Rotary Clubs on Whidbey Unite to
Create PPE Task Force
Whidbey Island Rotary clubs join forces to provide vital PPE supplies
 to WhidbeyHealth Medical Center
Rotary Clubs on Whidbey Unite to
Create PPE Task Force
Whidbey Island Rotary clubs join forces to provide vital PPE supplies
 to WhidbeyHealth Medical Center
Coupeville, WA, APRIL 09, 2020 — Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, WhidbeyHealth Medical Center in Coupeville is experiencing critical shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE) vital for the daily operations of the hospital, according to Ron Telles, CEO WhidbeyHealth.
“This is a difficult time – perhaps the most difficult we will know in our lives. Despite the issues we face, remarkable support from our community continues to roll in.” - Ron Telles, CEO WhidbeyHealth
Rotary members from Whidbey Island have long supported the community through a range of service projects. Now, the Rotary Clubs of Whidbey Island, under the leadership of Rotary International District 5050 Assistant Governor, Bruce Enter, have responded to this emergent situation by forming an all-island Rotary PPE Task Force. The mission of the task force is to fund, source and procure masks, gloves and other personal protection equipment essential for the safety and welfare of health care providers and front-line responders on Whidbey Island.
“The four Rotary Clubs of Whidbey Island identified an urgent need in our community. By joining forces, we were able to: activate our members, expedite our response to this growing problem, and magnify our efforts to provide support to front-line aid workers—quickly putting our “Service Above Self” mission into action.” - John Joynt, President, Rotary Club of Whidbey Westside
The newly formed task force unites the Rotary clubs of Oak Harbor, North Whidbey Island Sunrise, South Whidbey, and Whidbey Westside together with Assistant District Governor, Bruce Enter.
Each of the four clubs have donated $2,000 each for the purchase of PPE. The task force secured a matching grant of $5,000 with assistance from Rotary District 5050 Governor Brad Whittaker. An additional grant application of $25,000 from the Rotary International Emergency Relief fund to District 5050 is pending approval. Rotarians from the four clubs have also contributed individual donations to the effort. A Go-Fund me page to enable ongoing donations is forthcoming.
Rotary Club of South Whidbey member Jack Ng, who initiated the project, has led efforts to procure the personal protective equipment. To date, Whidbey Rotary PPE Task Force as delivered over 12,000
protective masks and more than 7,000 latex gloves to the WhidbeyHealth Medical Center. Two hundred goggles have been ordered to be donated to the Medical Center as well. The Task Force plans to distribute disinfectant spray to the Island County Department of Emergency Management for use by Island Fire, Rescue and EMS workers following medical calls.
"The Whidbey Island PPE Task Force came together quickly, as you would expect from neighboring Rotarians, to assist the medical organizations in taking care of citizens in need, starting with the WhidbeyHealth Medical Center. Given the time constraints and the dire need, the Task Force has been remarkably successful." - Steve Schwalbe, President Rotary Club of Oak Harbor
The public is invited to contribute to the ongoing efforts of the Whidbey Rotary PPE Task Force by making donations to the Oak Harbor Rotary Foundation. To help this cause during the coronavirus pandemic, please send personal checks made out to:
Oak Harbor Rotary Foundation-PPE
PO Box 442, Oak Harbor, WA 98277
Rotary members throughout the world take action to make communities better. They contribute their time, energy, and passion to carry out meaningful and sustainable projects that promote peace, fight disease, provide clean water, help mothers and children, support education, and grow local economies. Today, our most pressing humanitarian challenge is fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, and the Rotarians of Whidbey Island are united in this effort.
About Whidbey Rotary PPE Task Force: The Whidbey Rotary PPE Task Force is a joint effort of the Rotary Clubs of Whidbey Island, District 5050 united to respond to emergent needs of our community. Leadership includes:
  • Steve Schwalbe, President, Rotary Club of Oak Harbor
  • John Joynt, President, Rotary Club of Whidbey Westside
  • Jay Ryan, President, Rotary Club of South Whidbey
  • Bryan Stucky, President, Rotary Club of North Whidbey Island Sunrise
  • Bruce Enter, Assistant District Governor
About Rotary: Rotary brings together a global network of community leaders dedicated to tackling the world’s most pressing humanitarian challenges. We connect 1.2 million members from more than 35,000 Rotary clubs in almost every country in the world. Their service improves lives both locally and internationally, from helping those in need in their own communities to working toward a polio-free world.
Visit and for more about Rotary and its efforts to eradicate polio.