Impressed with the work undertaken by Oluwaferanmi O. Okanlami, M.D., M.S., assistant professor of family medicine and physical medicine & rehabilitation; director of adaptive sports; and director for medical student programs with Michigan Medicine’s Office for Health Equity and Inclusion, Masco has given a second gift to support U-M’s Adaptive Sports Program including the Adaptive Scholar Athlete Program.
This gift will support the program’s stated goals of:
- Providing access to physical fitness for all people, regardless of competition level or (dis)ability.
- Providing best in class care for these same athletes, at all levels.
- Providing scholarships for adaptive student-athletes.
People with disabilities are now 20%+ of Americans. Despite this high prevalence, our society provides only marginal support for the overall health and well-being of this demographic. This generous gift furthers the Department’s efforts to change that.
“The impact this gift will have on our ability to support our current and prospective adaptive student-athletes is immense, and will demonstrate to them that while we may be new, we are just getting started and are well on our way to being the ‘Leaders and Best’ in this arena,” noted Dr. Okanlami.
Dr. Okanlami is working to lay the infrastructure for the University of Michigan to become a national leader in intercollegiate competitive adaptive sports. Masco’s support of the innovative and inclusive program allows the Department and the University to better support its students and faculty with disabilities. And, the Department is now better able provide U-M learners and clinicians the opportunity to gain expertise in the care of patients with disabilities, and will result in many opportunities for scholarly work/research on adaptive sports and disability.
The Masco Adaptive Scholar Athlete Program combines the goals of the Adaptive Sports Program with the following talent strategies identified by Masco:
- Leadership – to build more great leaders at all levels that can win in an increasingly complex marketplace.
- Diversity and Inclusion – to integrate this into who we are, and how we work to create inclusive work spaces and learning environments that leverage diverse backgrounds to win with stronger teams.
- The Future of the Work Force – to find, grow, and engage in the right work force who will be equipped to handle future business challenges.
Masco Corporation, a global leader in the design, manufacture and distribution of branded home improvement and building products, is the inaugural corporate donor of the Adaptive Scholar Athlete Program. The gifts are part of Masco’s Million Differences campaign, an initiative in which Masco is allocating $1,000,000 of its annual philanthropic funding to support organizations across the country that are working to break down barriers to diversity and inclusion through education or career resources.