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David Gergen Reunites NFL Purple People Eaters at the Upcoming NFLPA Screening at the University of Minnesota September 17, 2016 With ASBA Member Dr. Greg Ross as Treating Dentist

September 14, 2016

More than 20 retired players will visit the clinic Saturday for comprehensive screenings by National Football League Players Association.

carlanddaveMarking the first visits under a new care model developed by National Football League Players Association-sponsored by Living Heart Foundation and Pro Player Health Alliance, more than 20 retired NFL players will visit University of Minnesota Health Signature Health and Wellness for comprehensive physicals, electrocardiograms, and lab tests this Saturday, Sept. 17.

The day of screenings is designed to help former players – like Purple People Eaters Gary Larsen, Carl Eller, Jim Marshall, Alan Page and punter Greg Coleman – detect and treat the unintended health concerns that come with life after professional football.

“Wear and tear from high-caliber sports, be it football or otherwise, tend to appear as athletes age,” said William Conroy, MD, medical director for Signature Health and Wellness. “Our program is a tailored, comprehensive care option to help busy people achieve and maintain good health, which is something the NFLPA wants for its members.”

The Living Heart Foundation, under the auspices of the NFLPA, refers retired players to specialized care around the nation. It also develops education and wellness programming to raise awareness about conditions that often affect older athletes, such as obesity, hypertension, diabetes and heart disease. When left untreated, these conditions contribute to the shorter life expectancies of retired players.

Signature Health and Wellness, located in the University of Minnesota Health Clinics and Surgery Center, is the first designated brick-and-mortar provider to treat retired players referred by the NFLPA-funded Living Heart Foundation. The program will apply genomic testing to personalize treatment for patients, as well as partner with Pro Player Health Alliance to treat sleep apnea. David Gergen, President and CEO of Pro Player Health Alliance, selected Dr. Greg Ross as the dental sleep medicine expert to treat sleep apnea and related disorders with oral appliance therapy when medically indicated.

David Gergen, also the Executive Director for the American Sleep and Breathing Academy (ASBA), only chooses ASBA members to connect with NFLPA chapters nationwide in order to ensure top quality treatment.  This not only guarantees the retired players are receiving elite patient care, but it offers an opportunity for the treating dentist to obtain testimonials from NFL legends. "I have complete confidence in Dr. Ross. Not only will he provide excellent treatment for the players, I'm sure he will work well with the players incorporating them into a fun and strategic marketing program. The guys will love him," said Gergen. The previous dentist chosen by Gergen and Pro Player Health Alliance is Dr. Bill Williams in Atlanta. David Gergen says, "It's my goal to have a dentist in every city that contains an NFLPA chapter and have them be our go-to doctors for oral appliance therapy." More information on how to work with the NFLPA chapter near you can be found at the next Sleep Apnea 101 Course with NFL Greats. You can register for only $197 by clicking here.

Special guests at this symposium will be the four Minnesota Vikings Purple People Eaters (Carl Eller, Alan Page, Jim Marshall, Gary Larsen), Chuck Foreman and Maureen Bausch, CEO of the Minnesota Super Bowl Host Committee.

About University of Minnesota Health
University of Minnesota Health represents a collaboration between University of Minnesota Physicians and University of Minnesota Medical Center. Working together, we provide exceptional care in a wide range of specialties at our hospitals, clinics and in community‐based facilities throughout the region. Visit:

About the Living Heart Foundation
The Living Heart Foundation (LHF) is a nonprofit organization under IRS 501 (c) (3) code. The LHF was initially funded by a grant from the Edison Foundation. Subsequently, Funding sources and donations have been obtained from companies like Covidien, Pfizer, Meridian Health System, Siemens, Professional Athletes Foundation, and from individual sources. The LHF was established by Arthur J. Roberts, MD in April 2001 to combat sudden cardiac death and to provide cardiovascular risk stratification with early preventive intervention for cardiac, pulmonary, and metabolic conditions through on-site screening and integrated follow-up health programs. The LHF has published 10 peer review papers related to CV risk in college students & athletes, as well as former NFL athletes.

About Pro Player Health Alliance
Pro Player Health Alliance (PPHA) is an organization dedicated to helping former NFL players, through providing testing and treatment options for those who suffer from sleep apnea. Since launching in April 2012, over 400 players have been treated through PPHA's "Tackle Sleep Apnea" campaign. Also, the PPHA is dedicated to integrating education and raising sleep apnea awareness, in a fun and memorable way. In addition to the campaign, PPHA is dedicated to testing and getting people who suffer from sleep apnea treated.

Pro Player Health Alliance

David Gergen


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