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Jordan Valley Community Health Center is the first Missouri recipient of the Special Olympics’ Golisano Health Leadership Award.
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Jordan Valley Community Health Center is the first Missouri recipient of the Special Olympics’ Golisano Health Leadership Award.

Special Olympics picks Jordan Valley as first Missouri recipient for award

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Special Olympics officials are slated to visit Springfield next week to honor Jordan Valley Community Health Center with the Golisano Health Leadership Award.

Jordan Valley becomes the first Missouri recipient of the award, which is given to individuals and organizations that further the cause of the Special Olympics and improve access to health care, fitness and wellness programs for people with intellectual disabilities, according to a news release.

The Springfield community health clinic provides medical services via mobile units at local Special Olympics games and events.

Jordan Valley is scheduled to receive the award Aug. 13 at the downtown clinic.

The release pointed to work by Dr. Ashley Popejoy, director of pediatric dentistry at Jordan Health and clinical director for the Special Olympics’ Special Smiles program in Missouri. Popejoy lends her time toward Special Olympics of Missouri, organizing volunteer efforts for four to seven events per year.

Separately, Popejoy is a nominee for the National Association of Community Health Centers’ National Health Center Hero Award.

“Dr. Popejoy’s heart for the underserved is a consistent theme behind her every endeavor," said Jordan Valley’s Elizabeth Fogle, director of program advancement, on the award voting page that’s open through tomorrow.

The winner will be announced Aug. 13 to coincide with National Health Center Week, according to the award website.

Jordan Valley officials say Popejoy’s highlights at the clinic include the implementation of a dental exam for families being seen for a primary care or Women, Infants, and Children visit, according to the release.

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