By Connor Beach
A Melville-based healthcare products company announced last week a partnership with the Special Olympics that will help the organization deliver health screenings to its athletes at 200 Special Olympics events worldwide.
Henry Schein, one of the world’s leading suppliers of dental, medical and veterinary supplies, was named last Tuesday a Special Olympics Health Provider Partner. As part of the company’s first formal partnership with the Special Olympics, Henry Schein will donate essential health care products to support the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes program at events in the U.S., Canada, Germany, Israel, Jamaica and the U.K.
Health Athletes offers health screenings to Special Olympics athletes to help identify serious health problems that may need additional follow-up care.
Special Olympics Senior Vice President of Sport and Health, Drew Boshell, said in a statement last week that the partnership with Henry Schein would help the organization provide much-needed preventative care to its athletes.
The partnership “will also draw attention to the health injustice faced by people with intellectual disabilities,” Boshell said.
According to Special Olympics, people with intellectual disabilities are one of the most medically vulnerable groups in any country, and have some of the highest health risks.
Oral health is a particular concern for Special Olympics athletes. Oral health indicators among Special Olympics athletes show that 46 percent have signs of gingivitis and 37 percent have untreated tooth decay.
As part of the partnership, Henry Schein donations will be used during free dental screenings for Special Olympics athletes.
“Supporting the health of people with intellectual disabilities throughout our society closely aligns with our belief in the power of wellness, prevention, treatment, and education to reduce disparities in the delivery of care,” Stanley M. Bergman, Henry Schein CEO, said in a statement received last week.
The partnership between Henry Schein and Special Olympics began at last week’s 2018 Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle and will continue at events through 2019.