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Henry Schein Extends Partnership with Special Olympics Until 2025, Promoting Wellness and Health Education for Athletes with Intellectual Disabilities Around the World

Melville, NY (USA) – May 13, 2024: Henry Schein, Inc. (Nasdaq: HSIC), the world’s largest provider of health care solutions to office-based dental and medical practitioners, today announced that it has extended through 2025 its existing partnership with Special Olympics to support health screening and education to and among its athletes at select events around the world.

Fit Feet (Podiatry) 

A discipline of Healthy Athletes, Fit Feet is a podiatric screening for Special Olympics athletes and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD) that focuses on athletes’ ankle & foot health, lower extremity biomechanics, as well as footwear fit and condition. Many Special Olympics athletes are wearing the wrong size or type of shoes while competing, which can contribute to or worsen the presence of foot and ankle pain and dysfunction. Together, these issues can negatively impact an athletes’ navigation of everyday life and sport performance. During Fit Feet screenings, volunteer foot care specialists & students work with athletes to identify areas of concern. Using the results of the screening, volunteers provide athletes, coaches, families, and caregivers education on proper foot care and health to maximize the athlete’s ability to step lively onto the playing field of everyday life.

For more information, please contact us at fitfeet@specialolympics.org

Special Smiles (Dentistry)

The Special Smiles discipline of Healthy Athletes provides comprehensive oral health care information, including free dental screenings and instructions on correct brushing and flossing techniques to Special Olympics athletes. Volunteer dental health professionals and students perform oral health screenings, oral hygiene instruction, mouthguard adaptation, and apply fluoride varnish for athletes participating in the screening. Special Smiles has demonstrated remarkable success in creating awareness and improving access to dental care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD).

For more information, please contact us at specialsmiles@specialolympics.org.

Strong Minds (Emotional Health)

Strong Minds is an interactive learning activity focused on developing adaptive coping skills. Competition provides a natural opportunity to develop active strategies for maintaining emotional wellness under stress, such as thinking positive thoughts, releasing stress, and connecting with others. Strong Minds is currently being further developed to include formal mental health screening measures (i.e., CORE-LD30 and WEMWBS-ID) to identify athletes at-risk for mental health concerns. Screening results will inform a more robust referral system to connect these athletes with community-based healthcare professionals.

For more information, please contact strongminds@specialolympics.org.

FUNfitness (Physical Therapy) 

A discipline of Healthy Athletes, FUNfitness is a physical therapy screening that examines the flexibility, strength, balance , and aerobic fitness of Special Olympics athletes and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Dysfunction in any of these areas can result in pain, discomfort, and sub-optimal activity performance in sports and everyday life. During these screenings, physical therapists, students and other related health professionals, identify areas of concern in the above areas to offer education and expert guidance on suggested follow-up care including exercise recommendations, sport-specific training and potential referral recommendations.

For more information, please contact us at funfitness@specialolympics.org.

Special Olympics Malta Athlete Leader Gilmour Borg Speaks At EU World Mental Health Day Conference

Special Olympics Health Messenger Gilmour Borg shared his compelling journey from enduring bullying to emerging as an Athlete Leader, at the European Union's (EU) World Mental Health Conference in Brussels, Belgium.

Henry Schein Donates Health Care Products to Support Special Olympics Healthy Athletes® Screenings

With this donation, the Company promotes wellness and health education for athletes with intellectual disabilities around the world.

Special Olympics Athlete Leader and Health Messenger, Shanaia Xuereb, Shares Her Experiences at this Year’s World Games Berlin 2023

In this week’s episode, Josh and Novie spoke with Special Olympics Malta Athlete Leader and Health Messenger, Shanaia Xuereb, about her time at this year’s World Games Berlin 2023.

Asia Pacific Face-To-Face Fundraising And Telemarketing

Special Olympics Asia Pacific (SOAP) relies on Face-to-Face fundraising and telemarketing to fund our essential programs, including year-round sports training, athletic competitions, and health and leadership development for individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID) across 35 countries in the Asia Pacific region, such as India, Singapore, Australia, and the Pacific Islands among others. The COVID-19 pandemic significantly impacted our operations, leading to an 84% drop in Athlete Engagement. Support is crucial to help us restart, rebuild, and reclaim our reach in the region.

Special Olympics Lions Clubs International Foundation Opening Eyes® (Vision/Eye Health)

A discipline of Healthy Athletes, the Lions Clubs International Foundation Opening Eyes program provides non–dilated vision screenings, refractions, and fabrication of prescription eyewear to Special Olympic athletes. Opening Eyes strives to positively impact the attitudes of the optometrists, ophthalmologist, opticians, eye care professionals, along with optometry students and ophthalmology residents, who volunteer to care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). Opening Eyes Clinical Volunteers serve to educate the athletes, their guardians, and coaches about the importance of vision in performance in sports, school, and work. Through generous donations from our corporate sponsors, Safilo who provides frames, and OneSight EssilorLuxottica Foundation who provides lenses, athletes will receive appropriate eyewear at the culmination of the screening.

The Opening Eyes screening does NOT replace a comprehensive eye exam, which includes dilation. Unified partners are not eligible to receive eyewear. Athletes, Unified partners, coaches, and guardians should be aware of this when present at the screening.

For more information, please contact us at openingeyes@specialolympics.org
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