January 28, 2013 | East Asia: Korea

Changing the Future of Health Education

By Karl Hejlik

Young Jae-Kim (left), a dentist from South Korea, and other volunteers participate in training sessions.

More than 50 health care professionals from several countries gathered prior to the Winter World Games PyeongChang to complete the Healthy Athletes training program. This education of doctors, dentists and others not only provides volunteers with knowledge they need to run health screening events, but can also permanently impact the way health is delivered to people with intellectual disabilities in their home countries. “The people here are in a perfect position to change how students view special needs dentistry,” said Dr. Young Jae-Kim, a dentist and professor at Seoul National University. “We hope people will change their minds and attitudes, and we are going to work hard to make sure that happens.” Special Olympics Korea sent 17 people to the training, the most of any country, giving that Program the volunteers it needs to expand Healthy Athletes. “That will be the legacy of these Games,” said Darcie Mersereau, Special Olympics vice president for health programs.

About Karl Hejlik: Senior Manager, Health/Research Communications
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