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Special Olympics honors Wilkerson Center, Hearing and Speech Sciences

Jan. 21, 2021, 9:50 AM


by Emily Stembridge

Vanderbilt University Medical Center’s Bill Wilkerson Center, Department of Hearing and Speech Sciences, has been awarded the Special Olympics’ Golisano Health Leadership Award for Tennessee. The award is the highest honor health partners can receive from the Special Olympics.

“This award is a testament to the dedication of our staff and students,” said Brittany Day, AuD, CCC-A, associate director of inpatient Pediatric Audiology. “Our team cares so much about these athletes and ensuring that those at a higher risk for hearing and communication disorders have access to information about their hearing health. It is truly an honor to be recognized for the small part we have the privilege to play.”

The Golisano Health Leadership Award recognizes local health organizations and their extraordinary efforts toward fulfilling the mission of the Special Olympics’ global health program. For Hearing and Speech Sciences, this effort includes organizing biannual Healthy Hearing screening events, where athletes, athletes’ families and coaches are given free audiology screenings by Vanderbilt audiologists and audiology students.

The department has a long-standing relationship with the Special Olympics of Tennessee. Through this partnership, the quality of hearing screenings for athletes with intellectual disabilities has continuously improved, resulting in increased athlete health and well-being, even beyond competition.

The award was created in September 2016 to honor organizations that improve access to health care, fitness and wellness programs for people with intellectual disabilities. This includes increasing essential health care, improving the health of people with intellectual disabilities and advancing the year-round work of the Special Olympics.

“We do this work because it’s our passion, and this is evident in the way that so many of our staff give their time and talents to serve with the Special Olympics of Tennessee,” said Day. “I look forward to our continued partnership with such an incredible organization.”

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