Graduate and medical students teach Special Olympics athletes fitness and health at the second annual event.
For the second year in a row, students at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) welcomed athletes with the Special Olympics PA – Philadelphia program for a day dedicated to physical fitness, arts and crafts and health and wellness education. This year’s event more than doubled in size; more than 100 athletes were partnered with students in the Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine (DO), Bio-Medical Sciences, Physician Assistant Studies and Psychology programs on activities such as basketball; parachute time; t-shirt design; x-ray pictures; and “Pretend Doctor,” where athletes practiced their medical skills and knowledge.
The annual event is designed to teach special needs children about health, nutrition and physical fitness, while giving students studying in the medical, behavioral health and health science fields exposure to a population they may not otherwise interact with so early in their careers.
“We will be working with the special needs population in the future, so it’s a great way for us to connect and interact with this population early on,” said Jasmine Park (DO ’21), chair of the DO Council Special Olympics Committee.
“PCOM’s commitment to providing physical activity and health information in an inclusive setting is outstanding,” said Chase Trimmer, director, Special Olympics PA – Philadelphia.
The event was hosted by the DO Council Special Olympics Committee in conjunction with Special Olympics PA – Philadelphia, and with support from with support from PCOM AID (Advocates for Individuals with Disabilities); The Robert Berger Pediatrics Society; PCOM Students for Life; and the PCOM Ophthalmology Club.
Founded in 1899, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine has trained thousands of highly competent, caring physicians, health practitioners and behavioral scientists who practice a “whole person” approach to care—treating people, not just symptoms. PCOM offers doctoral degrees in clinical psychology, osteopathic medicine, pharmacy, physical therapy and school psychology, and graduate degrees in biomedical sciences, forensic medicine, mental health counseling, organizational development and leadership, physician assistant studies, school psychology, and public health management and administration. Our students learn the importance of health promotion, research, education and service to the community. Through its community-based Healthcare Centers, PCOM provides care to medically underserved populations in inner city and rural locations. For more information, visit pcom.edu.
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