Across the nation, vulnerable populations are more at risk than ever as the highly contagious COVID-19 virus tears through communities.  In this time of crisis, Skagit Rotary, in partnership with Chinook Enterprises, aims to manufacture, donate, and deliver face shields to nursing homes, senior and pediatric care facilities, and any other health care organizations in need.  These face shields, a type of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), are constructed of vinyl sheeting, foam, and elastic and are used in medical facilities to protect the wearer against fluid borne pathogens and potentially virus laden droplets in hopes of slowing the spread of this deadly pandemic.
Steve Reed, CEO of Chinook Enterprises, models a Face Shield
The idea originated with Scott Holley, CEO of Eddyline Kayaks, who worked with his team to prototype face shields with existing materials and inventory when the oncoming PPE crisis shortage became evident. “Many of our team members have family members who are on the front lines of this fight in our county, and we felt it was important to do what we could to help them.” Holley researched design and construction of the face shields, and asked Skagit Rotary to help fund the materials and labor for the initial production run of 2000 pieces.  Through generous donations from local businesses, additional funding was provided by Chmelik Sitkin & Davis, Attorneys, and VSH, CPAs.
Once construction was planned and funded, retired Skagit Regional Health CEO and Skagit Rotarian Gregg Davidson worked with Skagit County EMS to identify and coordinate the need for face shields throughout the county. Skagit Rotarians delivered face shields free of charge to local organizations in need, including three hospitals, eight senior care facilities, and one pediatric care facility.
Skagit Rotarian Bruce Lisser (in the mask) delivers face shields to Skagit Valley Hospital.
"This is a wonderful example of a local business , Eddyline, creating a vision to repurpose their production line to support the front line healthcare providers and others during this pandemic emergency," said Davidson. "In addition, the amazing collaboration between local donors, Skagit Rotary Club, Chinook Enterprises, and volunteers displays the best in us, as Americans, standing up to this crisis."
Skagit Rotarian Amelia Cook (in the fuschia sweater) delivers face shields to Mira Vista Care Center.
After the initial production run of about 900 pieces, Chinook Enterprises, a non-profit dedicated to fully supporting participation in community life for people with disabilities or other barriers, participated in the assembly of the remaining 1100 pieces in their ISO certified facility.  Chinook Enterprises CEO Steve Reed said, “The people we serve have been impacted by more than 75% unemployment during this pandemic. The money we can produce on face shields will turn back into community-supported employment. It’s a great circle of support.” Going forward, Eddyline and Chinook will continue to look for ways to partner together and with other manufacturers to produce critical PPE throughout the crisis.
 Director of Nursing Andrea O'Neill at Life Care Center takes delivery of donated face shields.
While medical facilities worldwide are scrambling for resources, Chinook Enterprises has the capability to scale production to meet needs beyond Skagit County. Skagit Rotary is extending this opportunity to other Rotary Clubs in the state of WA; Rotary Clubs will be able to purchase face shields directly from Chinook Enterprises and then donate them to care facilities and health care workers in their own communities.
“This is a win-win-win for our community. Chinook Enterprises will be able to keep their employees working during this economic crisis, Rotary clubs can have a hand in mitigating the global health crisis, desperate health care facilities can have access to critical PPE, and Skagit Rotary will continue to do what we do best: put ‘Service Above Self’ by helping vulnerable populations in our community,” said Skagit Rotarian Amelia Cook.
Rotary Clubs interested in purchasing face shields should visit or call 360-428-0140 for more information on ordering. Chinook Enterprises is a 501(c)3 organization and gladly accepts donations to continue their purpose of employing people with disabilities.