HENDERSON, N.C., Nov. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- Special Olympics North Carolina and Cardinal Innovations Healthcare are teaming up to offer health, fitness and nutritional resources to individuals with intellectual or developmental disabilities.
This unique approach to integrated care promotes the importance of health screenings, relationships with primary care providers and person-centered plans. "We are pleased to partner with Special Olympics North Carolina on this wellness initiative," said Richard Topping, CEO of Cardinal Innovations Healthcare. "We are aligned in our focus on the wellbeing of special populations and we are offering this program as a resource to advance integrated, personalized care." The wellness initiative provides free physical screenings, provider referrals, education exhibits and information to enable participants to create a personal wellness action plan to support their personal goals. "Educating individuals about healthy choices helps develop a foundation for positive lifestyle behaviors," says Keith Fishburne, president and CEO of Special Olympics North Carolina. "Personalized plans like these enable participants to lead healthier lives." The partnership series kicked-off on Oct. 28 with a wellness event in Henderson. More than 70 participants attended, many coming as part of groups from local organizations such as Community Workforce Solutions, Vance County Public Schools and the Senior RAPIDD program. The Vance County Public Health Department hosted the event at their facility and their physicians and clinical staff offered free physicals, provided flu and pneumonia immunizations and referrals for those interested in appointments with area specialists. The program provides participants with an opportunity to create a personal wellness action plan with specific steps to support their personal goals. For example, if a participant does not have a primary care physician or needs help with referral to a specialist, those appointments are arranged. Participants who would like to address their fitness or activity level can learn about local programs offered by organizations such as the parks and recreation department. All attendees have the opportunity to receive a free health physical, which, if passed, automatically qualifies them to compete with Special Olympics North Carolina and experience the health benefits of participation in sports. For those interested in improving their nutritional profile, wellness buddies share information about portion control and healthy choices for foods and beverages.