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2017 Golisano Global Health Leadership Award Honorees

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The Golisano Global Health Leadership Award honors health champions and their extraordinary efforts toward fulfilling the goals, values, and mission of the Special Olympics global health program. These seven honorees were chosen from among 25 individuals or organizations recognized in 2016 at the country or U.S. state level.

2017 Golisano Global Health Leadership Award Honorees

Mohamed Askar

Dr. Mohamed Askar, a Healthy Athletes Clinical Director at Special Olympics Egypt, is one of the most active clinical directors in SOE. He has made significant contributions to the program since he started three years ago. He participates in all health events held by SOE and invites his colleagues to come and join and encourages them to know more about our athletes and how they can help. Dr. Askar also recruits and trains volunteer health professionals during the events and in his private orthopedic clinic. Dr. Askar’s clinic also provides free medical care for athletes. By doing this he encourages families to bring their children for follow up, referrals and treatment if needed. Dr. Askar uses his connections with medical companies and universities to secure equipment, supplies and free medical balls and wheelchairs for athletes during the events. Dr. Askar's dedication and support makes him a role model for all other clinical directors. See video

Korea International Cooperation Agency

The Korea International Cooperation Agency has had a great impact on the Special Olympics Uganda Health program. The organization has supported SOU during Healthy Athletes screenings by providing both medical supplies and volunteers to support the screenings. KOICA has also provided fitness training equipment, medical equipment and also healthy meals during the screenings. KOICA supported SOU by providing 2 full time volunteer staff in the areas of medical and sports and holding free medical camps in the communities where athletes live. KOICA has many medical experts that are based in different hospitals and have participated in screenings to support the healthy work of Special Olympics. KOICA also has a mobile health program that provides medical screenings and treatment for the community. To date more than 400 athletes have benefited from this partnership. See video

Lions Club International MD 112 Belgium

Lions Clubs International MD 112 Belgium supports Belgium’s Healthy Athletes program financially by covering costs for the necessary supplies for multiple Healthy Athletes events. Lions Clubs International MD 112 Belgium supports the Belgium's Healthy Athletes Program also on a logistical level. Each year they gather almost 4000 giveaways. Each year, they also come with 100-120 volunteers to support and help where they can. Lions Clubs International MD 112 Belgium has also helped with finding new sponsors for Healthy Athletes. Lions Clubs International MD 112 Belgium has helped SOB to create awareness about the Healthy Athletes program and health problems in people with ID. Lions Clubs International MD 112 Belgium has played an important role, thanks to their financial and logistical support. See video

Rajanukul Institute, Ministry of Public Health

The Rajanukul Institute, Ministry of Public Health has been a partner of Special Olympics Thailand since 2008. The institute’s healthcare and educational personnel have developed screening tools specific to the needs of athletes, prepared training resources for health care professionals and special educators, as well as providing healthcare advice to athletes and families. The Rajanukul Institute has expanded the Healthy Community model from 6 pilot schools to the remaining 14 schools across the country. The Rajanukul Institute has provided services to over 5,000 athletes and trained over 140 health care professionals. Rajanukul Institute employees also serve as Clinical Directors for Special Smiles and MedFest. See video

Stephen Sulkes

In his work as the Co-Director of the Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities, Dr. Stephen Sulkes has championed Healthy Communities work and has been an incredible resource and advisor. He has secured grants from organizations such as the Special Hope Foundation to improve the fitness of Special Olympics New York athletes. He founded the Rochester student chapter of the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry (AADMD) and encourages students to get involved with Special Olympics both through Healthy Athletes but also as event volunteers and coaches. Dr. Sulkes’ work is also reflective of the unique commitment of the University of Rochester to make inclusive health a part of its strategic plan - advancing access to care in multiple arenas - from the Complex Care Center and enhanced access to oral health, to training the next generation of clinicians to care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. See video

Beijing Tongren Hospital, Capital Medical University

Beijing Tongren Hospital has supported Special Olympics’ Health program since 2002. They consistently provide medical equipment, health professionals, and help on promoting the Special Olympics Health initiatives to the public. They have selected their most experienced medical experts as Clinical Directors and created opportunities for its team to engage with various Special Olympics health events. Beijing Tongren Hospital coordinates the medical professionals throughout China and ensures sustainable eye health and treatment access are available to Special Olympics athletes. They have committed to provide 300 free medical check and consultation for people with ID who need follow up care every year. Since Beijing Tongren Hospital has engaged with Special Olympics Opening Eyes, over 3,000 athletes have been screened. See video

Universidad Cientifica del Sur – Escuela de Estomatología (FCS)

Universidad Cientifica del Sur is a long-term partner of Special Olympics Peru. Throughout this partnership, Universidad Cientifica del Sur has sponsored and participated in many Special Smiles events. Residents of the Pediatric Dentistry Residency Program frequently attend the events. Universidad Cientifica del Sur also provides dental care for people with intellectual disabilities for free. A dental clinic is open 3 days a week for athletes to visit. The academic curriculum of the dental program has been updated to include 8 mandatory hours to train students how to approach and interact with patients who have special needs. This model will be replicated with other medical schools at the university. See video