Henry Schein extends partnership with Special Olympics into 2025

Henry Schein has announced that it has extended through 2025 its existing partnership with Special Olympics to support health screening and education for its athletes at select events around the world. With the partnership, Henry Schein aims to promote wellness and health education for athletes with intellectual disabilities (ID) around the world.

Special Olympics
A Special Olympics athlete receives oral health education during a free screening at Special Olympics Healthy Athletes at the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria (Image: Business Wire)

Through this partnership, Henry Schein donates essential oral health and medical care products for the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes programme in Australia, Canada, Germany, the UK, and the US. The goal of the Healthy Athletes programme is to support the physical and social-emotional well-being of people with ID and to reduce health disparities and increase life expectancy.

According to the company, its donations are used during screenings in seven Healthy Athletes disciplines: Fit Feet (podiatry); FUNfitness (physical therapy); Health Promotion (better health and well-being); MedFest (sports physical exam); Strong Minds (emotional well-being); Healthy Young Athletes (pediatric screening); and Special Smiles (oral health).

Since 2018, Henry Schein has supported Special Olympics and its athletes by donating a range of essential health care products and most recently, for the June 2023 Special Olympics World Games held in Berlin, Germany.

Founded in 1968, Special Olympics is a global movement to end discrimination against people with ID. It aims to foster acceptance of all people through the power of sport and programming in education, health, and leadership. The movement has nearly four million athletes and Unified Sports partners and one million coaches and volunteers in more than 170 countries, which delivers more than 30 Olympic-type sports and nearly 50,000 games and competitions every year.

“The collaboration between Henry Schein and Special Olympics has already strengthened our ability to provide the high-quality health screenings that our athletes deserve. We are pleased to continue the relationship with Henry Schein, reinforcing our shared belief that all people deserve quality health care, regardless of their differences,” said,” said Annemarie Hill, Special Olympics senior vice-president, Global Health Operations.

As a Spirit Partner to Special Olympics, Henry Schein said that it actively serves an important role in Special Olympics’ health programming. In addition, the partnership empowers and encourages health care providers to volunteer their time and services to increase the knowledge of best practices in caring for and communicating with people with ID.

Henry Schein shared that according to Special Olympics, despite severe need and higher health risks, individuals with ID are often denied health services and die on average 16 years sooner than the general population.

“We are delighted to strengthen our partnership with Special Olympics, furthering our commitment to the Healthy Athletes program and health equity as a whole,” said Jennifer Kim Field, chief sustainability officer at Henry Schein.

She added: “By joining together with Special Olympics, we are helping to expand access to care for an often overlooked community, which is a core tenet of our corporate citizenship commitment. Team Schein is honoured to play a key role — alongside Special Olympics and health care providers — in helping to improve the overall health of athletes from around the world.”

Since its inception in 1997, the Healthy Athletes programme has delivered over two 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.

According to Henry Schein, 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.

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