of providing troubled youth and their families a path to independence.

Prior to becoming Ellipsis, the separate organizations of Youth Homes of Mid-America and Youth Emergency Services & Shelter respectively received the three-year stamp of approval from CARF three times and a four-year accreditation two times from the Council On Accreditation (COA).

In March 2022, CARF officials conducted a virtual visit with Ellipsis to interview, observe and interact with a variety of leadership and staff members as well as some of the clients Ellipsis serves. They also had an extensive review of organizational documents, finances and program delivery materials, among many other types of internal documents.

Ellipsis stock photoAs part of the accreditation process, CARF officials look for an adherence to quality standards for a variety of care, treatment and rehabilitation programs set forth by the CARF International organization. The result is a comprehensive report shared with the organization outlining strengths, opportunities for quality improvements and recommendations specific to the CARF program.

“The organization is designed and operated to benefit the clients, and it is considered a central driver of community change,” wrote CARF surveyors in their executive summary. “Ellipsis incorporates the CARF standards in its day-to-day service delivery practices and business functions, and its practices demonstrate continuous quality improvement.”

Koepplin said that while the process is extensive, the result is well worth the effort.

“Going through this process of checks and balances to ensure we’re doing the very best we can for staff, clients and the community offers us an outsider’s perspective on what’s going well and where we can improve,” Koepplin said. “CARF standards are known throughout the industry as some of the most rigorous and accurate means to measure a program’s quality. To say that we’re proud of our continued good standing is an understatement!”

After a year of change as YHMA and YESS merged to form Ellipsis, CARF officials noted a detailed list of accolades worthy of celebration.

“Among the many strengths of Ellipsis are the strong, effective, and vision-focused members of leadership and the skilled, hardworking staff members who are dedicated to delivering quality services to the clients,” CARF surveyors said. “Staff members enjoy the support and appreciation of leadership. As a team, leadership and staff members ably and creatively navigated the many challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Clients, their families and other stakeholders expressed heartfelt appreciation for and satisfaction with the organization and its services and staff members.”

Koepplin said the team of Ellipsis leaders will now go through the report in depth to brush up on noted areas of improvement, such as vehicle maintenance, comprehensive succession planning, and documented testing of the organization’s disaster recovery plan.

To learn more about Ellipsis and the variety of programs it offers to central Iowa youth and families or to donate in support of their services, visit

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About Ellipsis
Established in 2021 with the merger of Youth Homes of Mid-America and Youth Emergency Services & Shelter, Ellipsis offers resources and programs to meet the needs of Iowa’s youth and families.

An ellipsis takes the place of words left unsaid and symbolizes the potential for a new direction in a story. By providing much-needed opportunities for healing and growth, Ellipsis helps children and families in Iowa to rewrite their stories when they need it most, resulting in tangible, life-changing differences in Iowa’s communities.