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Clinical Directors

Clinical Directors are volunteer professionals who are responsible for working with Special Olympics Arizona to identify and schedule the best opportunity to provide Healthy Athletes screenings based on local needs and resources and identify and train health volunteers to work in specific health disciplines. 



  • Licensed Professional
  • Proven Interest of Service
  • Member or Active in Local/ State/ National Professional Organization
  • Geographic Accessibility to Program Activities
  • Demonstrated Leadership Abilities
  • Volunteer Commitment of 3 Years for Program Clinical Director



  • Attend a Healthy Athletes event to be trained by the current discipline specific Regional Trainer
  • Work with Special Olympics Arizona to gather appropriate equipment, supplies, and educational materials for the Healthy Athletes Screening
  • Recruit and train volunteers
  • Work with other Healthy Athletes Clinical Directors for coordination on Healthy Athletes event
  • Supervise and direct the Healthy Athletes Screening
  • Evaluate the event/ Adjust accordingly to Special Olympics Arizona specific needs
  • Acquire discipline specific resources for follow up care and treatment
  • Continue to seek opportunities and partnerships for Special Olympics Arizona Health Programs



  • Alicia Feis, O.D., F.A.A.O

    Opening Eyes

  • Anna E. Thatcher, PT, DPT, SCS, OCS, ATC, CSCS, PMA- CPT


    Anna is a sports medicine physical therapist who graduated from the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse with a Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training (2001) and Master of Science in Physical Therapy (2003). She received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy (DPT) from Massachusetts General Hospital Institute of Health Professions. She is a Board Certified Orthopaedic Clinical Specialist and Sports Clinical Specialist. She is also a certified Pilates instructor. Anna’s clinical experience has focused on pediatric sports medicine and working with gymnasts and dancers. She has been involved with the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes program since 2009.

  • David W. Jenkins, DPM, FACFAS, FAAPSM

    Fit Feet

    Dr. Jenkins began his career in Podiatric Medicine with a predominantly sports medicine practice in Davis, California one of the major locales for the emergence of Triathlons. He did some teaching at the University of California at Davis in the Medical school as well as the Biomechanics Department. That teaching planted the seed for a move to the College of Podiatric Medicine & Surgery- Des Moines University. Besides the duties typical of a faculty member, he was also a Residency Director for a PSR-24 program as well as the Director of Graduate Placement. The next stop was at the Veterans Administration Hospital in Iowa City, Iowa where he was a staff podiatrist as well as the Director of the Wound Care Clinic. Currently, Dr. Jenkins is a Professor at the Arizona School of Podiatric Medicine- Midwestern University as well as a Fellow and Past President of the American Academy of Podiatric Sports Medicine. He is also the Clinical Director of the Special Olympics Arizona Fit Feet Program, Podiatric Consultant for the Los Angeles Dodgers and a Dog Handler, Maricopa County Canine Search and Rescue Posse (MARK9) Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office Posse. In  2018, Dr. Jenkins was named Global Clinical Advisor for Fit Feet Special Olympics International!


  • Deborah A. Flynn, AuD., CCC-A, FAAA

    Healthy Hearing

    Deborah Flynn is a pediatric audiologist and has practiced at Phoenix Children’s Hospital for the past 20 years. Prior to moving to Arizona, she also worked at Children’s Hospital of Boston and the Hearing Institute of Children and Adults in California. Her primary focus is providing audiological services to special needs population. She has volunteered with the Healthy Hearing program through Special Olympics for over 12 years. She was recently trained as a Clinical Director and enjoys providing audiological screening services to the athletes in Arizona. Deborah also enjoys spending time with her husband and two teenage children.

  • Ellen Gohlke

    Special Smiles

  • Henry Martinez, DMD

    Special Smiles

    Dr. Henry Martinez was born and raised here in Arizona. He grew up in the East Valley and attended Dobson High School. Dr. Martinez obtained his Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology at Arizona State University. He then went on to complete a Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences at the Rutgers Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences in Newark, New Jersey (formerly the University of Medicine & Dentistry of New Jersey). He obtained his DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine) at the Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health in Mesa. Following dental school, Dr. Martinez followed his passion for providing dental care to children and people with special needs by completing his pediatric dental residency training at the Bronx Lebanon Hospital Center in New York City. There he received extensive training in all aspects of pediatric dentistry including sedation and hospital dentistry. He has received extensive training in treating people with special needs during dental school at the Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health’s Special Care Unit as a pediatric dental resident at the Rose F. Kennedy Center at Jacobi Medical Center in New York. Dr. Martinez is a board-certified pediatric dentist and a diplomate of the American Board of Pediatric Dentistry.

