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Glendale Memorial provides free physicals for Special Olympics athletes

Glendale Memorial provides free physicals for Special Olympics athletes
Patricia Balian, R.N., checks vitals signs on Michael Leon, 20 of Glendale, during the Dignity Health Glendale Memorial Hospital and Health Center MedFest on Saturday. Leon is the Global Messenger for Special Olympics Southern California and competes in basketball. (Raul Roa / Glendale News-Press)

About a dozen athletes who will be taking part in the Special Olympics over the coming months received free physicals this past Saturday at Dignity Health Glendale Memorial Hospital.

"This is the first time we've done it," said Tri Fritz, manager of philanthropy for the hospital.

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Raffi Balian, M.D., gives physical exam to Tyler Pennial, 18, of La Crescenta. Pennial will compete in track and field.
Raffi Balian, M.D., gives physical exam to Tyler Pennial, 18, of La Crescenta. Pennial will compete in track and field. (Raul Roa / Glendale News-Press)

The event, called MedFest, offered exams that included height and weight measurements, pulse and blood pressure checks as well as listening to hearts and lungs.

Dr. H. Raffi Balian, medical director of the hospital's acute rehab unit, went through certification with the Special Olympics so he could oversee the operation, Fritz said.

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"The athletes were just wonderful," Fritz said. "We were just so impressed."

The Special Olympics is the world's largest sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities, with 4.4 million athletes in 170 countries.

Twitter: @lamarkkellam

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