Central Oregon Pediatric Associates (COPA) has partnered with Pacific Source and Central Oregon Health Council (COHC) to buy and distribute high quality and reusable face masks to 15,000 children in Central Oregon at no cost to the families.
The “Masks for Children Project” can help reduce the spread of disease so that kids can return to classrooms, parents can get back to work, and the community can continue to thrive.
The effort supports the tremendous need among children to have comfortable, washable, and pediatric-size face masks they can use daily as recommended by the CDC and Oregon Health Authority.
COPA Doctors in July piloted a program with Blackstrap, a Bend-based clothing accessories manufacturer, to produce kid-sized masks designed specifically for COPA patients.
The masks have a four-way stretch made with top quality, high-tech fabrics that are breathable and comfortable, and made in the USA. COPA initially purchased 4000 masks for the pilot and gave them to patients free of charge, with highly positive reviews on comfort and style.
After the initial pilot, COPA’s CEO, Wade Miller, reached out to Pacific Source and COHC for a grant to further expand the program and distribute masks to thousands of more children in the region, in both small and adult sizes for kids of all ages.
Both organizations were enthusiastic about the benefits of the project and immediately approved the funding.
Deschutes Children’s Foundation (DCF) agreed to support the project by assisting in communications and distribution of the masks through regional nonprofits in Deschutes, Crook, and Jefferson Counties.
“From the first news of COVID-19, we’ve worked nonstop to keep the community safe and we believe this innovative partnership between COPA, Pacific Source, COHC, and nonprofits will help in a big way,” said Wade Miller, CEO of COPA. “The Blackstrap masks are terrific, and kids love them, so they’re more likely to keep them on”,
Free masks for children are currently available to patients of COPA and all children through select nonprofits in the tri-county region through Deschutes Children’s Foundation.