2018 Special Olympics USA Games planning is underway

As the Official Health Partner for the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle, we’re excited to team up with Special Olympics — an organization just as committed to health, diversity, and inclusion as Kaiser Permanente.

Athletes representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia will compete in 14 Olympic-type team and individual sports at 8 venues throughout the Puget Sound region from July 1 to 6. They’ll have the support of coaches, family, friends, and tens of thousands of spectators and volunteers from across the country.

Kaiser Permanente’s program chief of Activity, Sports & Exercise Medicine, Jessie Fudge, MD, was recently named chief medical officer for the 2018 USA Games. She’ll be overseeing Kaiser Permanente Washington’s medical support staff as they manage the on-site medical needs of the 3,000 Special Olympics athletes.”

“I’m really excited to work with Kaiser Permanente and Special Olympics to create a safe and fun event that highlights the talents of these amazing athletes,” says Dr. Fudge.

Dr. Fudge is a sports medicine provider at the Kaiser Permanente Everett Medical Center. Dr. Fudge has also been preparing for her role by attending regional Special Olympics events in the lead up to the 2018 USA Games. In addition to her sports medicine specialty, Dr. Fudge has several other experiences that have prepared her to lead our medical team, including 6 months working to keep the U.S. research scientists and staff functioning at McMurdo Station, an American research base in Antarctica. She has also worked with the Stevens Pass ski patrol, volunteered as a football team physician for Seattle’s Roosevelt High School, and provided heart screenings to students for the Nick of Time Foundation.

Dr. Fudge won’t be working alone; she’ll be overseeing the hundreds of medical volunteers, and ensuring that this is an incredible experience for everyone involved. She’ll be joined by Kaiser Permanente staff, and member volunteers in non-medical roles.

“I am inspired by Dr. Fudge and the countless other employees who have come forward to volunteer their time and talents in an effort to make this event an incredible experience for each athlete,” said Susan Mullaney, president of Kaiser Permanente Washington. “As an organization that champions total health for all, we have an incredible opportunity to demonstrate our world-class care at this national event and support these athletes in their ability to thrive.”

Your chance to volunteer

It’s not only Kaiser Permanente staff who can contribute to this very special event. As part of our partnership with the Special Olympics, Kaiser Permanente members like you, and your family and friends, get early access to sign up for a variety of  nonmedical volunteer roles leading up to and during the week of the 2018 USA Games.

To learn more and register as a volunteer, visit our volunteering page on the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games website.