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Aug. 21 Event Helps Disabled Duffers Hit the Links

SEATTLE – (Aug. 15, 2012) – Golf is a game of hazards — water, sand, trees, hills and rough. Even in the best conditions, hitting a little white ball with a metal stick several hundred yards to a 4.25 inch hole in the ground is a challenge even for those with remarkable physical gifts.

Now, imagine you are missing your legs or an arm, suffer from post-traumatic stress syndrome or experience paralysis brought on by a stroke or injury. How difficult do you think it would be?

Thanks to adapted golf clubs and shafts, special braces, stand-up golf cars, even specially equipped Segway® personal transporters, those who face physical challenges can still hit the links.

The Boeing Classic Adaptive Golf Clinic will pair individuals with a recreational therapist and golf instructors to learn to play golf with the person's unique disability. Golfers will be introduced to adaptive equipment and techniques, as well as a one-on-one swing analysis.

"Golf is an excellent recreational and rehabilitation activity for people learning to cope with a disability, such as multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease or even post-traumatic stress disorder," says Barbara Bond-Howard, MA, CTRS/R, recreational therapist at Virginia Mason. "This clinic is also a wonderful way to get individuals who have experienced stroke, amputation, or loss of mobility or visual impairment back into the game."

The Boeing Classic Adaptive Golf Clinic is sponsored by the First Swing Golf clinic, the National Amputee Golf Association (NAGA), Disabled American Veterans Charitable Trust Fund, the PGA of America, Virginia Mason Medical Center and the Washington State Therapeutic Recreation Association (WSTRA).

The clinic will run from 1 to 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 21, on the lower practice range at TPC Snoqualmie Ridge. To learn more about the clinic or to register, you may call (206) 341-0561 or email

About Virginia Mason Medical Center
Virginia Mason Medical Center, founded in 1920, is a nonprofit regional health care system in Seattle that serves the Pacific Northwest. Virginia Mason employs more than 5,300 people and includes a 336-bed acute-care hospital, a primary and specialty care group practice of nearly 460 physicians, satellite locations throughout the Puget Sound area and Bailey-Boushay House, the first skilled-nursing and outpatient chronic care management program in the U.S. designed and built specifically to meet the needs of people with HIV/AIDS. Benaroya Research Inst itute at Virginia Mason is internationally recognized for its breakthrough autoimmune disease research. Virginia Mason was the first health system to apply lean manufacturing principles to health care delivery to eliminate waste and improve quality and patient safety.

Awards and distinctions include Top Hospital of the Decade by The Leapfrog Group, 2012 Top Hospital (for the sixth consecutive year) and grade "A" patient safety rating by The Leapfrog Group, 2012 Distinguished Hospital for Clinical Excellence and Patient Safety Excellence Award from HealthGrades®, and 2012 America's 100 Best Specialty Excellence Award for Overall Cardiac and Gastrointestinal Care from HealthGrades.

To learn more about Virginia Mason Medical Center, please visit or follow @VirginiaMason on Twitter.

To learn more about how Virginia Mason is transforming health care and to join the conversation, visit our blog at

For media inquiries, contact:

John Gillespie
Media Relations
(206) 341-1509 (o)
(206) 402-2822 (m)

Mike Sprouse
Associate Director, Communications
(206) 583-6541 (o)
(206) 300-9002 (m)

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