The AMA recognized 4 Permanente Medical Groups for continuing efforts to support physician wellness with 2023 Joy in Medicine™ recognitions.
Susanna Block, MD, Serves as Health Promotion Clinical 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.
Pediatrician Susanna Block, MD, MPH, of the Washington Permanente Medical Group, provides urgent care to patients at the Kaiser Permanente Capitol Hill campus. She will be serving as a healthy athlete director for the 2018 Special Olympics.
Q: Tell us about your role as a healthy athlete director for the Special Olympic USA Games.
As a Special Olympics clinical director for Health Promotion I am responsible for providing the athletes with health screenings and education. We evaluate bone density, BMI, and blood pressure, as well as provide health education. I am thrilled to be able to work with the athletes in this way.
Q: Do you know anyone with disabilities? What can you share with us about their lives? What are some of the challenges they face in any given day?
My sister has an intellectual disability, so I understand the daily challenges. I am also sensitive to how support needs to change with the transition from childhood to adulthood. I love the Special Olympics’ commitment to community, healthy activities, teamwork, and fun.
Q: How do you spend your free time?
I spend a lot of time with my husband and two young daughters. They are so much fun and challenge me to try new things all the time. Recently we have all decided to learn how to ski. I also enjoy reading, running, traveling, and listening to music.
Q: How do you thrive?
I try to strike a healthy balance between work and family. I enjoy exercising and cooking, and I always feel better if I have done something healthy during the day. Some days I manage the balance, and other days I don’t. I try to be kind to myself and remember ‘it’s a marathon, not a sprint.’”
Q: If you could have any career, besides the one you’re currently in, what would it be?
An archeologist. I love the idea of digging in the dirt, working in exotic locations, and learning about ancient cultures.
Q: What is the weirdest or most interesting job you have ever had?
My first job after completing my pediatric training was as a medical director providing humanitarian aid in Eastern Indonesia. I’ve also worked at a donut shop.
To learn more about the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games, visit specialolympics.kp.org.