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World Games Hold a Special Place in One Physician’s Heart

For Dr. Linda Mirdamadi, the 2015 Special Olympics World Games are a celebration of bravery, and a personal reminder to never lose hope

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Linda Mirdamadi, M.D., wears many hats: internal medicine physician; chief wellness officer for the West Los Angeles Medical Center; health education and weight management program medical director; actress in a Kaiser Permanente Thrive commercial; mother and wife. But the role that she is eagerly anticipating is serving as a Kaiser Permanente medical volunteer during the Special Olympics World Games 2015, where she and over 600 Kaiser Permanente physicians will provide sideline care to the 6,500 athletes competing in the World Games.

Based at the Kaiser Permanente Playa Vista Medical Offices, Dr. Mirdamadi is committed to donating her time and talent for every Kaiser Permanente volunteer opportunity she can. “Volunteering is the most rewarding thing I do, and I am so proud to be part of this historical event and so honored to volunteer as a member of the Special Olympics Medical Team,” she said.

“I am volunteering in honor of my daughter, Ana, and all the brave athletes who have overcome so many obstacles to be here,” said Dr. Mirdamadi, referring to the older of her two daughters who was diagnosed with autism at the age of two. “I am volunteering to witness their bravery and cheer them on for all their incredible accomplishments.”

These World Games have held a very special place in Dr. Mirdamadi’s heart since she had the opportunity to meet Special Olympics World Games founder Eunice Kennedy Shriver during a Women's Conference for Change.  “I told Eunice about Ana and the challenges of raising a child with autism and physical limitations,” explained Dr. Mirdamadi. “She listened so very carefully and told me to never give up hope and to always believe in her. That has been one of the unforgettable moments in my life.”

During the World Games, Dr. Mirdamadi and other dedicated Kaiser Permanente physicians will provide medical care to over 6,500 athletes at dozens of venues across Los Angeles, including the campuses of the University of Southern California (USC), the University of California, Los Angeles, (UCLA) and the Los Angeles Convention Center. To help prepare for this opportunity, Dr. Mirdamadi and other Kaiser Permanente physicians have received specialty care training, ranging from communicating with athletes with intellectual and developmental disabilities, to assessing the unique health needs of Special Olympics’ athletes.

In addition to the physicians and clinical staff, Kaiser Permanente front-line staff have also signed up to volunteer during the Special Olympics World Games, which is being billed as the largest sports and humanitarian event anywhere in the world this year and the single biggest event in Los Angeles since the 1984 Olympic Games. 

“I look forward to welcoming our athletes and families with open arms and cheering them on with all my pride,” said Dr. Mirdamadi.

To learn more about the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, visit www.la2015.org

For more stories about volunteers working in our communities, go to:

http://community.kp.org/be-inspired/story/great-britains-special-olympics-world-games-athletes-receive-an-all-america
http://community.kp.org/be-inspired/story/cheering-on-special-olympics-athletes-in-their-sisters-memory