Central Oregon Pediatric Associates (COPA) is pleased to announce a partnership with Pacific Source and Central Oregon Health Council (COHC) resulting in the purchase and distribution of 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 “Masks for Children Project” 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 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. The Blackstrap masks are terrific, and kids love them, so they’re more likely to keep them on”, said Wade Miller, CEO of COPA.
Free masks for children are currently available to patients of COPA and their siblings when they check in for their sick visit or annual exam, as well as their flu shot.
Other children will receive a mask through select nonprofits in the tri-county region in coordination with Deschutes Children’s Foundation. Area nonprofits that received an allocation of masks for kids include:
Big Brothers Big Sisters
Boys and Girls Club
Crook County Health Department
Deschutes County Juvenile Community Justice
DHS Child Welfare for Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson County
Family Access Network
Head Start and Early Head Start
Healthy Families of the High Desert
J Bar J Boys Ranch & J5
Cascade Youth and Family Center
Latino Community Association
MountainStar Family Relief Nursery
Warm Springs Community Health Program
WIC – Deschutes County