In partnership with Special Olympics Colorado’s (SOCO) Healthy Athletes® program and the Denver Osteopathic Foundation’s Sports Physicals program, RVU students and faculty provided free sports physicals for SOCO athletes on March 30th. The event increased access to quality healthcare for the athletes, while providing training to RVU students and faculty on the specific care needs of individuals with intellectual disabilities (ID).
“We are grateful for the effort the Denver Osteopathic Foundation put into a student event with Special Olympics Colorado,” said Jill Pitcher, DO, Associate Professor of Family Medicine. “This often requires not just good sports exam skills, but some understanding of the special circumstances these athletes have in their life and how it impacts their participation in sports.”
By receiving free sports physicals at RVU, athletes were cleared to participate in sports activities and competitions that are incredibly rewarding for them, their families, and their community. The event also raised awareness of the healthcare needs of individuals with ID and the importance of ongoing education and training for healthcare professionals and medical students.
“The athletes and their families were a joy to work with and provided a valuable experience for RVU students to perform their physicals under the supervision of a physician,” said Emma Vaudreuil, OMS III. “The athletes came to us with unique medical needs and they helped teach medical students how to be flexible and perform a comprehensive exam,” said Gage Williamson, OMS III. “Events like these also allow us to make connections with the community and share what it means to be an osteopathic physician.”