MedFest is a partnership program between NJAFP and Special Olympics NJ that provides Special Olympic athletes from all over New Jersey with pre-participation exams specifically focused on what an athlete can do, rather than their limitations. Family Medicine residents volunteer their time for one day to administer physical evaluations to special needs students, who are guided through station exams by other SONJ volunteers. While at MedFest, student athletes also enjoy exploring the huge SONJ facility, which many are visiting for the first time. They are delighted to see the fully equipped gym, play in the (very) large basketball court, and weather permitting, run about in the great outdoor space, as well. It is important to introduce these special athletes and their caregivers to the SONJ facility, to help them recognize this great resource designed to benefit special needs individuals throughout their entire lives.
NJAFP is also a vital resource, providing athletes (and care givers) with the concept of a "medical home." It is common for special needs patients to have their medical records scattered in various specialists' offices. Family physicians introduce the concept of coordinating care through a primary care office that can oversee the whole patient and his/her family.
NJAFP Healthy Athletes Coordinator Jeff Zlotnick, MD ("Dr. Z") developed MedFest and supervises the event for the resident physicians. He has written an informative program on providing pre-participation exams in the special needs population. New physician volunteers should view the pre-participation power point presentation by Dr. Z below.
To volunteer for this event, please call Candida Taylor at the NJAFP office at 609-394-1711 or send an email to Candida@njafp.org.
Special Olympics Pre-Participant Training
If you are interested in doing pre-participation screenings for Special Olympics events you must complete "The Pre-Participation Sports Examination" activity. This activity is currently being updated and will be availabe under the education tab in the near future. Please check back for details.