Please leave this field empty

Wellness Park during the Summer Games included Opening Eyes, Special Smiles and Health Promotions. Athletes who completed all three activities received a Subway giftcard.

During the weekend, health professionals provided 980 free health screenings in all three disciplines. Athletes received vision testing and glasses, dental screenings and received information on healthy living.

Dr. Ralph Herring, Clinical Director for Opening Eyes, said that the creation of Healthy Athletes meets two needs: the need of Special Olympics Athletes for healthcare and the need for physicians and other health professionals to get experience in treating individuals with intellectual disabilities.

“The whole reason Healthy Athletes started was the recognition that this population wasn’t getting healthcare. Many doctors didn’t feel comfortable treating this population or didn’t feel they could handle these types of patients,” he said.

Dr. Herring said training the doctors and health professionals to provide services at Healthy Athletes shows them that “you may have to do things a little differently with this population, but you can do it.”

Once they receive the training and see that it is possible to treat individuals with intellectual disabilities, the doctors usually go back home and start treating patients with intellectual disabilities.

Education for both athlete and family is an important component of the Healthy Athlete program. Although some treatment is available during the Healthy Athletes screening, athletes are often referred to physicians in their hometowns. Herring said the physicians associated with the program usually knows someone in the area who treats individuals with intellectual disabilities.

The best news: four new doctors received training this weekend!

Thanks to all the health professionals who worked this weekend, and also to the sponsors who provided glasses, frames and sports goggles: Essilor, Safilo and Liberty.

Thank you!

Most Recent Articles

January 22, 2018
Who will bring the gold home from Austin? We can’t wait to see! Almost 2,600 athletes and Unified Partners will compete in bowling, volleyball and powerlifting. Here’s where to find all the info you need before you hit the road...
January 22, 2018
The Texas Bowling Centers Association is a big fan of Special Olympics Texas athletes. During January and February, many of their member centers will sell paper bowling pins to benefit SOTX! Be sure to thank them for their support.
January 22, 2018
Congratulations to Alamo Heights High School and Brady High School, which have been recognized as the first Unified Champion Schools in the state of Texas! Both schools received a gym banner that denotes their honor.
January 22, 2018
Know someone who’d enjoy Special Olympics Texas items? You can send them a gift certificate! http://shop.sotx.org/

Want to see your story here? Do you know of someone that should be featured here?