Dr. Stephen Sulkes Honored for Pioneering Global Health Work with First-ever Golisano Global Health Leadership Award

Dr. Stephen Sulkes Honored for Pioneering Global Health Work with First-ever Golisano Global Health Leadership Award

<Schladming, Austria> – The Golisano Foundation and Special Olympics, the largest public health organization for people with intellectual disabilities (ID), honored Stephen Sulkes, M.D. the Golisano Global Health Leadership Award.

In his work as the Co-Director of the Strong Center for Developmental Disabilities, Dr. Stephen Sulkes has championed Healthy Communities work and has been an incredible resource and advisor. He has secured grants from organizations such as the Special Hope Foundation to improve the fitness of Special Olympics New York athletes. He founded the Rochester student chapter of the American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry (AADMD) and encourages students to get involved with Special Olympics both through Healthy Athletes but also as event volunteers and coaches. Dr. Sulkes’ work is also reflective of the unique commitment of the University of Rochester to make inclusive health a part of its strategic plan – advancing access to care in multiple arenas – from the Complex Care Center and enhanced access to oral health, to training the next generation of clinicians to care for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

The Golisano Global Health Leadership Award was established to recognize the progress being made around the world to increase access to essential health care for people with intellectual disabilities.  It is Special Olympics’ highest honor for health partners.

The honorees are health champions in their countries. Their extraordinary efforts are fulfilling the goals, values, and mission of Special Olympics’ global Health program, made possible by the Golisano Foundation. This award recognizes individual leaders and organizations that are making significant contributions to Special Olympics health programs, specifically through Healthy Communities, and promoting inclusive healthcare, wellness, and fitness for people with intellectual disabilities.

Since it was launched in 2012, Special Olympics Healthy Communities has been expanding unprecedented year-round access to quality health care to more than 80 communities around the world – reaching almost every continent. The program is working to continue to expand access to care in 100 communities by 2020.

“The work we are seeing on the frontlines of healthcare in villages and cities throughout the world is inspiring,” shared Ann Costello, Executive Director of the Golisano Foundation. “We applaud these individuals and organizations for their game-changing work to advance inclusive health in their communities. They see the possibilities. They are focused on outcomes. We hope the Golisano Global Health Leadership Award serves as a catalyst and inspiration for more individuals and organizations to make much-needed changes in healthcare for people with intellectual disabilities.”

“These recipients have demonstrated their passion for Special Olympics athletes and their quest for achieving their personal bests on and off the field of competition.” said Mary Davis, Special Olympics CEO. “Each has played a role in breaking down barriers and changing perceptions.”

To see a full list of the 2017 Golisano Global Health Leadership Award recipients, click here.


About Special Olympics

Special Olympics is a global movement that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports, every day around the world. We empower people with intellectual disabilities to become accepted and valued members of their communities, which leads to a more respectful and inclusive society for all. Using sports as the catalyst and programming around health and education, Special Olympics is fighting inactivity, injustice and intolerance. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown to more than 5.3 million athletes and Unified partners in 169 countries. With the support of more than 1 million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics delivers 32 Olympic-type sports and over 108,000 games and competitions throughout the year. For a full list of our partners, visit here. Visit Special Olympics at www.specialolympics.org. Engage with us on: Twitter @specialolympics, fb.com/specialolympics, youtube.com/specialolympicshq, instagram.com/specialolympics and specialolympicsblog.wordpress.com.


Tom Golisano and Golisano Foundation

Thomas Golisano, an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and civic leader, is Chairman of Paychex, Inc., a national leader in the payroll and human resource industry. He has demonstrated ongoing generosity and commitment to numerous non-profit organizations and has been recognized for his achievements and endeavors by many organizations and national publications. The Golisano Foundation, which he established in 1985, is one of the nation’s leading foundations dedicated exclusively to helping organizations that assist people with developmental disabilities. In addition to the Foundation’s contributions, Mr. Golisano has been very generous to many other institutions and organizations, his philanthropy totaling more than $267 million. For more information see golisanofoundation.org.



Stephanie Corkett, scorkett@specialolympics.org, (540) 850-7827

Jean Dalmath, Golisano Foundation, jdalmath@dalmath.com, (585) 755-6911


Genesee Regional Update – 12/2/2017

Learn to Ski/Snowboard Open House

Special Olympics New York – Genesee is hosting a ski/snowboard Open House event at Powder Mills park in Pittsford, NY.
We welcome any athlete, including those who previously participated in the Powder Mills Program and those who are new to the program and would like to learn how to ski/snowboard.
The event will take place on January 20th from 2:30-4:30pm

Read more from the Update here.

Genesee Regional Update – 7/12/2017

Iron Eagle 5k & Fun Run

On Saturday, over 130 runners and walkers came together to honor the late Shane Bartholf, whose life ended too soon, for the inaugural Iron Eagle 5K & Family Run. Shane Bartholf was “relentlessly compassionate, endlessly encouraging and an avid adventure seeker who’s passion was supporting athletes be the best they can be at Special Olympics New York,” said Race Organizer and Sister of Shane, Leah Jacob.

Participants enjoyed a scenic run through the landscapes of Mendon finishing with a medal ceremony, music, bounce houses and sports massages. Over $15,000 was donated to the Genesee Region of Special Olympics New York where Shane volunteered over the years, whether through competition or in the office, Special Olympics is a cause that was near and dear to his heart and Shane’s family is proud to keep his legacy of compassion and love of sport alive with this race.

A special thanks to the Bartholf family for their support and being a friend to Special Olympics New York!

Genesee regional report 7.12.2017

Genesee Regional Update – 6/30/2017

Special Olympics Athlete Scholarships Offered Through YMCA of Greater Rochester

Did you know that the YMCA of Greater Rochester offers Special Olympic’s Athletes a personalized financial assistance process for individual memberships?

Did you know that the YMCA of Greater Rochester is supportive of 1:1 support at all of their branches as a benefit to the Athletes membership?!


Read more here Genesee regional report 6.30.2017

Genesee Regional Update – 6/23/2018

Special Announcement
The Genesee Region will host the 2018 and 2019 Winter State Games!

The 2018 Winter State Games will commence on February 23 with Opening Ceremonies,
including a ceremonial parade of athletes, motivational speeches, local entertainment and
the Law Enforcement Torch Run at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center which will
also host Olympic Village and Healthy Athletes throughout. The Rochester Riverside
Convention Center will also host Closing Ceremonies and a Victory Dance on February 24,
Genesee regional report 6.23.2017

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