On May 20, 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.

The annual spring conference is held for Health Care Homes and Behavioral Health Homes services providers, public health, and community partners to come together and share best practices, learn from one another, and form collaborative relationships.

Special Olympics Minnesota health staff members, Jeff Prendergast and Nell Coonen-Korte presented “End Exclusion: Building Inclusive Health Systems for People with Disabilities” as part of a breakout session.

Their presentation included a high-level overview of the importance of access to healthcare for people with disabilities. Jeff and Nell shared an in-depth overview of the health disparities that this community faces, barriers to care and a few real-life examples. Nell shared her own experiences as someone with an intellectual disability and recommended strategies providers can use to be more inclusive.

“The goal of the presentation was to bring more awareness to the issues people with disabilities face,” says Jeff. “We want to start more conversations around inclusive health and make it a priority for others. Everyone deserves quality healthcare.”

In each breakout session at the conference, artists created a visual infographic based on the presentations in real time. Here is a visual of the key talking points from their session about inclusive health systems:

Well done, Jeff and Nell! Thank you for your work in making Minnesota’s healthcare systems more inclusive for people with intellectual disabilities.