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Diveheart.org:Purpose and value for people with disabilities

Many thanks to Jim Elliott and Tinamarie Hernandez for joining me on the "The Art of Medicine with Dr. Andrew Wilner." Please join me for this 30-minute interview.


Jim started Diveheart.org more than 20 years ago. This nonprofit organization offers an underwater therapeutic experience for people with many types of disabilities. Jim explained that he was always comfortable around people with disabilities. For example, his father was a disabled army veteran. He also protected a schoolmate with cerebral palsy from bullies on walks to and from school. When Jim had a daughter who was blind at birth, he volunteered in a blind skiing program and helped her learn to ski.


One day, it dawned on him that scuba diving might be a welcome activity for people with various disabilities, and the seed for Diveheart.org was born. He left a successful career in media to become a full-time volunteer for Diveheart.


Tinamarie is the Executive Director of Diveheart. She observed that participants experience unexpected pain relief, the joy of weightlessness, and develop confidence in their new scuba skills.


Diveheart.org emphasizes acceptance and inclusivity. Divers always dive in teams, which is particularly beneficial to people with autism who often have difficulty integrating with others. Diveheart participates in autism and scuba therapy research.


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