A photo of a middle school boy sitting at a table, about to get his vitals checked. He is smiling, and looking at two volunteer nurses, who are smiling, leaning on the table to look at the boy.

Over 60 medical and general volunteers helped keep athletes in high spirits during their check-ups.

October’s MedFest brought together volunteer clinicians, medical students, and DC Public Schools students for healthcare access!

Thanks to volunteers from George Washington University’s Medical School, Trinity and Catholic University’s Nursing Programs, and more, over 80 athletes are now cleared to play Special Olympics DC in-school, out-of-school, and adult league sports. All volunteers did an amazing job ensuring that athletes were not only comfortable, but also laughing and having fun while receiving vital checks, eye exams, and physical evaluations.

For many medical students, MedFest was the first time they had worked closely with a person with intellectual disabilities. For many Special Olympics DC athletes, MedFest was one of the first times they have seen a doctor since the beginning of the pandemic, which added to systemic healthcare barriers that people with intellectual disabilities face regularly.

Ethan Diamond, President of the Special Olympics Medical Student Club at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, said about the event, “Medfest was a beautiful blend of service with learning about a patient population we do not encounter often in our formal education. We look forward to continuing to work with Special Olympics DC and the athlete population.” MedFest was lead by volunteer Clinical Director Dr. Jason Morda, who also participates year-round as a Unified Partner in Special Olympics DC adult leagues.

Health access events across the District will continue through a partnership with the Children’s National Mobile Clinic to send clinicians to screen our athletes at DC Public Schools. Thank you to all who help ensure our athletes are healthy and ready to play!