The official kick-off to Fall Games happened last week at Franklin Road Academy for the Special Olympics Tennessee State Flag Football Tournament.
Athletes visited the health tent for a Special Smiles dental checkup throughout the event. Tennessee State University students volunteered to help with the teeth screening process. Our Healthy Athletes wouldn't be able to reach as many athletes as it does without the tremendous support of Lifepoint Health.
Lawrence Clippinger is a Special Olympics Tennessee athlete from Memphis, and he has been playing flag football for two years.
Clippinger spoke highly of the nurses and his experience at the dental clinic at this year’s event.
“You have to do it every year, you better get your teeth clean,” said Clippinger. “They taught me how to floss my teeth.”
UnitedHealthcare was also set up at the event handing out boxes of healthcare necessities. Casey Hagen and Kay Swan work at United Healthcare and were organizing the kit distribution.
“We have wellness kits that include bathmats, first aid kits, COVID tests, digital thermometers, soap, hand sanitizer, lotion and chapstick. All of the things you’d need for wellness," explained Hagen. "We also have a fitness kit that includes a blood pressure cuff, a pulse oximeter, an exercise band and a Fitbit.”
These kits were given to all flag football teams and their coaches. For some athletes, these resources are vital to having a healthy lifestyle.
“My passion is for adults and children with disabilities to see what we can do to empower them to live the healthiest and fullest life," said Swan. The Special Olympics mission mirrors ours."
Swan also talked about the Dual Eligible Special Needs Plans (D-SNPs), which are Medicare and Medicaid. Most of the time, people with intellectual and developmental disabilities qualify for the D-SNPs.
“The thing is to have access to those tools and services that are encapsulated in that plan that empower these folks to reach beyond whatever their limitations are and fill in the gaps for them to have a full and healthy life,” said Swan.
United Healthcare and Special Olympics have been partners for six years now and are excited to continue the partnership and touch as many athlete’s lives as they can.