Rome, GA - Redmond Regional Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Residents were recently recognized at the Floyd County Special Olympics for their service to the program and to the community. In the months leading up to the Special Olympics, Redmond’s Internal Medicine Residents traveled to both the Floyd County Senior Center and the Gilbreath Recreation Center to conduct physicals on athletes who were set to participate in the Floyd County Special Olympics. By completing these physicals, the residents enabled the Floyd County Special Olympics Program to receive a $2,000 grant from the Georgia Special Olympics Program.

In order to maintain state accreditation, the Floyd County Special Olympics must do medical physicals on their athletes every three years. As a program incentive, the Georgia Special Olympics gives each community organization $20 per Special Olympic participant who receives a physical. However, it can be difficult for the Special Olympians to get physicals due to the medical issues that come with having special needs. Tammy Bryant, Floyd County Special Olympics Coordinator and Special Populations Director with the Rome-Floyd Parks and Recreation Department spoke to the obstacles faced this year in getting the physicals completed.

“This was especially significant for the Rome-Floyd Parks and Recreation staff because we were struggling to find medical offices and personnel who were willing to examine kids and adults with developmental disabilities,” Bryant said. “Our conundrum was based on the need to meet the criteria of the Georgia Special Olympics as well as the added bonus of raising some funds for our local program. Redmond really came through for us—and most importantly for the Special Olympics athletes and our local special needs programs. We are humbled and grateful for their service to our community.”

Barbara Naymick, Redmond Internal Medicine Residency Program Coordinator, first responded to the community call for physicals. She recognized this as a chance for the Redmond residents to gain even more experience and to give back to the community. Naymick was also able to coordinate with Janda Canalis, the CNA instructor for the Floyd County College and Career Program, in order to facilitate a mentoring opportunity for those high school students who wish to work in the medical field.

“Our residents immediately rose to the occasion when I presented this opportunity to them,” said Naymick. “They were very receptive to the community need and were willing to help in any way possible. Not only did our residents go off-campus to visit two centers to perform the physical examinations, they also spoke with the students from the College and Career Academy and allowed them to aid in the preparation for the physicals. The students were able to get real-world mentoring and useful experience through aiding the residents in measuring the Special Olympians’ vital signs. Redmond has always facilitated a culture of giving. This is yet another example of that culture of giving back.”

Dr. Paul Wesley, Dr. Lauren Mims, Dr. Zubda Talat, and Dr. Chandrika Raiyani were recognized at the opening ceremonies of the Floyd County Special Olympics, held at Darlington High School. Tammy Bryant presented a plaque to the residents in thanks and recognition for their service to the community and to the Special Olympians. Dr. Talat spoke about her personal experience in the program, emphasizing how opportunities to support the community resonate strongly with her and align with her career goals as a resident at Redmond.

“Being able to help, motivate, and educate people has always been one of the most important reasons that I have wanted to pursue a career in healthcare and medicine. I like to think that in order to be an exceptional physician you have to see past the hospital gown, tubes and monitors at what kind of person each patient is outside the hospital and how you can support them in their regular life despite any illness they may have,” Dr. Talat said. “Being able to support adults with special needs participating in the Special Olympics is just that: helping people live fulfilling and enjoyable lives literally outside the hospital but figuratively ‘outside their medical conditions.’ Although medicine makes profound leaps at the molecular and technical level, it’s the opportunities like this that make me proud to be a medical professional.”

Attached photo: Tammy Bryant, Floyd County Special Olympics Coordinator presents plaque to Dr. Paul Wesley and Dr. Chandrika Raiyani in appreciation for Redmond’s Internal Medicine Residents completing physicals for the athletes.