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Good Synopsis of the Special Olympics Health Symposium

in Rick Rader MD, Articles

The following article from July 13, 2010 is a good synopsis of the Special Olympics Health Symposium.

Health Experts To Discuss Ways To Improve Wellbeing Of People With Intellectual Disabilities
13 Jul 2010

Following comprehensive health care reform passed earlier this year and on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Special Olympics has organized a health symposium to explore the current state of health for people with intellectual disabilities and ways to improve their access to care.

"This conference is a heighted call to action for health providers, policy makers, educators, funders, researchers, media, and others interested in improving health and opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities," said Dr. Timothy Shriver, Chairman/CEO for Special Olympics and one of the key speakers at the event.

Special Olympics has shown that many health concerns are more common and significant for people with intellectual disabilities. Among Special Olympics athletes in the United States, 29% have obvious, untreated tooth decay; 27.8% fail hearing tests; 22% have low bone density; and 16.0% have eye disease. At the same time, the public is unaware of this disparity in health.

The symposium and lunch are free and is directed toward individuals interested in the health of people with intellectual/developmental disabilities including: individuals with ID/DD, family and friends, health care and allied health care professionals and students, educators, child care providers, youth groups, service providers, representatives of governmental or advocacy agencies, policy makers and media.

The symposium - titled "Improving Health for People with Intellectual Disabilities - Policy, Practice and Possibility" - will be held Saturday, July 17, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the Durham Research Center auditorium on the University of Nebraska Medical Center campus at 45th & Emile streets in Omaha, Neb. The event precedes the 2010 Special Olympics USA National Games in Lincoln on July 18-23, in which nearly 3,000 athletes are expected to compete in Olympic-style sports.

Speakers include:

- Gloria Krahn, director, Division of Human Development and Disability, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention;

- Jodi Fenner, director of the Division of Developmental Disabilities, Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services;

- J. Michael Leibowitz, Ph.D., director of the UNMC Munroe-Meyer Institute;

- Rubens Pamies, M.D., vice chancellor for academic affairs and dean for graduate studies at UNMC;

- Richard Besser, M.D., senior health and medical editor at ABC News;

- Rick Rader, M.D., editor-in-chief, Exceptional Parent magazine;

- Steve Eidelman, co-director, the National Leadership Consortium and former executive director, The Arc of the United States; and

- Stanley Shepherd, M.D., chairman and co-founder, Health One Global Ltd.

Special Olympics

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