MADISON, Wis. – Longtime advocate and Special Olympics Wisconsin Opening Eyes® Clinical Director Dr. Kellye Knueppel was selected as a recipient of the 2023 Golisano Health Leadership Award.
Created to recognize health champions’ extraordinary efforts, this award is the highest honor for health partners and individuals who fulfil the goals, values, and mission of Special Olympics’ health programs—all made possible by the Golisano Foundation.
Knueppel was honored by Special Olympics Wisconsin Director of Health Programs Missy Schoenbrodt at the 2023 Spring Games this past April:
Dr. Kellye Knueppel is a developmental optometrist specializing in vision related learning problems, sports vision, and rehabilitative optometry.
When you meet Dr. Knueppel, you quickly understand her level of commitment to her patients, helping adults and children overcome their visual problems for almost three decades.
I mentioned she is a Clinical Director here with SOWI, but she is also a North America Regional Clinical Advisor Special Olympics, Inc. Her expertise in vision development in special needs populations has brought Dr. Knueppel to nine Special Olympics World Games including China, Japan, Ireland, Greece, Korea, Austria, and the US over the past several years. She also is headed to Berlin, Germany, for the 2023 World Games in just a few months!
She has truly been an incredible Clinical Director for Special Olympics Wisconsin, and we are so thankful for her service to our athletes. In her 22 years, Opening Eyes has distributed 7,374 pairs of free prescription glasses and 1,717 sunglasses!
Opening Eyes is one of eight Special Olympics Wisconsin Healthy Athletes disciplines, and one of four that took part at the Spring Games on the campus of UW-Oshkosh. Nearly 200 basketball and swimming athletes in attendance received free vision screenings through the Opening Eyes program throughout Saturday.
A heartfelt thanks goes out to Dr. Knueppel, and to all of our clinical directors, medical students, and support staff whose devotion to the Special Olympics mission make these health events a reality!