SOMN Staff Present “End Exclusion: Building Inclusive Health Systems for People with Disabilities” at Spring Conference
June 13, 2023 – Two Special Olympics Minnesota staff members presented at the Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) Health Care Homes Learning Days conference in St. Cloud, Minnesota.

Special Olympics Minnesota Athlete Sits Down With “Health Chatters” Podcast
June 12, 2023 – Health Chatter is a podcast for people young, old and professional and from various backgrounds. It is intended to bring to light through open conversation the health concerns and questions we all face.

One Special Olympics Athlete is Changing Perspectives on HealthPartners Community Advisory Council
May 4, 2023 – “This council has been designed to help bridge the gaps in healthcare and research. I am a voice for people with intellectual disabilities, and I am changing their perspective!”

Health Q&A with Health Programs Manager, Lindsey Swanson
May 2, 2023 – We took some time to catch up with Special Olympics Minnesota Health Programs Manager, Lindsey Swanson, to learn about the things she does to lead a healthy life. Read on to learn more about Lindsey!

Health Q&A with Health Programs Manager, Jeff Prendergast
April 17, 2023 – We took some time to catch up with Special Olympics Minnesota Health Programs Manager, Jeff Prendergast, to learn more about how he takes care of his body and mind. Read on to learn about Jeff and his philosophies on health!

Otto Bremer Trust Awards Grant to Support SOMN’s Health Programs
April 12, 2023 – Every year, the Otto Bremer Trust awards grants to various organizations in Minnesota, and Special Olympics Minnesota is honored to be selected for the second year in a row.

5 Ways Special Olympics Minnesota is Making the World a Healthier Place
April 7, 2023 – An important part of the Special Olympics mission is to make healthcare more accessible and inclusive for all. Here are five ways Special Olympics is making our state—and the world—a healthier, more inclusive place!

Special Olympics & IHRSA Partner to Improve Inclusivity within the Fitness Industry
March 6, 2023 – Special Olympics and IHRSA, the Global Health & Fitness Association, have partnered to build awareness and capacity within the fitness industry to support the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities (ID).

Health Q&A with SOMN President & CEO, Dave Dorn

March 2023 – We took some time to catch up with Special Olympics Minnesota President & CEO, Dave Dorn, to learn more about how he takes care of his body and mind. Read on to learn more about Dave, and hopefully you’ll pick up some health tips along the way!

Navigating Your Child’s Intellectual Disability Diagnosis
January 2023 – For many families, the moment their child receives an intellectual disability diagnosis can be scary and isolating. However, access to accurate, quality information and consistent support from Special Olympics can provide a sense of confidence and community, as they navigate this new world.

Participation in Special Olympics Linked to Reduced Risk of Depression Among Young Adults with Intellectual Disabilities
January 20, 2023 – New research led by researchers in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Ontario Tech University has examined the depression status of more than 51,000 young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities from 1995 to 2015.

Maintaining Mental Health During the Holidays
November 2022 – A National Alliance of Mental Illness study showed that 64% of people with mental illness report holidays make their conditions worse. “For many people, the holiday season is not always the most wonderful time of the year,” said NAMI medical director Ken Duckworth.

Hearing technology company hosts Special Olympics athletes at Sunday’s Vikings game
October 30, 2022 – A Sunday to celebrate a Vikings win, and an Independence Day for these athletes. “I don’t need translators,” Coonen-Korte declared. “I don’t need to ask people what they said, and I can have the independence that I want and need.”

Special Olympics video Named Winner of 2022 Sharecare Awards in Disruptors in Healthcare Category
October 20, 2022 – Established by Sharecare in association with The National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences, New York Chapter, the Sharecare Awards promote and reward excellence for the best productions and programming in health and well-being. The video is one of 15 winners in the fourth annual Sharecare Awards across a range of categories.

Special Olympics Athletes Can Explore a World of Captivating Health Resources with MyHealth
July 2022 – MyHealth offers fun and interactive pages that allow users to learn more about their health at their own pace. For example, people with intellectual disabilities can learn how to identify the signs of stress, dehydration, common dental problems, and much more.

Yoga for All
June 3, 2022 – Bella said that many other yoga studios struggle with teaching her because of her disability. “Guided By Humanity knows how to teach me and my other friends, but I wish that other studios and teaching places could teach everyone because we’re equal like everybody else,” Bella explained.

Special Olympics Minnesota partners with Boger Dental to pilot free dental care program
April 13, 2022 – Earlier this year, three Special Olympics Minnesota athletes participated in a free dental care pilot with Boger Dental in Plymouth, Minnesota. The goal of this pilot was to partner with a local dental office to show that while visiting the dentist can be intimidating, it can also be an inclusive and empowering experience. 

