Special Olympics Florida

Dr. Marc Colaluce Is First Golisano Health Leadership Award Honoree

Colaluce receives Florida’s top Special Olympics health honor for his contributions toward inclusive health.

marc-colaluceSpecial Olympics Florida is honored to announce the selection of Dr. Marc Colaluce of St. Petersburg, Fla., as the 2016-17 Golisano Health Leadership Award honoree.

The Golisano Health Leadership Award was established in 2016, in partnership with Special Olympics and the Golisano Foundation, and is given to an individual or organization that is dedicated to improving the health of people with intellectual disabilities and advancing the health work of Special Olympics.

“Dr. Colaluce’s work in our Fit Feet program is unrivaled,” said Sherry Wheelock, President and CEO of Special Olympics Florida. “He is a true champion for our athletes’ well-being and is dedicated to serving them in the doctor’s office and on the playing field. We are thrilled to honor him with this award.”

During ten years of volunteer service through Special Olympics Florida’s Fit Feet program, Dr. Colaluce has conducted foot health exams at the local, state, national, and world levels for Special Olympics. As the Statewide Volunteer Clinical Director for Special Olympics Florida and the Regional Clinical Director for Special Olympics, Inc., he has greatly improved and expanded the Fit Feet program.  To date, he has supervised and participated in Special Olympics Florida athlete exams on more than 40 separate occasions. Additionally, he has recruited 22 of the 28 Clinical Directors in Florida. Welcoming athletes into his own podiatry practice has paved the way for other podiatrists to do the same.  Dr. Colaluce’s breakthrough meeting with Barry University increased volunteerism with their students and staff and expanded the number of exams and referrals in the South Florida area.  Dr. Colaluce has partnered with many different organizations to provide better health services for athletes. In addition to his tireless work in podiatry, Dr. Colaluce also serves as a volunteer Special Olympics Florida coach for volleyball.

Dr. Colaluce is one of up to 32 individuals or organizations across the Special Olympics movement that will receive the Golisano Health Leadership Award in 2016. Up to seven honorees will be selected to receive the global award to be presented at the 2017 Special Olympics World Winter Games in Austria this March. Regional honorees are selected based on their involvement in work related to year-round efforts to increase access to quality health care, programming and resources for people with intellectual disabilities. Nominees will be selected based on the following criteria: 1) expanding Healthy Athletes (health events and exams offered to Special Olympics athletes free of charge); 2) impact on follow-up care and/or wellness programming; 3) increasing the financial sustainability of health programs; and 4) advancement of the health rights of people with intellectual disabilities.

Special Olympics’ vision of its health program is to create a world where people with intellectual disabilities have the same opportunities and access to health care as people without intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics’ 19 years of experience identifying and addressing the unmet health needs of people with intellectual disabilities has revealed the myriad of complex barriers to health faced by this population. Barriers to this vision include lack of access to quality health care, education, and resources.

Through this multi-layered effort, Special Olympics is working to create a tipping point where health becomes inclusive for people with intellectual disabilities globally by changing curriculum, training health care professionals and policymakers, influencing policy, advocating for inclusive health programming, building partnerships for follow-up care, and harnessing the power of the Special Olympics Movement to build awareness.

Special Olympics Florida will present the Golisano Health Leadership Award to Dr. Colaluce during a reception at the Special Olympics Florida State Fall Classic.

What: Special Olympics Florida Golisano Health Leadership Award Reception
Where: ESPN Wide World of Sports Grill, Walt Disney World, 700 South Victory Way, Lake Buena Vista, FL 34747
When: November 11, 2016, 6:45 p.m.