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Special Olympians Get Free Medical Screenings From UNMC Students

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UNMC physician assistant and accelerated nursing students from UNK made sure local Special Olympians stay healthy as they prepare for their sports.

It's part of a Healthy Community grant to offer basic sports physical screenings free of charge.

More than a dozen athletes participated.

Even if those athletes already have special health issues, officials say they can refer any concerns to primary physicians or specialists.

Those involved say it's a great way for students to get acquainted with all types of patients they might see in the future.

"It really did give my athlete time to work through any of his health issues so they could identify it," said Kearney Special Olympics Head of Delegation Jennifer Behlmann. "It also gave them a good experience because he does have special issues. They got to see different things they might see when they go out into their own practices."

"It's nice to have several that had several special needs problems so we're starting to learn in a safe environment where you still have faculty here to help you if you're not sure how to go about communicating with a person or to go about examining a person in a certain way," said UNMC PA student Kaelyse Clapper.

This is the first time this screening has come to Kearney, and those with the Nebraska Special Olympics say even without the grant they plan to continue the partnership with the school going forward.

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