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15,000 free masks being distributed for Central Oregon children

COPA masks
Central Oregon Pediatric Associates
Thousands of free children's masks are being distributed to Central Oregon families

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Central Oregon Pediatric Associates is pleased to announce a partnership with Pacific Source and Central Oregon Health Council 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 4,000 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 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,” Miller said.

Free masks for children are currently available to patients of COPA and all children through select nonprofits in the tri-county region, thanks to the Deschutes Children’s Foundation.

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About Central Oregon Pediatric Associates (COPA)

COPA is a private medical partnership and one of the largest pediatric practices in Oregon, serving more than half of all children from seven counties in Central Oregon. COPA has 21 pediatric trained providers including board certified pediatricians, certified physician assistants, and nurse practitioners. COPA is the region’s Pediatric Center of Excellence with over 100 employees in four locations in Bend and Redmond, 24/7 telephone nurse advice, and open 7 days a week. Pediatric services include Primary Medical Care, Behavioral Health, Lactation Consultation and Support, and Care Coordination for Complex Medical Cases. COPA also hosts Pediatric Specialists from Children’s Hospitals in Portland, OR, who visit their patients in Bend.   Contact 541-389-6313. www.copakids.com

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