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VIRTUAL HEALTH & WELLNESS FORUM – Taking Charge of My Health & Wellness 

March 19 @ 6:30 PM - 7:30 PM EDT

Click HERE to register for the March Forum

Achieving and maintaining independence and general wellness is often connected to being in good health. Presenters will discuss the importance of actively participating in your own pro-active health (or how to assist a friend/loved one in their journey). This includes tips on how to prepare for upcoming doctor appointments, gaining the confidence to ask questions and be involved during visits, asking for support in furthering your education on a topic, understanding a diagnosis, tracking progress, and monitoring actions in between appointments – such as lifestyle patterns, fitness and recreational activities, and nutrition. The team will provide tools and resources that can be used, and discuss how athletes, families, care managers, and those around you, can provide support along the way.  

The forum will be recorded and posted to our website for viewing after the live offering is complete. 

Speaker Bios: 

Karleen Haines (Chief of DEIB & Advocacy at Partners Health Plan):   

Karleen is a non-profit executive with 24 years of experience in the field of human services. Prior to joining Partners Health Plan in December 2014, she was Director of Vocational and Employment services at a large non-profit serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, supporting over 500 adults through programs such as day habilitation, supported employment, and pre-vocational. She was instrumental in developing and growing affirmative business models that support gainful work for adults with disabilities. Karleen has participated on Education and Workforce Development Committees for various disability advocacy groups, served as a Diversity and Inclusion facilitator, and worked as an adjunct faculty at Nassau Community College – teaching an I/DD studies course. Ms. Haines oversees various initiatives as part of the leadership team for Partners Health Plan and Care Design NY. She champions advocacy efforts for the IDD community alongside members and families, seeking to raise a collective voice for a better future. Karleen also serves as the organization’s DEIB Officer – leading diversity/equity/inclusion/belonging strategies for staff and stakeholders. Recently, she held roles that include Chief of Care Coordination and Chief of Community Relations & Outreach. Karleen serves on the state’s Developmental Disabilities Advisory Council sub-committee on housing. She is a licensed Health Agent in the state of NY; earned a ‘DEI in the Workplace Certificate’ from University of South Florida; and holds an undergraduate degree in psychology and a master’s in management from the State University of NY at Stonybrook.  


Carrie Delong, RN (Director of Healthcare Management at Care Design NY):  

Carrie DeLong is a Registered Nurse and serves as the Director of Healthcare Management for Care Design NY & Partners Health Plan, organizations that support individuals and families in the intellectual/developmental disabilities field. She has worked in various IDD settings in her career including Day Programs, Clinics, Residential Programs, and Staff Training. The focus of her work has been ensuring that persons with IDD receive equal access to healthcare and are empowered to self-advocate. Through her passion for assisting persons with IDD and their circle of support to understand their health conditions and how to manage them, she has helped people in achieving their personal goals including optimal independence and career advancement. She is an active participant in the NYS Intellectual Disabilities and Developmental Disabilities Nurses Association and has recently assumed the role of Co-Chair for Zone 4. 


The Special Olympics New York Virtual Health & Wellness Forums are a space for individuals with ID, families, caregivers and coaches to engage with health-focused individuals/organizations such as Healthcare Providers and Fitness Specialists. The Forums provide information and resources related to the health of Special Olympics athletes, while also focusing on bettering access to health care, education and inclusive activities for people with intellectual disabilities.  Often, the health struggles that those with ID face are directly related to the lack of education and resources available to the population and their caregivers.  We aim to cover topical issues that our community wishes to learn more about, and in turn positively impact the health of people with ID across the State. 

Forums are presentation based with the opportunity to submit questions to the speaker.  Participants are asked to register with the Zoom links below.  Recordings will be available to view on our website after the live presentation is complete! The Special Olympics New York Virtual Health & Wellness Forums are sponsored by Care Design New York & Partners Health Plan. 



March 19
6:30 PM - 7:30 PM
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