SONV Hosts Inaugural Health Fair

Special Olympics Nevada (SONV) hosted its inaugural Health Fair this September at Bishop Gorman High School in Las Vegas, inviting children and adults with intellectual disabilities from across the region to take advantage of free health screenings, physicals, activities and more.

“The Healthy Athletes program is an important worldwide initiative for Special Olympics,” said David Solo, president and CEO of SONV. “Special Olympics athletes often have many unrecognized healthcare needs. Also, trained medical professionals are sometimes unaware of the specific needs of individuals with intellectual disabilities. We believe that Healthy Athletes is critical to the overall well-being of our athletes.”

The Health Fair featured healthcare professionals specializing in five disciplines:

  • Health Promotion, which provides tips on how to improve and maintain good health and nutrition
  • FUNFitness, which provides screenings on flexibility, balance and functional strength
  • Special Smiles, which provides dental screenings and personal oral hygiene instruction
  • Strong Minds, a relaxation and anxiety training to help maintain emotional wellness
  • And MedFest, which offers sports physical examinations. Participants who are not yet Special Olympics athletes, but who are interested in joining the program, were able to register and take the required physical through MedFest on site.

More than 60 children and adults with intellectual disabilities took part in the health fair and received screenings, resources, takeaways and more. In addition, the Health Fair included booths staffed by community partners, games and activities, food trucks and entertainment.

“As a parent, I can’t say enough about Special Olympics,” said Yolanda Jackson, parent of SONV athlete Kelvin. “Healthy Athletes has taught Kelvin a lot about being healthy and being strong. Today’s event brought a lot of community awareness – and people with disabilities really need this type of atmosphere.”

Community partners supporting the Health Fair included the UNLV School of Dental Medicine, Southwest Medical Center, Touro University Nevada, The Garden Foundation, Gracie's House, Las Vegas Athletic Club, New Vista and Best Buddies Nevada. Students and staff from Bishop Gorman High School also played an instrumental role in supporting the fair.

September’s event was the first stand-alone Healthy Athletes Fair, but there are pavilions and screenings available at a variety of competitions throughout the year.

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