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Feature Story

Kaiser Permanente Colorado Commits to Special Olympics By Passing the Torch

July 9, 2015

Chris McElroy swimming

Kaiser Permanente Colorado sponsored several legs of the Special Olympics’ “Unified Relay Across America,” including legs through the streets of Colorado Springs and near Red Rock amphitheater in late June.

Kaiser Permanente members Chris McElroy and Julian Hall – two of the four Colorado representatives to the 2015 Special Olympics World Games – joined employees from Kaiser Permanente as torch bearers as the “Flame of Hope” passed through Colorado.

For Kaiser Permanente member and Special Olympian Chris McElroy’s story, please watch this video:

Group photo with Julian HallKaiser Permanente’s participation in the torch run started on June 25, with Southern Colorado Service Area Executive Director Holly Kortum, Meredith Jones, Hyon Kim, Vivian Espinoza-Lindsay and Rhonda Meili carrying the flame through Colorado Springs. The torch run sponsorship ended in Denver on June 26 at Red Rocks amphitheater.

Scott Moede, laboratory supervisor at Kaiser Permanente’s Lone Tree Medical Offices in Colorado, ran the last leg of the sponsorship with his three daughters and their three friends. Channel 7 News joined the other torch bearers and Kaiser Permanente on stage – in front of a packed Red Rock audience before a Widespread Panic concert – to congratulate al of the Special Olympians who participated.

From May 26 to July 10, the relay will weave in and out of all 50 states as it delivers the Flame of Hope to Los Angeles for the 2015 Special Olympics World Games, which will be held July 25 to Aug. 2. As a founding champion and official health partner of the Special Olympics World Games, Kaiser Permanente is proud to support the Special Olympics — an organization that shares its commitment to diversity, inclusion and total health for individuals and communities.

The torch traveled through Colorado from June 24-July 1.

“We’re thrilled to support the torch relay for the Special Olympics Unified Relay Across America,” said Kortum. “I feel honored to be a part of helping deliver Flame of Hope to Los Angeles for the Special Olympics World Games.”

For Kaiser Permanente member and Special Olympian Julian Hall’s story, please watch this video:

For more information on the Special Olympics Flame of Hope relay and the upcoming World Games, please visit