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MedFest signals Special Olympics Kaua‘i is on

LIHU‘E — Kaiser Permanente hosted a MedFest event for nearly two dozen athletes participating in the Kaua‘i Special Olympics program on April 2.

Dr. Benjamin Chun is the Special Olympics Hawai‘i MedFest clinical director. He joined Dr. Gale Prentiss, the Special Olympics Hawai‘i FunFitness clinical director, and Cindy Labrador and the Lihu‘e Kaiser Permanente nursing staff to host the event.

Together, they led the free screenings that included vision, height, weight, blood pressure, and cardioascular and musculoskeletal health. The screenings were held at the Kaiser Permanente Lihu‘e Clinic located on Kukui Grove Street.

Special Olympics Kaua‘i welcomed MedFest, an annual event that provides comprehensive physical screenings to athletes of all ages participating in Special Olympics Hawai‘i where physical exams are needed to ensure it is safe for athletes to participate in training and competitions each year.

Leona Sa McDermott of Special Olympics Kaua‘i was excited to announce the hosting of the first Kaua‘i Area track and field meet at Vidinha Stadium on May 7.

The annual event that draws Special Olympic Kaua‘i athletes from all parts of the island was shut down when the COVID-19 pandemic closed the island for more than two years.

“Special Olympics Kaua‘i is returning,” Sa McDermott said. “There are four delegations, including Kaua‘i High School, the Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School, the Kaua‘i Storm, and Kaua‘i Lanakila participating on May 7.”

In addition to the announcement of the Kaua‘i Area games, Sa McDermott also released the practice schedule for Kaua‘i Lanakila that started meeting Wednesday afternoons from 3 to 5 p.m. at the Kapa‘a High School track field.

Special track practice will take place at Vidinha Stadium on May 4 from 3 to 5 p.m. to get the athletes accustomed to the rubberized track and the Vidinha Stadium fields ahead of the May 7 Kaua‘i Area Meet.

During the summer of 2021, Sa McDermott announced the Special Olympics Kaua‘i Athletes and Unified Partners that will be heading to Florida in July, 2022 for National Competition in Bowling.

Team members on the Unified Team include Melissa Iida, Ana Munoz, Lisa Laureta, Carleen Yamamoto, and individualist Rondelle Lee.

The Bowling athletes and their Unified partners have a goal of raising $1,500 each for the trip to Florida, and practice has been at the whim of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“The excitement is written all over their faces as they prepare to represent Hawai‘i in Florida,” Sa McDermott said.

Kaiser Permanente was recently recognized with two awards by Special Olympics Hawai‘i when Dr. Chun was awarded the Special Olympics Hawai‘i Above and Beyond Award for volunteers that have routinely demonstrated a commitment and desire to helping athletes and the greater Special Olympics Hawai‘i ‘ohana.

Kaiser Permanente was recognized with the Special Olympics Hawai‘i’s Organization of the Year award for being a long-time partner with the organization, and its dedication to hosting MedFest events year after year as well as its support in holding vaccine drives for Special Olympics Hawai‘i.
Source: The Garden Island

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