Giorgi Datunashvili, a Special Olympics athlete from Georgia, grins as Dr. Giorgi Dugashvili completes a dental exam during Georgia’s first-ever Special Olympics Healthy Athletes clinic.
Giorgi Dugashvili, a dentist and new Special Olympics Special Smiles clinical director who completed his training at the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games in the Republic of Korea, immediately began planning for Healthy Athletes in his home country of Georgia after returning from the Games. On 28 September 2013, Dugashvili coordinated Georgia’s first Healthy Athletes clinic, with 30 Special Olympics athletes completing dental examinations. During the screenings, 11 follow-up care items were identified and free follow-up care was provided on site. All aspects of this event - which also celebrated EKS Day - were completely locally funded. The host clinic, Tbilisi State Medical University Dental Clinic N1, and Tbilisi Medical University covered all of the associated fees. In addition, Dugashvili held seminars with his co-workers at the clinic prior to the event to educate them about how to provide health care to people with intellectual disabilities. Dugashvili shared, “I got involved with Special Olympics because it is very noble work. I am glad to contribute in any way that I can.”
About Lynn Erickson: Manager, Health Communications