  • Jeffrey C. Page, DPM

    Fit Feet

    Dr. Page is the Associate Dean for the College of Health Sciences and the Director and Professor of the Arizona School of Podiatric Medicine at the Glendale Campus of Midwestern University. He is board-certified in Foot and Ankle Surgery and in Wound Care. He has fellowships with several academic societies including The American College of Foot and Ankle Surgeons; The American Professional Wound Care Association; The American College of Foot and Ankle Orthopedics and Medicine; and the American Society of Podiatric Dermatology. Dr. Page is the Chair of the Board of Directors and founder of the FUEGO Foundation, a non-profit organization that supports Global Health Outreach and Education. He is the Treasurer for the Board of Directors of Neighborhood Outreach and Access to Health (NOAH), a system of Federally Qualified Health Centers serving the under-resourced in Scottsdale, Arizona. He is a consultant for the FDA and for Biotechnology firms in the United States. He has been named one of the 175 most influential podiatrists in the U.S. by Podiatry Management magazine three times. He is a speaker, consultant, researcher, and writer with over 50 publications. His professional interests include diabetic foot complications, wound healing, dermatology, infectious diseases, and community service including medical missions to Mexico and Central America.

  • Jim Farris, PT, PhD


    Dr. Farris is a physical therapist and the Physical Therapy Department chairperson at A.T. Still University (ATSU) in Mesa, AZ. His doctoral degree was conferred by the Ohio State University where his studies focued on exercise physiology and nutrition. He completed the APTA’s Educational Leadership Institute Fellowship in 2015 and is an ELI Fellow. Dr. Farris joined ATSU in 2009 and is now in his 21st year of physical therapy teaching. His current research efforts are aimed at childhood obesity and prevention of the related cardiovascular disease risk factors, submaximal aerobic fitness testing in children, education and admission issues, and the screening/ management of DVTs/ VTEs. He also has interests in nutrition for optimal health and performance and has written a chapter on “meal timing” in a sport nutrition book. He first volunteered to help with FUNfitness in October of 2009, became an AZ State Clinical Director for FUNfitness in 2014, and initiated training to become a FUNfitness Regional Director in 2016. He has also been involved with SOAZ’s Medical Advisory Committee and currently serves on the SOAZ Health Leadership Committee.  His home is in the West where outdoor activity and sunshine is abundant.  He currently teaches special topics within courses in the DPT program (physiology, pharmacology, research) and teaches the biophysical agents course.

  • Karen M. Fallone, RDH

    Special Smiles


  • Melanie A. Violand, DPM, FACFAS, FAPWH

    Fit Feet

    Dr. Melanie Violand is an Assistant Professor at Midwestern University Arizona School of Podiatric Medicine in Glendale, Arizona. She is also a practicing podiatrist at St. Vincent De Paul Medical Clinic. Dr. Violand has been volunteering with Fit Feet Special Olympics arizona since 2012 and becamea Clinical Director in the Fall of 2014. Dr. Violand also had the privilege of participating in the World Games in Los Angeles in Summer of 2015.

  • Randi Winston- Gerson

    Healthy Hearing

    Randi Winston- Gerson is the Hearing Screening Program Manager at Audiology Systems, Inc. Her role includes developing educational, training and support programs for the pediatric hearing screening products. For 15 years prior to that she worked for Arizona’s Early Hearing Detection and Intervention (EHDI) program and the EAR Foundation of Arizona (EFAZ). Her focus was in implementing newborn hearing and early childhood screening programs, with an emphasis on quality assurance and best practices. She has conducted numerous presentations and co-authored several research articles involving early childhood screening. Randi holds a doctorate in audiology. Since 2005 she has held the role of Healthy Hearing Clinical Director for Arizona’as Special Olympics.

