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The Special Olympics Health Programs help 200 million people worldwide who suffer from health conditions such as chronic pain and disease, blindness and hearing loss, and shortened life span.
With more than 1.2 million health clinics worldwide in 100 different countries, the Special Olympics Health Programs reach a wide range of people. Currently, it is��the largest global public health organization dedicated to serving people with intellectual disabilities. The program was so successful, that Tom Golisano a United States businessman and philanthropist donated $12 million in 2012 to help the Special Olympics expand its health-related services and launch a new Healthy Communities initiative.
The goal of the Healthy Communities Initiative is “to achieve improved health outcomes for people with intellectual disabilities with the ultimate goal of ensuring that all are receiving health services and are able to reach their full potential”. Along with major offices the Special Olympics has in 170 countries, this program will launch “Healthy Communities” in 7 different countries (Mexico, Peru, Romania, Malawi, South Africa, Malaysia, and Thailand) and six U.S states (Arizona, Florida, Kansas, New Jersey, Wisconsin and New York). Under this initiative, the services of the Special Olympics health programs “will be expanded to more athletes, will have more ties to local organizations, will encourage the use of technology, and will promote awareness about the health issues people with intellectual disabilities face”.