Dr. Selena Snowden Receives Special Olympics Leadership Award

After nearly 18 years of service with the Special Olympics, Dr. Selena Snowden, Director of Audiology Services at the FSU Speech and Hearing Clinic, received the Golisano Global Health Leadership Award which “honors health champions and their extraordinary efforts toward fulfilling the goals, values, and mission of the Special Olympics global health program.”

Snowden has been a Clinical Director for Healthy Hearing with Special Olympics of Florida since 2004. In 2019, she accepted the position of Regional Clinical Advisor for Special Olympics International. When asked what sparked her involvement with the Special Olympics, Snowden shared that, “When I was relatively new to FSU, my school director, Dr. Howard Goldstein, received an email from Special Olympics of Florida requesting university involvement in a new initiative called Healthy Athletes,” which works to offer free health screenings and education to Special Olympics athletes.

“Within that program, they were specifically reaching out to our department to assist with Healthy Hearing. I attended the first Healthy Hearing event in Florida expecting to be joined by other audiologists and faculty from other universities across the state. To my surprise, I was the only person to answer that initial call for involvement.” Since then, Snowden has continued to answer this call for involvement.

Snowden hopes other health professionals will also get involved with the Healthy Athletes program in order to help close the gap in health disparities for individuals with intellectual disabilities. She told CCI that working with Healthy Athletes, “directly increases the knowledge of best practices in caring for and communicating with people with intellectual disabilities. It provides training and hands-on experience at screenings for clinical students.”

When asked what receiving this award means to her after so many years of involvement, Dr. Snowden stated, “My involvement in the Healthy Hearing program has changed the way I train my clinical students to bond with their patients and help them impact their own health and wellness. I am so thankful for the opportunities Special Olympics Florida has afforded my students and family to both empower and change the lives of those with intellectual disabilities. With so many deserving volunteers, I am honored to represent them all in receiving the Golisano Health Leadership Award. Special thanks to Special Olympics Florida, Clinical Directors Jackie Davie and Mary Susan Thornton, and all Special Olympics Florida Athletes!”

To learn more about the Special Olympics and Healthy Athletes, click here.