Henry Schein partners with Special Olympics to promote health education for ID athletes
Henry Schein has announced that its multi-year partnership with Special Olympics to support the organisation’s efforts to deliver health care and education among its athletes at select Special Olympics events.
Through this partnership, Henry Schein has been named a Special Olympics Health Provider Partner, and will donate essential health care products to support Special Olympics Healthy Athletes®. This initiative will offer health screenings and education to participating athletes with the goal of promoting healthy lifestyle choices and identifying problems that may need additional follow-up.
According to Special Olympics, people with intellectual disabilities (ID) are frequently among the most medically vulnerable populations in any country, despite severe need and higher health risks. Henry Schein’s donation will support Healthy Athletes screenings at 200 Special Olympics events, beginning this week in Seattle and continuing through 2019 at events in the U.S., Canada, Germany, Israel, Jamaica, and the U.K. The donation includes a range of oral health and medical products essential to overall health and wellness.
Stanley M. Bergman, Chairman of the Board and CEO for Henry Schein, explained: “Team Schein is pleased to partner with Special Olympics in support of Healthy Athletes. Supporting the health of people with intellectual disabilities throughout our society closely aligns with our belief in the power of wellness, prevention, treatment, and education to reduce disparities in the delivery of care.
“We look forward to working with Special Olympics and the program’s dedicated health professionals as they help set these incredible athletes on the path to a lifetime of good overall health.”
Henry Schein’s donations will be used during screenings in six of eight Healthy Athletes disciplines, including Special Smiles, which provides athletes with comprehensive oral health care information, free dental screenings, instructions on proper brushing and flossing techniques, and if needed, a referral to a dental care provider at home, trained to treat people with ID.
Special Smiles fills a need for people with ID. Global oral health indicators among Special Olympics athletes show that:
• 15% have mouth pain
• 37% have untreated tooth decay
• 28% have missing teeth;
• 46% have signs of gingivitis; and
• 14% need an urgent dental referral.
Donations also support five additional Healthy Athletes disciplines: Fit Feet (podiatry), FUNfitness (physical therapy), Health Promotion (better health and well-being), MedFest (sports physical exam), and Strong Minds (emotional well-being).
Drew Boshell, Senior Vice President of Sport and Health at Special Olympics, said: “The partnership between Henry Schein and Special Olympics will not only strengthen our ability to provide the high-quality health screenings that our athletes deserve but also draw attention to the health injustice faced by people with intellectual disabilities.
“Both Henry Schein and Special Olympics share a common belief that all people deserve quality health care regardless of their differences. Their contribution of health care products for our health events will allow our athletes to achieve their best on and off the playing field.”
Since its inception in 1997, Healthy Athletes has delivered 2.1 million free health screenings in more than 135 countries and trained over 240,000 health care professionals, clinical volunteers, and students in using adapted screening protocols and in communicating effectively with people with ID.
This training also aids in building the health care community’s capacity to serve the health care needs of people with ID outside of Special Olympics events, as providers take these skills back to their practices and provide higher quality health care to people with ID—not just Special Olympic athletes—in their communities.
The donation is an initiative of Henry Schein Cares, the company’s global corporate social responsibility program.