Building Communities Through Volunteering
Jenny Pang, MD, MPH, is a pediatrician who will be one of several healthy athlete directors volunteering at the upcoming Special Olympics USA Games.

Building communities through volunteering

Meet Jenny Pang, MD, MPH, a healthy athlete director for 2018 Special Olympics USA Games

Kaiser Permanente is proud to serve as the official health partner of the Special Olympics USA Games in Seattle on July 1 to 6, 2018. We’ll occasionally focus on the Permanente physicians who’ll be behind the scenes supporting the athletes and volunteers participating in the games.

Jenny Pang, MD, MPH, will be helping to provide high quality care to the Special Olympics athletes and coaches. Dr. Pang is a pediatrician with the Washington Permanente Medical Group, working at our Lynnwood Medical Center and the Family Health Center at Capitol Hill. She also attends on newborns at Swedish First-Hill.

She is one of several healthy athlete directors who come from a wide variety of practices, from audiology to behavioral health, and will be offering on-site screenings and preventive care information for the athletes.

Q: Do you know anyone with disabilities?

My nephew has autism. If he had his choice, he would spend most of his time playing computer games or drawing intricate pictures of dinosaurs and fish. My sister and my parents have helped him to expand his food repertoire, exercise daily, and socialize. He is in the ninth grade and just joined his school’s swim team last fall.

Q: What are some other organizations you have volunteered for and how have those experiences inspired you?

Dr. Pang, far right, with her family.

I have done a lot of volunteering for Head Start in New Haven; homeless shelters in Baltimore and Seattle; other events like JDRF Beat the Bridge and MS 150; fundraising for Seattle Public Schools, Lakeside, and Holy Names Academy. What I love about volunteering is the friends you meet and the communities we build. It’s my way of giving back.

Officially launched in 1997, Special Olympics Healthy Athletes organizes its events in a welcoming, fun environment. The events educate athletes on healthy lifestyle choices and identify problems that may need additional follow-up.

Despite a mistaken belief that people with intellectual disabilities receive the same or better health care than others, they typically receive sub-standard care, or virtually no health care at all. By offering specialized medical care at the upcoming Special Olympics 2018 USA Games, our healthy athlete directors will help to break down the barriers that people with intellectual disabilities often face in receiving high quality health care.

To learn more about the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games, visit specialolympics.kp.org.