What is the Healthy Athletes Program
The Healthy Athletes program is designed to help Special Olympics athletes improve their health and fitness which leads to enhanced sports experience and improved well-being. The program works to improve access and health care for Special Olympics athletes at event-based and other health screening clinics. It also provides referrals or recommendations for follow-up to community health professions and helps train health care professionals students and others about the needs and care of people with intellectual disabilities.
Within the program health care and special needs advocates can collect, analyze and disseminate data on the health status and needs of people with intellectual disabilities. This will provide valuable information for those advocating for improved health policies and programs for people with intellectual disabilities.
What are the different disciplines?
Special Smiles - dental care and oral health
Opening Eyes - vision and eye exams; provision of glasses
FUNfitness - fitness screening, checking flexibility and strength
Healthy Hearing - outer and inner ear exams; hearing tests
Health Promotion - making healthy lifestyle choices through nutritious foods, physical activity and avoiding tobacco and overexposure to the sun
Fit Feet - evaluating problems of the feet and ankles; checking for proper socks and shoes
MedFest - health screening consisting of medical history, height/weight, blood pressue, cardiology test, musculoskeletal test, orthopedic tests and abdominal evaluation
How can you support Healthy Athletes?
Sponsor - provide financial support or facilities/clinics for Healthy Athletes screenings
Recruit - ask your doctors, dentists, etc. if they would like to volunteer at our next clinic
Volunteer - physicians are needed to volunteer for the disciplines: 1) Submit a cover letter/ resume, 2) attend a three-day training, and 3) make a 3-year commitment
Did You Know?
Despite a mistaken belief that people with intellectual disabilities receive the same or better health care than others, they typically receive sub-standard care, or virtually no health care at all.
Health Athletes has the world's largest database of health data for people with intellectual disabilities.
Through Healthy Athletes, more than 100,000 health care professionals have been trained to treat people with intellectual disabilities. These health care professionals provide improved care to millions.
Special Olympics has given out more than 90,000 pairs of prescription eyeglasses to athletes who needed them.
At the 2012 Summer Games we had a total of 1,193 screenings. That eclipsed the previous year's totals of 704. Healthy Hearing, Healthy Promotions, Opening Eyes and Special Smiles. This couldn't be done without the generosity and time of clinical directors.
Find out more about Healthy Athletes Program. Contact Norm Arias 512.491.2935
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for the Benefit of Persons with Intellectual Disabilities.