Through programs such as the Special Olympics MedFest Program and Tar Wars, New Jersey family physicians give back to their communities.
Tar Wars is a tobacco-free education program for fourth- and fifth-grade students. The program is designed to teach kids about the short-term health effects of tobacco use, the cost associated with using tobacco products, and the advertising techniques used by the tobacco industry to market their products to youth. For more information, contact Candida Taylor, State Tar Wars Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the AAFP Tar Wars page.
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.