UnityPoint Health - Blank Children's STAR Center


Number of patients waiting reflects the current number of patients waiting to be seen. This number changes frequently and is not exact.

Hours & Directions

Hours of Operation

  • Monday: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
  • Tuesday: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
  • Wednesday: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
  • Thursday: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
  • Friday: 8:00 AM - 4:30 PM
  • Saturday: Closed
  • Sunday: Closed

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About Us

At the STAR Center, we believe every child deserves a happy and healthy childhood. Our goal is to provide services to help them get back on path to having one. The STAR Center is a unique community center designed to be child and adolescent friendly and trauma sensitive. Our staff are experts in child development and have a thorough understanding of how traumatic stress and adverse childhood experiences may impact the health and well-being of children. With these principles in mind, we work to increase a child's resiliency and improve their health and well-being.

The mission of the Blank Children's STAR Center is to work as a team with experts in child health, development, and welfare to provide services and support to children, which increase their resiliency and improve their health and well-being. To fulfill this mission, the STAR Center houses a Child Advocacy Center and three specialized clinics designed to meet the needs of children and their caregivers.

Child Advocacy Center

Abuse is something that no child should have to experience. But if concerns arise, the best thing we can do for that child or adolescent is respond to them in the best way possible. At the STAR Child Advocacy Center, we offer a safe and neutral place for children to talk to a trained professional about their experiences.


Referrals to the STAR Center are made by the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) and law enforcement. The STAR Child Advocacy Center does not replicate any existing community services. The center may also accept referrals where a developmentally dependent adult is the alleged victim.

Services Provided

Family Advocacy Services

Oftentimes families find themselves at our appointments with concerns and questions. Family advocacy services assist families as they navigate through the criminal justice system. The family advocacy services can also assist in providing referrals to a wide array of services such as shelter, victim compensation, therapy and legal services.

Mental Health Services

The Blank Children's STAR Center understands children thrive when their caregivers are at their best. We are committed to serving children and their families in all facets, including providing mental health counseling. Our licensed mental health therapist is on staff to provide intervention and long term therapy to families and children free of charge.

Forensic Interview

A forensic interview is a one-time interview conducted by a skilled professional who has been trained to understand children's language and developmental level in order to gather information from the child in a non-threatening and non-suggestive manner. The forensic interview is beneficial in giving kids and teenagers a safe space to talk about allegations of abuse as well as assisting in investigations for law enforcement and the Department of Human Services (DHS).

Forensic Medical Examination
A forensic medical examination is a specialized sexual abuse exam that also includes a general physical exam. The medical examination is conducted by a licensed nurse practitioner or physician. The forensic medical examination can be a helpful tool in showing children that their body is normal and healthy. The exams may include evidence collection which will be discussed before the exam is performed. Our experienced professionals make the appointment as child-friendly as possible while explaining the process as they go.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Forensic Evaluation

  1. How long will the appointment last?
    The average length of the appointment is 2-3 hours. This is to ensure there is enough time for you to meet with professionals to address the investigative, medical and emotional needs for both you and your child.
  2. Who should come to the appointment?
    Due to the limited size of the waiting room, we suggest coming to your appointment with your child/teenager and no more than two caregivers or support people.
  3. What should I bring to the appointment?
    Some people who visit the STAR Center find it helpful to have a comfort item like a blanket or stuffed animal, fidget toy, or activity to do while in the waiting area. You are welcome to bring a favorite item from home, or the child life specialist can offer different options for you to use while you are here. You may also bring a drink and small snack if you feel that will be helpful for your child/teenager during the appointment.
  4. How can I explain the appointment to my child?
    As a caregiver, you know your child/teenager best and how they cope with new experiences. You may tell your child/teenager that the STAR Center is a place where children and young people come to talk about things that have happened. Encourage your child to be honest and talk about truthful things. Please be mindful to not talk about what happened unless the child brings it up themselves.

For more information on how to talk about the appointment with your child/teenager, watch the STAR Center clinic tour video below.

Drug Endangered Children (DEC) Clinic

Our team at the Drug Endangered Children Clinic provides services for infants and children who have been exposed to drugs prenatally or environmentally through a parent/caregiver's illicit drug use or manufacturing. It is our goal to help each child and family heal and reach their maximum potential without labeling or judging. We support treatment and encouragement, not punishment or moral judgement for these families.

Services Provided

  • Developmental assessment and follow-up for children who are exposed to alcohol and/or drugs.
  • Referrals for both the family and the child in various areas of need.
  • Education and advocacy for children and caregivers.


Referrals to the DEC clinic can be made by:

  • Medical providers, including primary care physicians.
  • Department of Human Services (DHS) caseworker.
  • Caregivers of children in foster care and/or biological parents.

To make an appointment, refer a patient or if you have questions, please call (515) 241-4311.

Growth and Nutrition Clinic

The team at the Growth and Nutrition Clinic understand that a child's growth and nutrition play an important role in their lifelong health and well-being. Our multidisciplinary team provides education, encouragement and support for families in order to address these issues and help each child get back on track. The clinic is able to serve children from newborn through teenage years with ongoing appointments and assessments. We follow kids until they have established ongoing age-appropriate growth and the family feels comfortable with meeting the nutritional needs of their child.

Services Provided

  • Developmental assessment
  • Complete medical evaluation
  • Complete dietary evaluation with pediatrician and pediatric dietitian
  • Evaluation for social supports
  • Counseling for appropriate nutrition
  • Ongoing growth monitoring
  • Appropriate intervention services


Referrals for the Growth and Nutrition Clinic can be made by primary care physicians or other hospital medical providers. To make a referral, please call (515) 241-4311.

Providers at this Location

Kristi Schmall
Kristi Schmall, ARNP, CPNP, MSN

Child Abuse Pediatrics

Orrin S Probst
Orrin S Probst, DO


Michelle Ewest
Michelle Ewest, DO

Child Abuse Pediatrics

Jennifer Sleiter
Jennifer Sleiter, ARNP, CPNP, MSN

Child Abuse Pediatrics

Katie Scott
Katie Scott, DNP

Child Abuse Pediatrics