WEST ORANGE, NJ - On Jan. 15, Barnabas Health facilities across the state held a simultaneous flag-raising event celebrating six months out from the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games, which will be coming to New Jersey for the first time ever this June. Barnabas Health employees, 2014 Special Olympics USA Games staff, Special Olympics athletes and volunteers participated in the events.
The Barnabas Health Corporate Office in West Orange, Clara Maass Medical Center in Belleville, Saint Barnabas Medical Center in Livingston, Newark Beth Israel Medical Center in Newark, Barnabas Health Ambulatory Care Center in Livingston and Jersey City Medical Center in Jersey City, which will join the Barnabas Health system in 2014, all took part in the flag-raising.
The flags will wave for the next six months, and on the 14th of every month, until the 2014 USA Games, Barnabas Health facilities will celebrate the upcoming 2014 Special Olympics USA Games with special guests, activities and opportunities for employees to register as volunteers.
Barnabas Health is a Founding Partner of the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games and will serve as the Presenting Sponsor of the Games’ Family Programs, welcoming the thousands of family members from throughout the United States. Other founding partners include: 21st Century Fox, Barnabas Health, HESS, KPMG, PSE&G, ShopRite, Toys“R”Us and WWE.
“Barnabas Health is incredibly proud to be the only healthcare Founding Partner for the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games,” said Barry H. Ostrowsky, President and Chief Executive Officer of Barnabas Health. “We are dedicated to promoting health and wellness in our communities and this partnership strengthens our mission. Every day, from now until the Games in June, the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games flag will wave from flagpoles at Barnabas Health facilities throughout the state. All who pass will know that Barnabas Health welcomes to New Jersey the athletes and their families from all 50 states and the District of Columbia and that we are working to make this 2014 event the most successful Special Olympics USA Games ever.”
The Special Olympics USA Games will be hosted by New Jersey from June 14-21. Nearly 3,500 athletes will compete in 16 Olympic-style team and individual sports, with the support of 1,000 coaches, 10,000 volunteers and 70,000 family, friends and spectators. The Special Olympics USA Games will celebrate the Special Olympics movement, promote the ideals of acceptance and inclusion through sport and showcase athletes from throughout the U.S. and the abilities of people with intellectual disabilities.
The Special Olympics makes a remarkable difference in the lives of its participants and its families. Through the power of sport, the Special Olympics transforms athletes’ lives, provides vital services and fosters a more inclusive and accepting world for all. The Special Olympics also provides families with a support network and the chance to cheer with pride.
“Yesterday was truly an amazing day as Barnabas Health celebrated its Founding Partnership of the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games with a ceremonial flag raising over 11 of its facilities,” said TJ Nelligan, Chairman & CEO of the 2014 Special Olympics USA Games. “In less than five months, 3,500 athletes will compete in Mercer County in front of an anticipated crowd of more than 70,000 spectators. An event of this magnitude and significance would not be possible without the support of organizations like Barnabas Health, which is not only providing financial support but has made a commitment to engage its employees to volunteer for the Games and use its network of resources to help redefine how individuals with intellectual disabilities are perceived."
Barnabas Health is also a Contributing Sponsor for Special Olympics’ first-ever Healthy Young Athletes program. This program is designed to assist families of future Special Olympics athletes, ages 2 to 7, and help them meet the challenges they face in identifying their child’s medical needs through free educational programs, medical screenings and family consultations.
The mission of Barnabas Health includes promotion of healthier lifestyles within its communities. Their partnership with 2014 Special Olympics USA Games enables the system to touch tens of thousands of lives. Moreover, many of the volunteers and spectators will be employees and physicians of Barnabas Health.