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Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc (PHWFF) continues to implement their gradual process to resume specific outdoor in-person core program activities.  Their process includes appropriate protocols designed to reduce the risk of transmission and infection of COVID-19 between the organization’s volunteers, participants, and staff. On June 10, 2021, the organization further expanded outdoor healing gatherings for all PHWFF programs Nationwide – enabling a total of 20 volunteers and participants per in-person outdoor healing gathering to engage in Fly Fishing Education, Fly Casting, Fly Fishing Day Outings, Fly Tying, and Fly Rod Building classes. 

In accordance with recent CDC Guidance and due to greatly increased fully vaccinated percentages within the organization and across the nation, PHWFF eased mask requirements for outdoor healing gatherings when individuals maintain a physical distance of six feet or greater from other individuals. Masks remain required for unvaccinated individuals only when they cannot maintain  a physical distance of six feet or  greater from other individuals under any circumstance. 

“Our programs provide physical and emotional recovery, encourage engagement, and create a community where our participants can heal,’ says Todd Desgrosseilliers, the organization’s President & Chief Executive Officer.  The expansion of outdoor healing gathering is a great step forward and is a testament to the dedication and commitment of our volunteers to provide our unique brand of healing.  Thanks to them we will continue to hear these five words from disabled veteran participants across our Nation: ‘This program saved my life.’

PHWFF continues to make each decision using current healthcare industry data with participant, volunteer, staff, and community risk management and well-being remaining as their top priority – while they comply with local, state, and federal guidance and restrictions.  

On March 13, 2020, PHWFF suspended in-person program activities and quickly pivoted to virtual programming to prevent further COVID-19 spread in the communities they serve and to protect the health and well-being of their participants, volunteers, and staff.  

The Engagement Plan represents the culmination of over 12 months of continuous effort by a working group composed of the organization’s volunteer leaders, headquarters staff, legal counsel, and insurance provider. 

Since its implementation earlier this year, PHWFF achieved significant milestones in their Engagement Plan. PHWFF launched limited in-person outdoor program activities on March 13, 2021, with a test group of 12 programs.  Following this successful test group, it quickly expanded on April 1, 2021, to encompass all PHWFF programs nationwide. During this same period, the organization successfully progressed to implement expanded Multiple Participant Outdoor Healing Gatherings around the nation to include groups of up to 20 individuals per gathering; expanded activities include fly tying and rod building classes; and additional activities for fly fishing outings. 

The organization acknowledges that the COVID-19 pandemic is a fluid, evolving situation. As the situation further develops, PHWFF will make assessments regarding future in-person meetings, activities, events, and outings and advance from phase to phase as outlined in their comprehensive Engagement Plan. PHWFF will make each decision using current healthcare industry data with participant, volunteer, staff, and community risk management and well-being remaining as their top priority.

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