Henry Schein Inc announced it is donating a range of oral health and medical products to support the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes screenings at the Special Olympics World Games taking place until June 25, 2023 in Berlin. The Healthy Athletes program offers health screenings and education to participating Special Olympics athletes with the goal of promoting healthy lifestyle choices and identifying problems that may need additional follow-up care.
Henry Schein has supported Special Olympics since 2018 donating essential health care products to support programs in the United States, Canada, Germany, Israel, Jamaica, and the United Kingdom. Through this partnership, the company has been named a Special Olympics health provider partner.
According to Special Olympics, an organization recognized by the International Olympic Committee, people with intellectual disabilities are frequently among the most medically vulnerable populations in any country, despite severe need and higher health risks.
“Thanks to our long-term partnership with Henry Schein and their continuous contribution of health care products to our Healthy Athletes program, we were able to strengthen our ability to provide the high-quality health screenings that our athletes need while also drawing attention to the health issues faced by people with intellectual disabilities,” said Annemarie Hill, Special Olympics senior vice president, global health operations. “Henry Schein and Special Olympics share the belief that all people deserve quality health care regardless of their differences.”
Henry Schein’s donations will be used during the Special Olympic World Games for screenings in five of the 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 intellectual disabilities. Henry Schein’s donations also support Fit Feet (podiatry), FUNFitness (physical therapy), Health Promotion (prevention and nutrition), and Strong Minds (emotional health).
“Advancing health equity and expanding access to care for those in need closely aligns with our belief in the power of wellness, prevention, treatment, and education,” said Jennifer Kim Field, chief sustainability officer at Henry Schein. “We believe that overall health and oral health are closely connected. Knowing that people with intellectual disabilities are often at higher risk for additional health limitations, we are encouraged that this program provides convenient access to optimum health care. We are honored to once again join with Special Olympics and support a program that enables health professionals to help set athletes with intellectual disabilities on the path to a lifetime of good overall health.”
Since its inception in 1997, Healthy Athletes has delivered over 2 million free health screenings and trained over 300,000 health care professionals, clinical volunteers, and students in using adapted screening protocols and in communicating effectively with people with intellectual disabilities. These trainings also aid in building the health care community’s capacity to serve the needs of people with intellectual disabilities outside of Special Olympics events, as providers take these skills back to their practices and provide higher quality health care to people with intellectual disabilities—not just Special Olympic athletes—in their communities.
The donations to Special Olympics Healthy Athletes are an initiative of Henry Schein Cares, the company’s global corporate social responsibility program.