Today, Tuesday, August 31 our noon meeting will be moved to a 4:30 Happy Hour at Greg's Grill as we celebrate our International Friendships.

President Patrazai Pedone of the Rotary Club of Belluno, with a video message for our club. Bend, Oregon and Belluno, Italy are "sister cities", and the Rotary Club of Greater Bend and the Rotary Club of Belluno have formed a special relationship. In non-COVID years, we have a short term student exchange program between our clubs, where we send a few high school students there to live with families for a few weeks, and then that family sends their son or daughter to Bend to live here with the family for a few weeks.

View a short video from our friends, Marco Perale and Angelo Paganin from the Rotary Club of Belluno, Italy.

President Gary upgraded Polly Cohen from Red to Blue Badge at last week's meeting. Congrats Polly!

We inducted two new members last week, Sharon Gueck and Kristie Schmitt. Here is Sharon with her acceptance speech.

Don't forget to sign up for our lunch meetings each week.

You can also sign up for our service projects on our website:

Each Friday leading up to the Duck Race on September 12th, we're giving away a gift card to a local restaurant (paid for by your local Rotary clubs). On Friday, Aug. 27th someone is going to win $100 for Cafe Sintra!

Congratulations to Christina Gorman, who won last week's $100 gift card to Brother Jon's!

Every Duck Race ticket you purchase gives you another chance to win a gift card in each of the restaurant drawings. Buy your Duck Race tickets here:

Don't forget to send emails to your friends and co-workers to purchase their tickets via the web, and post on your social media sites.

Buy your Ducks now!!

Buy a Duck Change a Life!

The Veterans Village is coming together fast. Every facet of our community has been pitching in. Our own Michael Summers is donating the flooring for each of these units and of course you all know that Erik Tobiason has been a driving force behind this vision of a safe place for our veterans.

The village will provide emergency shelter for 15 individuals along with a community room. Now it's time to show what our Club can do. This is project that is "kid friendly" and your children 12 and over are welcome to see what community Service is all about.

Check this Youtube video out to see all the partners that are making this possible. Too many to list!

Please step up and sign up for a Rotary Work Day on Saturday September 11,

half a day or full day. You don't have to have a building background there will jobs for all skill levels. We will be painting, installing flooring, deck construction and more advanced stuff for those who are knowledgeable.

As announced at our August 24 meeting, all club members attending in-person club meetings must be vaccinated. The same requirement has been made for all speakers who address our club at in-person meetings. Speakers will need to be vaccinated. Unvaccinated members who are interested in staying active in the club can attend meetings virtually using zoom. PLEASE GET VACCINATED!

Aug. 26, 2021

I’ve told you recently in this column that St. Charles is in crisis – and that remains even more true now than it was a few weeks ago. Today, I’d like to share what I am hearing from colleagues in Southern Oregon and throughout the state.

The current COVID-19 surge has completely overwhelmed the health system in Southern Oregon. The Asante health system reported this week it has more than 180 hospitalized COVID-19 patients in its three hospitals. One of their ICU nurses explains what COVID patients go through during treatment in this powerful video.

In Grants Pass, the demand for ICU beds is so great, that the hospital is putting two patients in each ICU room. And with staffing shortages plaguing health care throughout the nation, nursing ratios in Southern Oregon have deteriorated. It’s not uncommon now for one nurse to care for as many as 10 patients (when normally a nurse might care for three or four.)

Just a few days ago, a patient died in the Emergency Department at CHI Mercy Medical Center in Roseburg while waiting for an ICU bed. The exhausted team that is working so hard to save people had no words other than, “We didn’t have enough.”

As COVID cases continue to climb, St. Charles is preparing for a similar reality in Central Oregon. We now have more COVID patients than at any other point in the pandemic and we continue breaking our own record every day. Today’s total is 77 COVID inpatients, with 15 of them on ventilators. We have 58 ventilators in our health system (for all patients including infants in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit) – but only 20 of the high-capacity-style that we typically use for treatment in the Bend ICU. We are asking the state to send us more, but it is a complicated process and we are unsure when or if the ask will be met.

While the situation feels dire, I do want you to know that we are working around the clock to be as prepared as possible for the worst-case scenario. Here are just a few of the steps we’ve taken:

• About 130 members of the Oregon National Guard are here working in our facilities in non-clinical roles. These men and women willingly left their families and jobs to help us through this trying time. They are gracious and incredibly eager to help with any task including re-stocking supplies on the floors, delivering food to patients, helping to support fit testing our caregivers for N-95 masks, screening visitors at our entrances and so much more. We are beyond grateful for their help.

• We have requested nursing and other clinical resources through the Oregon Health Authority, and FEMA. After advocating as strongly as possible, we now anticipate receiving support as early as this weekend. This will be a tremendous help in allowing us to serve those with acute health care needs during this crisis.

• Last week the St. Charles team worked tirelessly to set up an Urgent Care clinic in our 2600 NE Neff Road building, along with a drive-through COVID testing site. These efforts have helped to reduce the patient volumes in the Bend Emergency Department.

• We are also working to expand our ability to provide monoclonal antibody therapy for patients who test positive for COVID-19 to more sites throughout the region. Our experience with this therapy so far has been very encouraging in keeping COVID-positive patients from needing hospitalization.

It’s not too late for you to also help us through this current surge. If you haven’t yet, please get vaccinated. The FDA granted full approval of the Pfizer COVID vaccine this week and we are hopeful this news will lead to higher vaccination rates.

And as mask mandates – indoor and outdoor – return, we ask that you abide by them. Get vaccinated for yourself and wear your mask for others. At this point it may be the very least you can do to ensure your loved ones have access to any kind of health care if they need it in the next few weeks.

Sincerely, Joe P.S.


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Rotary Club of Greater Bend · 3075 N Highway 97 · Bend, Or 97703 · USA