On their eighth and final activity station of the ESPN | Special Olympics Unified Sports® Executive Challenge, Team Kaiser Permanente shimmied and shook their way to the highest score in the dance challenge.
The event, which took place after the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games Opening Ceremony in Seattle on July 1, featured well over a dozen teams made of up business executives, Special Olympics athletes, and sports, music, broadcast, and television celebrities. Activity stations around the field kept the teams moving from one challenge to the next.
Leading the team were Susan Mullaney, president of Kaiser Permanente Washington, and Steve Tarnoff, MD, president and chief executive officer of Washington Permanente Medical Group, the care delivery arm of Kaiser Permanente Washington. “It was an honor to represent Kaiser Permanente in the Executive Challenge. I felt real pride in our community and especially our Kaiser Permanente team members who performed with such enthusiasm and positive energy,” said Dr. Tarnoff.
Joshua Bennett and Devon Adelman, Team Washington athletes and Kaiser Permanente members, tossed footballs, sank golf shots, shot hoops, threw darts, and banked bocce balls alongside the 2 Kaiser Permanente executives and Seattle Seahawks legend, Steve Largent.
“The highlight of the Executive Challenge was spending time with Devon and Joshua and hearing more about their journey to the USA Games,” said Mullaney. “We had an incredible team and an incredible time playing unified and living our values of inclusivity both on and off the field.”
The atmosphere was fun and festive for the event that highlighted the power of Unified Sports®, which combines people with and without intellectual disabilities on one team. It also engaged business leaders and their employees as they showed their support for inclusion, tolerance, and understanding.
Despite the bright star power on the field, Kaiser Permanente medical staff was easy to spot in their bright orange medical shirts. Kaiser Permanente is the Official Health Partner of the Games, and Angie Sparks, MD, who works out of the Kaiser Permanente Burien Medical Center was on the sidelines ready to provide aid. Jessie Fudge, MD, a Kaiser Permanente physician and the chief medical director for the USA Games roamed the field, keeping a watchful eye on the competitors. Kaiser Permanente will be coordinating all the sideline care at the Games happening in and around Seattle until July 6.