  • Rena Szabo, PsyD, CAADC, MA, Med

    Strong Minds

    Dr. Szabo works at the intersection of psychology and medicine. Dr. Szabo specializes in exploring the biological psychological, cultural, societal and environmental factors of life, and how each of these affects physical health. Her use of evidence-based practices within an integrative setting allows her to provide whole-person care. Dr. Szabo also has a research interest based on the health and wellness of various populations. Her specific interests are in the psychological and social factors that lead to the enhancement of health and wellness. Dr. Szabo has spent over 25 years working with individuals with intellectual disabilities. Dr. Szabo’s educational background includes a Doctoral degree in Clinical Psychology, a Master’s degree in Clinical Psychology, a Master’s degree in Special Education, and a Bachelor’s degree in Special Education and Development. She completed her pre-doctoral residency and post-doctoral fellowship as Alexian Brothers Health System in Illinois. Dr. Szabo is passionate about Special Olympics. Dr. Szabo enjoys sharing her time, treasures, and talents within the Special Olympics organization. She is a Board Member of the Special Olympics Arizona. She developed a Sport Psychology program that has been implemented in Arizona for four years and was also shared in Belize. Dr. Szabo had the privilege of collaborating with the Special Olympics International team in developing a new Healthy Athletes discipline, Strong Minds. She is the Clinical Director of the Strong Minds program for Arizona. Dr. Szabo sits on the Special Olympics United States Leadership Council as a professional member.

  • Scott Howell, DMD, MPH

    Special Smiles

    I am a fulltime faculty at A.T. Still University, Arizona School of Dentistry & Oral Health, in Mesa, AZ. There, I teach students and am doing research on ways we can get care to people in non-traditional methods. For example, we are developing a teledentistry program at the university. I have been working with patients with special needs since 2008 when I began working as a dental assistant for a mobile dental company. In addition to my position at A.T. Still University, I am also completing a part-time residency in dental public health at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio. I will complete this program in June of 2019. I was first introduced to Special Olympics as a dental student. My favorite part about Special Olympics is getting to hear the athlete’s stories and about their accomplishments in the games.

  • Sheila Rao, DMD

    Special Smiles

    Dr. Sheila Rao was born in Devon, England. She was raised in England till 6 years old, she then moved to Florida for two years and then to California. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of California, Riverside and earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Liberal Studies, majoring in Psychology and minoring in Philosophy. Dr. Rao received her DMD degree and pediatric dentistry specialty training from Boston University Goldman School of Dental Medicine. She continued to practice in the Boston area for six years after residency, then moved to Kentucky with her husband while he completed Perio residency. There she worked in private practice in Kentucky and Indiana and was on falculty at the University of Louisville pediatric dental department. When her husband finished residency, they moved to Arizona, making AZ as their home. Dr. Rao has 19 years of pediatric dental experience, and has been with NYU Lutheran since 2014. Currently, she is an attending for the pediatric dental residents three days a week, while still in private practice one day a week. She is also a Special Smiles Clinical Director for Special Olympics Arizona. She loves to travel, spend time with family and friends, see musical/ plays and try different ethnic foods.

  • Suzanne O’Neal, PT, DPT, NCS


    Suzane O’Neal is a physical therapist and assistant professor at Midwestern University in Glendale University and is board certified in neurology. She has been a Clinical Director for Special Olympics since 2007, starting in Florida and continuing here in Arizona after moving in 2008.  In her spare time, she enjoys running and triathlons.

  • Tabitha Parent-Buck, AuD

    Healthy Hearing

    Dr. Tabitha Parent- Buck is a tenured Full Professor and Chair of the Department of Audiology at A.T. Still University (ATSU) Arizona School of Health Sciences (ASHS). She was appointed as the founding chair of the Department of Audiology in July 1999. Dr. Parent- Buck obtained her B.S. and M.S. degrees in Audiology from Purdue University and her Doctor of Audiology degree from Baylor College of Medicine. She has practiced in a variety of clinical settings and has worked as a representative and trainer in the hearing aid industry. She provided academic and clinical instructions as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Speech and Hearing Sciences at the University of New Mexico, where she was recognized for teaching excellence. At ATSU, Dr. Parent- Buck developed the online post-professional Doctor of Audiology Program in 1999 and established the entry-level Doctor of Audiology Program on campus in 2022. In 2013, Dr. Parent- Buck and the faculty of the Department of Audiology established the AFA Balance & Hearing Institute, at A.T. Still University Center of Excellence. The Institute provides a full range of audiology services to the community and serves as a clinical education site for students to gain clinical and business training. Dr. Parent- Buck has published and taught in the areas of hearing aid technology, otoacoustic emissions, vestibular evaluation, and pharmacology. 


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