Kaiser Permanente Lending A Helping Hand

Kaiser Permanente Lending A Helping Hand

Courtesy of WOWSA, Huntington Beach, California.

As the Special Olympics athletes ventured past the shoreline, all kinds of volunteers and professionals were on hand to lend a hand.

One of the largest groups of volunteers came from Kaiser Permanente, one of America’s leading health care providers. Kaiser Permanente is a Founding Champion and the Official Health Partner for the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles.

Throughout the World Games, Kaiser Permanente physicians will provide medical care to more than 6,500 athletes — from the time they arrive to the time they depart. Dr. Evan Bass, who was the lead physician at the open water swimming venue based on his experience in sports medicine and as a volunteer for various triathlons, explains. “We offered the opportunity to our medical staff to volunteer and over 700 physicians signed up. To prepare, we participated in a series of trial runs and responded to mock-simulations. We have the full medical history for all the athletes and can access this information if necessary while at the competitions.”

During the World Summer Games, Kaiser Permanente physicians manage medical hubs to deliver medical care to the athletes and are physically located near all the fields of play. Dr. Bass and his fellow volunteers, were positioned all day right on the shoreline, armed with radios. “The lifeguards are out there in the ocean with the athletes and we have a good collaborative relationship with them. They handle any emergencies or situations out there [pointing to the ocean] and if they need our help, we are right here and in communications with the local hospitals.”

Upper photo shows Rudsel Maria, coach of Curaçao.

Copyright © 2015 by World Open Water Swimming Association