Health Screening Changes a Life: Jad’s Story
April 9, 2022 – As a young child, Jad was slower than others in terms of learning. He was also physically frail and had breathing difficulties. When he was 8, he received a free health screening conducted by Special Olympics Thailand. The doctors were shocked to discover that Jad had major cyanotic heart disease.

Advocating for inclusion in healthcare on Capitol Hill
April 6, 2022 – On February 9-10, Special Olympics Minnesota athletes, staff and Unified partners met virtually with members of Congress for Special Olympics’ annual Capitol Hill Day. Capitol Hill Day provides an opportunity for representatives from Special Olympics to advocate and educate Congress about the critical work Special Olympics is doing in sports, healthcare and education.

Kayla Cornell Has a Message for Fellow Special Olympics Athletes: Let’s Get Healthy Together
March 26, 2022 – Kayla Cornell is the head chef in her cooking class for individuals with intellectual disabilities. Dressed in a blue Special Olympics shirt and surrounded by Special Olympics Michigan athletes, she gives instructions and demonstrates knife skills in the kitchen at the Mary Free Bed YMCA in Grand Rapids. Cornell’s goal is simple: teach her students how to be healthier.

Choose to include: The importance of inclusion in health care
March 14, 2022 – “All of us can be more inclusive.  All of us can do better, and better.  I challenge everyone to choose to include.  Empower us to be the best both on and off the field.  Special Olympics has given me the confidence and the skills to be my best. When other people and organizations are committed to inclusion too, we are unstoppable!”

Starkey and Special Olympics International Create Global Partnership to Increase Hearing Health for Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities
March 1, 2022 – Starkey and Special Olympics, the international non-profit organization dedicated to transforming the lives of people with intellectual disabilities through sport, health and education programming, signed a global partnership agreement today that increases access to hearing health services worldwide for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Special Olympics Alaska Athlete Uses Platform to Promote Healthy Lifestyle
January 27, 2022 – Three times a week, the Special Olympics Alaska headquarters is transformed into a homemade studio, resembling the closest thing to what a television personality would use. Ayesha Abdul-Jillil sits behind a red tablecloth-draped table with the Special Olympics logo across the front. She’s ready to host “Afternoons with Ayesha,” helping athletes stay fit and connected virtually.

Finding Joy and Strength on the Purple Turf
December 27, 2021 – If you look up the meaning of joyful movement, we’re pretty sure you’ll find a picture of Anytime Fitness member Tyler K. enjoying his post-workout jam session. These jam sessions mean so much more than celebrating a successful workout: They’re the culmination of years of hard work in the wake of a devastating loss that ultimately brought Tyler to the purple turf.

A time to heal
December 2021 – Encourage the people you love to age healthy. This includes engaging their minds, using their bodies, and embracing both as they age. Some people with disabilities may not be aware of what is happening to their bodies, but you can help them age gracefully, and live out the remainder of their lives how they like.

Small Change Story: Invisible Disabilities
November 9, 2021 – Katye Barton, age 47, describes herself as a high-functioning autistic adult with mild cerebral palsy. Katye is focused on improving the lives of people with intellectual disabilities, with a special emphasis on advocating for better mental health and obesity services. Jessica Wick joined our conversation.

Special Olympics’ School of Strength is going worldwide
November 3, 2021 – The School of Strength initiative from Special Olympics is a partnership with WWE, looking to help athletes stay fit from home, year-round. It gave Special Olympics a perfect tool to support athletes during the pandemic.

Chris Nikic, first Ironman finisher with Down syndrome, shares philosophy of 1% better
October 26, 2021 – Special Olympics athlete Chris Nikic shares his philosophy for training and exercise in his new book 1% Better: Reaching My Full Potential and How You Can Too. The book outlines how Chris tackles training by doing a little more each day so he can achieve great accomplishments, such as finishing the Ironman or more recently, the Boston Marathon.

Community leader and mental health advocate
October 7, 2021 – Like many of us, Kayte has had her fair share of mental health struggles throughout the years. However, Special Olympics Minnesota has been a consistent source of community and inclusion for Kayte. Today, she is helping fellow athletes improve their physical and mental health as a Special Olympics Health Ambassador.

How Special Olympics tackled emotional well-being worldwide amidst a global pandemic
September 23, 2021 – With the isolation and anxiety of a global COVID pandemic, Special Olympics has been working harder than ever to ensure the emotional well-being of its athletes.

Tom Golisano Gifts $30 Million to Special Olympics to Expand Critical Health Services Globally for People with Intellectual Disabilities
September 16, 2021 – Special Olympics announced that it has received its largest single private gift in the organization’s 53-year history: $30 million from Tom Golisano to expand the Special Olympics Healthy Communities program.

The Mental Health of People with Disabilities
November 30, 2020 – Adults with disabilities report experiencing frequent mental distress almost 5 times as often as adults without disabilities. Call your doctor if your mental health gets in the way of your daily activities for at least 14 days in a month.