Special Olympics Arizona's Health initiative strives to expand those with intellectual disabilities access to health care and wellness resources from a series of single events, to a steady presense in the lives of our athletes and their families at a statewide level.
In 2016, Special Olympics Arizona was received the Golisano Health Leadership Award and was recognized as a Healthy Community and joined a community with over 21,825 healthcare professionals and students to provide ongoing, community-based care for patients with intellectual disabilities. Healthy Communities is a model Special Olympics Health program made possible by the Golisano Foundation and addresses the severe health disparities faced by people with intellectual disabilities through immediate and long-term solutions.
Healthy Athletes works to improve the access to heath care for Special Olympics Arizona's athletes through the use of state-wide event-based screenings. Healthy Athletes events are used to assess the health needs of athletes and partners, make referrals to local health practitioners when appropriate, train both health care professionals and students about the specific needs for treating people with intellectual disabilities (ID), collect, analyze and disseminate data on the health state and needs for people with ID as well as advocating for improved helath policies and programs for people with ID. During Healthy Athletes events, people with ID, Special Olympics Athletes, Unified Partners and Young Athletes (ages 2-8) receive a variety of health services in a fun and welcoming environment, at zero cost.
Healthy LEAP (Lifestyle, Education, And Practice) is a series of helath, nutrition, fitness, safety and injury prevention lessons and practical applications created specifically for youth and adults with and without intellectual disabilities (ID). Each lesson includes specific tasks and activities to jumpstart the practice of a healthy lifestyle. Healthy LEAP engages families by providing participants with take home sheets, family activities, and text messages corresponding to each lesson. Additionaly, Healthy LEAP lessons are reinforced by a multimedia information campaign delivered via text message, email, webinars, flyers, and online videos.
The SOfit program is an Unified approach to improving and protecting the health for people with and without intellectual disabilities (ID). SOfit offers participants a comprehensive, 360- degree look at people physical fitness and wellness. Together, athletes and partners are empowered to challenge and change the way they look at diet, daily exercise, and lifestyle choices.
The Health Leadership Committee (HLC) is a team of health and medical professionals who are dedicated to the health and wellness of Special Olympics Arizona's athletes. The HLC works to assure Special Olympics Arizona continues to be progressive in the field of health and wellness by offering high- quality programs throughout the state and create long-term benefits for our athletes. The HLC works closely with Special Olympics Arizona's staff to help develop a cooperative of healthcare resources to help our athletes lead happier and healthier lives.