Rick Rader, MD, FAAIDD, director of the Morton J. Kent Habilitation Center at Orange Grove, has been asked to serve on the Special Olympics International Global Medical Advisory Committee.
He received a special invitation from Special Olympics CEO, Janet Froetscher, to join the committee following commendations to her from his colleagues in the field of intellectual disabilities. The International Global Medical Advisory Committee is composed of worldwide physicians who have distinguished themselves in the field of intellectual and developmental disabilities. They set medical policy, guidelines, ethics, address research goals, medical training recommendations and interface with other medical bodies.
They provide guidance in health and medical topics to the Special Olympics board of directors, which is composed of business and sport leaders, professional athletes, educators and experts in intellectual disabilities from around the world. Some board members include Olympic greats, Nadia Comaneci, Scott Hamilton and Michelle Kwan; NBA legends, Yao Ming and Dikembe Mutumbo; actress Vanessa L. Williams; and siblings, Tim and Maria Shriver. Committee members are appointed for renewable, four year terms. Members meet in person at least once annually, and telephone meetings and emails are used to advance business in between.
“I believe I have a unique perspective in having one foot in medicine and one foot in the realities of the community provider agency arena,” Dr. Rader said. “I look forward to bringing some of these concerns to the committee for discussion, research, strategies and positive outcomes.”
A medical futurist, Dr. Rader specializes in predicting the future medical problems of people with neurodevelopmental disabilities. He is cross-trained in internal medicine and medical anthropology. At Orange Grove Center, he is responsible for the innovation of medical programs for individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities.
In addition, Dr. Rader is editor-in-chief of Exceptional Parent Magazine. His professional affiliations include the boards of Simon Foundation for Continence, American Association on Health and Disability, and Healthcare Innovations Exchange, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (Emeritus Advisory Board).
He is also vice president of external affairs for American Academy of Developmental Medicine and Dentistry; adjunct professor of human development at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga; president of the American Association on Multi Sensory Environments; distinguished practitioner for the National Academy of Practice in Medicine; and on the steering committee of the Institute for Evidence Based Practice at the University of Texas Health Sciences Center, San Antonio.
Special Olympics provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.