Whidbey Island Bank sponsors tour

Manager Trish Nilsen welcomes Whidbey Island Bank CFO Rick Shields to the Whidbey Family Birthplace at Whidbey General Hospital. - Photo courtesy of Laura Blankenship
Manager Trish Nilsen welcomes Whidbey Island Bank CFO Rick Shields to the Whidbey Family Birthplace at Whidbey General Hospital.
— image credit: Photo courtesy of Laura Blankenship

Whidbey Island Bank will be the lead sponsor for the 2009 Tour de Whidbey, the Whidbey General Hospital Foundation has announced.

The bank has committed $10,000 to the bike ride, which is raising money to buy ultrasound technology for the Whidbey Family Birthplace, the hospital’s obstetrics unit.

“Whidbey Island Bank is pleased to support our local hospital’s plan to secure modern equipment and technology,” said Jack Wagner, CEO of the bank. “We both serve the entire island. Our customers and employees are the hospital’s patients. It is a natural partnership for the hospital and the bank to work together.”

Rick Shields, the bank’s chief financial officer, visited the obstetric unit last week to find out more about its services. Birthplace manager Trish Nilsen gave him a tour of the six birthing rooms where about 200 babies are born per year.

“I was impressed with the environment and the depth of experience of the nursing staff,” Shields said. “We are thrilled with the generosity of Whidbey Island Bank,” said Laura Blankenship, executive director of the Whidbey General Hospital Foundation.

“The Whidbey Family Birthplace has been a particular focus for the Foundation for the last two years. Our board of directors saw the obstetrics unit as a priority, and we have provided funding for a number of equipment upgrades, like new birthing beds and the latest in integrated radiant warmers and resuscitators.

“Amidst all the capital needs at the hospital, an obstetrics ultrasound unit was an easy choice for the fundraising target for the 2009 Tour de Whidbey,” she added. “The bank’s commitment is the first building block to achieving that goal.”

As the platinum sponsor of the tour, Whidbey Island Bank is planning to involve its staff and branches island-wide in tour activities. Vice President/Marketing Manager Mary Moore Bailey said every branch will participate in some way by promoting the ride or taking part in the tour.

The 2009 Tour de Whidbey is Saturday, Sept. 26.

Riders may register online at

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