Healthy Athletes provides health screenings and education to Special Olympics athletes

Special Olympics Arizona (SOAZ) President and CEO Jamie Heckerman announced today a partnership with Mercy Care to serve as the Presenting Sponsor for SOAZ’s Healthy Athletes at the 2022 Summer Games, which will be held at Kellis High School, May 6-7.

Healthy Athletes provides health screenings and education to Special Olympics athletes while changing the way future health professionals interact with people with intellectual disabilities.

“Mercy Care has been a great supporter of Special Olympics Arizona, we are so excited to partner with them again and be able to offer this program to our athletes,” Heckerman said.  “Healthcare is extremely important to the overall well-being of our athletes, so being able to offer this to so many during our Summer Games has a significant impact.”

Throughout the weekend of competition, Special Olympics Arizona’s Healthy Athletes will provide complimentary medical screenings and education to athletes in mental health, sports physicals, podiatry, physical therapy, dentistry, and audiology.  Presented by Mercy Care, Healthy Athletes will take place at Kellis High School each day from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m., with Strong Minds and MedFest available on May 6, and Fit Feet, FUNfitness, Special Smiles, and Healthy Hearing available on May 7.

“Mercy Care is dedicated to ensuring quality healthcare services for people who have intellectual or developmental disabilities,” said Debbie Hillman, Chief Administrative Officer and DDD Health Plan Administrator, Mercy Care. “Through Healthy Athletes, we support a one-stop shop opportunity for athletes to receive preventative health screenings at events throughout the state, like Summer Games. And Mercy Care volunteers are also ready to serve as athlete navigators with the athletes as they receive that care in a fun and friendly environment.”

Special Olympics Healthy Athletes started in 1997 and began offering free health screenings and education to Special Olympics athletes worldwide in a welcoming, fun environment. Since then, Healthy

Athletes has delivered more than 2 million free health screenings internationally and trained close to 300,000 health professionals and students to treat people with intellectual disabilities. Moreover, Special Olympics programs have been able to expand their reach of Healthy Athletes by offering 123,896 screenings since 2016 in new locations or in new disciplines.

The 2022 Summer Games  will feature more than 1,500 SOAZ athletes statewide celebrating Inclusion and showcasing their skills in track and field, volleyball, powerlifting, and esports.


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