Special Olympics USA Games athletes receive top-notch care from Kaiser Permanente

As the Official Health Partner of the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games, we’re honored to share our commitment to health and promote diversity and inclusion. While we were cheering loudly from the sidelines this summer, we were also doing our best to ensure every participant had the best possible experience and care.

To kick off the games on July 1, over 39,000 fans welcomed the 4,000 athletes and coaches to Seattle’s Opening Ceremony. During the week-long games 1,049 Kaiser Permanente employees and members volunteered to support the events and cheer on the athletes. Watch highlights

Even more important than the sound of our voices was the impact of the care we provided to the athletes during the week of the Games. Sideline care included more than 134 Kaiser Permanente medical volunteers who cared for athletes and spectators at each sports venue. And we provided free health screenings to the athletes as part of the Healthy Athletes program.

Despite a true need and higher health risks, people with intellectual disabilities are often without basic health services and are among the most vulnerable population, so the program’s free health screenings are vital. Find out more about the medical support provided by Kaiser Permanente.
Here are some results of those screenings, by the numbers:

  • 7,125: Number of total screenings provided
  • 1,762: Number of athletes screened
  • 278: Number of medical and non-medical volunteers from Kaiser-Permanente Washington and around the United States supporting screenings
  • Screenings uncovered
    • 51%: Percentage of athletes who were wearing the wrong shoe size
    • 23%: Percentage of athletes who didn’t pass their hearing test
    • 67%: Percentage of athletes who needed help improving balance
    • 18%: Percentage of athletes who had untreated tooth decay

Several of the Team Washington athletes earned medals, including some of our own Kaiser Permanente members:

  • Devon Adelman earned a first place finish for stand-up paddleboarding. Read more about how her dreams led her straight to gold.
  • Lizzie Enriquez-Ortiz, who competed in track and field, earned two gold medals and a silver medal in three of her events. “I said I would do it and I did it,” she declared proudly.
  • 11-year-old Jackson Mayor won a silver medal at the swimming pool in both the 50-meter breaststroke and 100-meter freestyle.
  • Track and field competitor Andrew Fowler also took home golds in the 50-meter and 100-meter speed walk and silver in long jump. Learn more about how he overcame a challenging outlook when he was born three months premature.
  • There were silver medals all around for Team Washington in flag football and men’s and women’s basketball. Each team had one or more Kaiser Permanente member athletes giving their all.

It was inspiring to see our community come together to support such a wonderful cause. We at Kaiser Permanente are proud of every Special Olympics participant. Read all about the Games at kp.org/specialolympics.

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