Allegheny Health Network Provides Medical Support at 43rd Annual Special Olympics Pennsylvania Winter Games
Tuesday, February 4, 2020
Pittsburgh, Pa – For the sixth consecutive year, Allegheny Health Network’s (AHN) Sports Medicine team will provide on-site medical support to athletes competing in the Special Olympics Pennsylvania (SOPA) Winter Games. The 43rd annual Winter Games, featuring more than 350 athletes and 175 coaches, will be held from Sunday, February 9 through Tuesday, February 11 at Seven Springs Mountain Resort.
The AHN team, led by orthopaedic surgeon Robert Schilken, MD, includes Dolores Schilken, BSN and athletic trainers Richelle Beall, ATC, Tim Smith, ATC and Mitch Meszaros, ATC.
“As an organization, Allegheny Health Network strives to support and work with inclusive communities to provide leading clinical care and uninterrupted access to top clinicians and caregivers at the Winter Games and beyond. It’s an honor to have such a longstanding relationship with a community like the Special Olympics and we look forward to participating every year,” said Dr. Schilken.
According to the Special Olympics organization, all people – with or without intellectual disabilities – should have equitable access to quality health care. Special Olympics aims to strengthen the capacity of health organizations, providers, educators, and influencers to make policies, programming, services, research, trainings and funding streams inclusive and accommodating.
“Our role to provide care for these athletes is an amazing opportunity for all involved. When providers and fellows engage in events such as the Special Olympics and with the disability community, they take skills back to their practices and provide higher quality health care not just for Special Olympic athletes, but for individuals with disabilities in their very own communities and practices,” Schilken continued.
Special Olympics Pennsylvania provides year-round training and competition in 21 Olympic-type sports to nearly 20,000 children and adults with intellectual disabilities.
This year’s Winter Games, sponsored by Highmark Inc., will feature competitions in alpine skiing, cross-country skiing and snowshoeing. In addition, some Olympians will participate in snowboarding, an emerging sport for athletes in 2020.
Designated an Official U.S. Olympic Regional Medical Center, AHN is one of a few leading medical providers selected by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) to provide comprehensive medical services to elite Team USA athletes, including orthopedics and sports medicine, primary care, cardiovascular care, neurosurgery, physical therapy, and more.
AHN also is the official medical provider of the Pittsburgh Pirates, Pittsburgh Riverhounds, Gannon University, the Community College of Allegheny County and 19 Pittsburgh-area high school athletic programs.