September 26, 2012

Golisano Foundation to Honor Six for Providing Exemplary Healthcare Services to People with Developmental Disabilities

Golisano Foundation Health Care Leadership Award - logo

Tim Shriver, CEO of Special Olympics International, to Speak at Awards Luncheon

Following Tom Golisano’s announcement September 23 of a $12 million gift to Special Olympics International to expand health care services to people with intellectual disabilities. Ann Costello, Director of the Golisano Foundation today announced that the Foundation will present its 2012 Leadership Awards for Exemplary Healthcare Services to six local health care professionals who have demonstrated extraordinary work with to improve healthcare and access to care for people with intellectual disabilities.

Tom Golisano, Founder and Chairman of the Golisano Foundation, will present the awards at the 2012 Leadership Awards Luncheon (by invitation) from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Thursday October 18th at the Rochester Plaza Hotel & Conference Center.

All of this year’s honorees have served as Clinical Directors for Special Olympics, providing care to athletes at health screenings that are part of the Healthy Athletes program.

Tim ShriverTim Shriver, Chairman & CEO of Special Olympic International, will be the luncheon’s keynote speaker, in honor the awardees’ work on behalf of Special Olympics (SO) Healthy Athletes program, the world’s largest public health screening and education program for people with intellectual disabilities, and the pioneering support of the Golisano Foundation and Tom Golisano. Read more about Tim Shriver

The recipients are: (see below for more on the recipients)

  • Maricelle Abayon, DDS, MS; Eastman Institute for Oral Health – Special Olympics Healthy Athletes – Special Smiles
  • Joseph Carbone, DPM; Rochester Foot Care Associates – Special Olympics Healthy Athletes Fit Feet
  • Lisa DeLucia, DDS, Eastman Institute for Oral Health – Special Olympics Healthy Athletes Special Smiles
  • Mary Kate Gedro, CO; University of Rochester Medical Center – Special Olympics Healthy Athletes Fit Feet
  • Mark Orlando, PhD, MBA; University of Rochester Medical Center – Special Olympics Healthy Athletes Healthy Hearing
  • Amy Pete, PT; University of Rochester Medical Center – Special Olympics Healthy Athletes FUNFitness

People with intellectual disabilities often have a greater risk for health issues and often have limited access to health care that could dramatically improve their lives. On top of that, many health care professionals are not trained in or experienced with caring for people with intellectual disabilities.

“By recognizing those who have led the way and demonstrated their dedication to enhancing the lives of people with intellectual disabilities,” said Costello, “we hope to improve access and healthcare. The individuals we are honoring have promoted acceptance, dignity and inclusion in their work, and they value people with intellectual disabilities as people who can contribute and be a vital part of the community. As more people become educated, more involved, we are confident that improved health policies and programs will follow.“

Golisano Foundation Leadership Award for Exemplary Health Care Services Recipients 
Each honoree will be presented with a Tiffany crystal award and a $5000 donation made by the Golisano Foundation in their names to the charity of their choice that helps people with intellectual disabilities.

Maricelle Abayon, DDS, MS (Special Smiles)

Maricelle Abayon, DDS, MSDr. Abayon, a dentist at Eastman’s Howitt Urgent Dental Care, treats people with developmental disabilities. She sees patients in pain from cavities that could have been treated earlier if dental care had been available. Dr. Abayon joined the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities and Related Disorders (LEND) Fellowship program at Golisano Children’s Hospital, to help people with developmental disabilities who age out of pediatric dental practices and need care. She became the Clinical Director for Healthy Athletes Special Smiles, providing athletes dental screenings and oral hygiene education.

Joseph Carbone, DPM (Fit Feet)

Joseph Carbone, DPMDr. Carbone is a Podiatrist in private practice with Rochester Foot Care Associates, a practice he joined in 1984 with Dr. Edward J. Bonavilla and Dr. David V. Chazan. He is the past president of the New York State Podiatric Medical Association and a member of the Board of Directors of Golisano Children’s Hospital,among others. He has volunteered his time with Healthy Athletes for three years at local and statewide Special Olympic events, screening athletes for foot problems such as improper shoe fit and gait problems. In his practice he cares for many patients with intellectual disabilities.

Lisa DeLucia, DDS (Special Smiles)

Lisa DeLucia, DDSDr. DeLucia is a dentist in private practice, who treats patients with intellectual disabilities, and teaches pediatric dentistry residents at URMC’s Eastman Institute for Oral Health. Dr. DeLucia completed the Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (LEND) Fellowship and has published research about dental students’ perceptions and attitudes toward providing dental care to people with developmental disabilities. She has volunteered in Special Olympics’ Special Smiles events since she was a dental student.

Mary Kate Gedro, C.O. (Fit Feet)

Mary Kate Gedro, C.O.Mary Kate Gedro is a senior staff orthotist at the University of Rochester Medical Center who specializes in working with children. She helps children with scoliosis, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, developmental delay and any medical issue that impedes children’s ability to stand or walk. Through Gedro’s involvement with pediatric patients of URMC’s Kirch Developmental Services Center, she was recruited to train as Clinical Director in the Special Olympics’ Healthy Athlete’s Fit Feet screening program.

Mark Orlando, PhD, MBA (Healthy Hearing)

Mark Orlando, PhD, MBAMark Orlando is an audiologist and director of Research and Education in Audiology for the University of Rochester Medical Center. Orlando specializes in evaluating the hearing of infants, young children and difficult to test populations, fitting cochlear implants, performing research to evaluate cochlear function and mentoring and supervising the next generation of audiologists. Orlando became involved in Special Olympics Healthy Athletesprogram through clinical research with the organization. He has been doing hearing screenings at local and statewide Special Olympic events for several years.

Amy Pete, M.S., P.T. (Fun Fitness)

Amy Pete, M.S., P.T.Pete, a physical therapist at the University of Rochester Medical Center, specializes in working with children and families, and works in the Department of Rehabilitation, Kirch Developmental Services Center and the Infant and Toddler Developmental Program. She helps children with neurological, orthopedic and developmental issues including torticollis, cerebral palsy, spinal cord injuries, head injuries, scoliosis, developmental delay and orthopaedic injuries, among others. Pete was trained as a Clinical Director in the Healthy Athlete’s FUNfitness program, which assesses flexibility, strength, balance and aerobic fitness, and teaches exercises.

In addition to the awards, the Golisano Foundation is working on multiple fronts to improve healthcare for people with developmental disabilities. In 2010, the Foundation hosted the first Healthy Athletes regional training program for healthcare providers from multiple states to learn how to screen athletes for healthcare issues in their regions. In January 2012 the Foundation formed a partnership with the Eastman Institute for Oral Health at the University of Rochester Medical Center to address the unmet oral health needs of people with developmental disabilities in the Rochester area. A community taskforce has been formed to identify the areas of greatest need, resources, gaps and barriers, and develop recommendations to improve this complex situation.

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