The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) recently chose Scottsdale, Arizona, to host its annual meeting for player representatives. Along with usual discussions of player wages, benefits, and positional elections, the Pro Player Health Alliance (PPHA), Living Heart Foundation, and Redirect Health offered free health screenings for former players.
More than 100 retired players took advantage of the screenings where they were assessed for body composition, blood pressure, pulmonary function, hearing, sleep apnea, and more. American Sleep and Breathing Academy (ASBA) Diplomates, Dr. Mark Castle, Dr. Dian Olah, Dr. Anthony Scianni and Dr. Kevin Mueller, were chosen to oversee the sleep apnea screenings. They later became known as the “Dream Team” by the end of the event, because they were able to help every player to get tested and referred to an ASBA dental sleep specialist for oral appliance therapy.
Dr. Rodolfo Ferrate, M.D., who flew from Utah to assist with the screenings at the NFLPA meeting, explained sleep apnea and its harmful effects. Dr. Ferrate mentioned, “A lot of these players know they have issues with sleep disordered breathing during the night, but many of them simply haven’t been properly educated on how detrimental it can be to their health. These screenings are necessary to not only examine overall health, but to put the former players on the right path to a better quality of life by letting them know what’s happening to their body and showing them treatment options.”
For more information about overall health screenings for former NFL players, more information about the ASBA, or how to become a Diplomate of the ASBA, call David Gergen at 602-478-9713.