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June 19, 2023

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Golisano Global Health Leadership Awards Presented Today in Berlin

Photo: Front row: Renee Manfredi, Dr. Lin-Chung Woung, Nyasha Derera. Back row: Dr. David Jenkins, Abu Dhabi Public Health Center representative, Dr. Imke Kaschke, Dr. Georgina Toro, Kenya Medical Training College representative, and Dr. Hafizur Rahman.

Berlin, Germany – June 19, 2023 –Today in Berlin, Germany, the fourth Global Golisano Health Leadership Awards were presented at the Special Olympics World Games.

The recipients are Dr. Rahman of Bangladesh, Dr. Georgina Toro of Chile, Dr. Lin-Chung Woung of Chinese Taipei, Dr. Imke Kaschke of Germany, The Kenya Medical Training College in Kenya, Abu Dhabi Public Health Center of the United Arab Emirates, and Dr. David Jenkins of the United States of America.

(See bios in Program Guide)

The awards showcase the impactful work of Special Olympics and the Golisano Foundation to surmount the healthcare barriers faced by people with intellectual disabilities worldwide and push for more collaboration with public and private partners—critical to meeting this challenge.

The awards are named for philanthropist and Paychex founder Tom Golisano, who has donated more than $67 million to Special Olympics to launch Healthy Communities, expand the reach of Healthy Athletes, and increase access to health care around the world for people with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics is the largest public health organization for people with intellectual disabilities.

Erica Dayton, Golisano Foundation Executive Director, said, "We congratulate these seven extraordinary people and organizations for their unyielding dedication to making inclusive health a reality. They are champions that lead the way with persistence and passion. We commend their efforts and recognize that they are opening new doors and removing barriers to bring quality health care and equity to more people with intellectual disabilities every year."

The Global Golisano Health Leadership Awards were established in 2017. 2023 marks the fourth Global Golisano Health Leadership Awards. They are the highest Special Olympics honor for health partners, recognizing their commitment to fulfilling the goals, values, and mission of Special Olympics Health. They are a testament to the powerful partnership between Tom Golisano, the Golisano Foundation, and Special Olympics Health that has, over the past decade, made a significant impact on the lives and health of people with intellectual disabilities worldwide. Read more

Congratulations Message from Ann Costello

A special video address was given by outgoing Golisano Foundation Executive Director Ann Costello, who has worked alongside Special Olympics from the launch of Healthy Communities in 2012, helping navigate the global health program's expansion to more than 120 communities. She retired earlier this month.

Event speakers included Jürgen Dusel, Germany’s Commissioner for Matters relating to Persons with Disabilities, welcome remarks by Special Olympics athlete Health Messenger Mr. Nyasha Derera, and a musical celebration by Special Olympics athlete Renee Manfredi.

Learn More about the 2023 Global Golisano Health Leadership Award Recipients

Dr. Hafizur Rahman of Bangladesh

Dr. Rahman supports athletes by facilitating healthcare access, training professionals, and empowering families. 

Dr. Georgina Toro of Chile

Dr. Toro expands dental care access for Special Olympics athletes through university and medical partnerships.

Dr. Lin-Chung Woung of Chinese Taipei

Dr. Woung drives inclusive health with health insurance agreements, partnerships, and health promotion events. 

Dr. Imke Kaschke of Germany

Dr. Kaschke champions inclusive health in Germany through screenings, training, and policy changes.

The Kenya Medical Training College in Kenya

The Kenya Medical Training College educates 85% of the nation’s healthcare workforce and is integrating intellectual disability training and expanding healthcare access through their work.

Abu Dhabi Public Health Center in the United Arab Emirates

Abu Dhabi Public Health Center is committed to addressing health barriers faced by people with intellectual disabilities, offers free health exams, and leads unified healthcare training for universities, hospitals, government agencies, and NGOs. 

Dr. David Jenkins, USA

Dr. David Jenkins advances inclusive health through education, training, and research. He has trained hundreds of students, certified 50 global Fit Feet Clinical Directors, and expanded health services for people with intellectual disabilities. 

See Full Award Presentation Video

About the Golisano Foundation

The Golisano Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in the U.S. dedicated to making the world a better place for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The Foundation is devoted to opening doors to opportunity, changing negative perceptions and stereotypes, and forging unprecedented partnerships to ensure individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities have pathways to personal dignity, independence, and the best possible expression of their abilities and talents throughout their lifetimes. Founded in 1985 by Tom Golisano — entrepreneur, philanthropist, civic leader, and founder of Paychex, Inc. — the Foundation “imagines the possibilities,” advocating for families, fighting for their dignity, and giving people with IDD the opportunity to thrive in their communities. With more than $60 million in gross assets, it awards about $3 million annually to non-profit organizations in Western New York and Southwest Florida.

About Special Olympics

Founded in 1968, Special Olympics is a global movement to end discrimination against people with intellectual disabilities. We foster acceptance of all people through the power of sport and programming in education, health, and leadership. With more than six million athletes and Unified Sports partners, over one million coaches and volunteers in 212 Programs, including 148 countries, 13 territories, 50 U.S. states, and the District of Columbia, Special Olympics delivers more than 30 Olympic-type sports and over 100,000 games and competitions every year.

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