We provide FREE health screenings & education at select Special Olympics events
Improving Athlete Health
Many athletes suffer from foot and ankle pain, or deformities that impair their performance. In fact, up to 50 percent of Special Olympics athletes experience one or more preventable or treatable foot conditions that can affect their sports participation. Fit Feet volunteer podiatrists work with athletes to evaluate problems of the feet, ankles and lower extremity biomechanics.
Dr. Tim Dutra, DPM, MS, MHCA
Dr. Dianne Mitchel-Pray
FUNfitness is a physical therapy screening that is designed to assess and improve physical strength, flexibility and balance. The screenings also educate athletes and parents on the importance of staying physically fit and flexible.
Dr. Lindsay McGraw, DPT
Health Promotion offers health information and advice in the areas of nutrition and hydration, sun safety, bone density, tobacco cessation, and physical fitness. Health Promotion is designed to convey and reinforce key concepts on healthy living and healthy lifestyle choices.
Melissa Ford Cox
Healthy Hearing provides comprehensive hearing screenings. The main goals are to inform athletes, parents, coaches or caregivers about the detection of possible ear and hearing problems, recommend follow-up as needed, and to advise about the necessity of regular ear and hearing care/screenings.
Dr. Mary Beth Lannon
Dr. Katie Isbell
MedFest offers the physical exam that all athletes need prior to participating in Special Olympics and is led by volunteer physicians, nurses, physician assistants, and medical students.
Dr. Margaret Lin-Martore, MD
Dr. Susana French, MD
The Special Olympics Lions Club International Opening Eyes® program is a vision and eye health screening in partnership with the Lions Club International Foundation. Led by volunteer vision care professionals, Opening Eyes is able to offer prescription eyewear, sunglasses, and sports goggles to Special Olympics athletes free of charge.
Dr. Heidi Q.T. Pham-Murphy, OD
Dr. Chelsy Pham
Special Smiles offers free dental screening, oral health information, and instructions on proper brushing and flossing techniques to Special Olympics athletes. Athletes also receive preventative supplies, such as toothpaste and toothbrushes. Individuals who require follow-up dental services are referred to local oral health professionals.
Dr. Allen Wong, DDS, EdD, DABSCD
Strong Minds is an interactive discipline focused on developing adaptive coping skills. Athletes learn about the importance of mental and emotional wellness and receive guidance on ways to release stress, think positive thoughts, and connect with others.
The Need for Healthy Athletes
Healthy Athletes® is critical to the health and well-being of our community. Individuals with intellectual disabilities often face numerous obstacles in maintaining their best health: from cost of services, to barriers in communication, a lack of adapted resources and more.
Healthcare professionals who volunteer with Healthy Athletes have found that Special Olympics athletes are at increased risk of secondary health issues:
- 37% have obvious untreated tooth decay
- 37% need a new eyewear prescription
- 23% have low bone density
- 26% failed a hearing test
- 48% have at least one kind of skin or nail condition
- 59% of adults & 30% of youth athletes are considered overweight or obese
Special Olympics Health is made possible by the Golisano Foundation in collaboration with the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.