Two dedicated Special Olympics BC volunteers have been given the 2018 Golisano Health Leadership Award for their work in health and wellness.
Pam Kiselbach is the clinician for Health Promotion and was one of B.C.’s first Healthy Athletes clinicians. Kiselbach has been a volunteer with Special Olympics for 13 years, first as an event volunteer and then in 2008, she took on the role of Coquitlam's athletics Head Coach. She is also the Local's Club Fit coach, delivering health and wellness programs directly to the athletes.
In 2010 SOBC approached Kiselbach to become the first Health Promotion clinician. After her training, not only did she assist with Healthy Athletes screenings for the 2014 Special Olympics Canada Summer Games in Vancouver, she has volunteered in almost all of the Healthy Athletes screenings hosted around the province, travelling to Prince George, Cranbrook, and more. Kiselbach has worked hard to keep updating the information athletes receive through Health Promotion screenings.
Brad McDougall was also honoured for his work as B.C.'s lead Opening Eyes clinician. McDougall has been instrumental in ensuring that athletes in B.C. get the eye care they deserve. He works with SOBC to ensure we have the equipment we need, recruits volunteers and works with our lens provider to ensure that athletes receive eyewear that ensures they can perform both on and off the field.
McDougall has been providing this care for more than five years and goes above and beyond every time. When one young athlete went through an Opening Eyes screening, it was found she needed glasses but we didn’t have frames small enough for her. McDougall provided her with frames, ensuring that she was not restricted by sight. His extra efforts helped the athlete succeed and also showed her family that SOBC and our clinicians truly care about our athletes' health care.
Special Olympics BC was the first Chapter in Canada to be invited to apply for the prestigious Golisano Award.
Launched in 2016, the Golisano Health Leadership Awards recognize the extensive work of individuals and organizations around the world who are improving the health of people with intellectual disabilities and advancing the year-round health work of Special Olympics.
The awards also raise awareness of the significant health disparities that continue to be experienced by people with intellectual disabilities, one of the largest and most medically underserved disability groups in the world. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry, millions of individuals with intellectual disabilities lack access to quality health care and experience dramatically higher rates of preventable disease, chronic pain and suffering, and premature death in every country around the world.
Special Olympics BC is grateful to all of our volunteer Healthy Athletes clinicians. Without them, athletes in B.C. could have health issues that would go undiagnosed. SOBC is honoured to award Pam Kiselbach and Brad McDougall with the Golisano Health Award for their outstanding leadership.