The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) Former Players Convention is an annual meeting for retired NFL players who come together for days of “innovative professional and personal development workshops, networking, guest speakers and family fun”. A growing topic among the former player community, as well as the world population in recent years, has been health. So much so, that a health assessment planned and organized by Living Heart Foundation was included in the official agenda on two days of the three day conference where players were assessed for body composition, blood pressure, pulmonary function, hearing, sleep apnea and more.
David Gergen, CEO of Pro Player Health Alliance (PPHA), was appointed by Andre Collins who is the Executive Director of the Players Athletes Foundation to oversee the sleep apnea component of the health assessments. Gergen selected a team of sleep dentists who need to meet a number of requirements to participate: They must be Diplomates of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy (ASBA), have a strong community presence and have the capability to treat Medicare patients. Dr. Shad Morris, DMD, led the team of ASBA Diplomates which included Dr. Ronald Rosenbaum, DMD, and Dr. Edward Hobbs, DDS. The board certified sleep physician who worked in collaboration with Dr. Morris was Dr. Cliff Molin.
Project Rose provided the sleep testing equipment for the event and were able to provide a home sleep test to every player who were found to be at high risk of sleep apnea. Founded by Earl Campbell and Gary Baxter, Project Rose Sleep Program is a premier sleep program that test, treat and do research in the field of sleep for better health and wellness outcomes. The initial testing reports from this event found that 93% of former players who were tested came back positive for sleep apnea.
Dr. Shad Morris impressed everyone who was involved with his dedication, professionalism and attention to detail as well as his demonstration of digital scanners. When asked why Dr. Morris was selected to be the point man for the health assessment, David Gergen said, “Shad has donated time and money to help elderly in his community with holiday church functions for years. He has explained to me that his grandparents forged the way for his future. Although many dentists stay away from Medicare because the reimbursement isn’t good and contains so many regulations, Dr. Morris doesn’t mind because he believes in doing the right thing and helping those who worked hard to give him the opportunities to thrive today; giving back is the right thing to do. When I interviewed him for the position in December of 2017, he told me it’s not about the money it’s about successful outcomes, I knew he was the right guy to bring that same attitude to treating members of the NFLPA.” In a separate meeting with Gergen, Morris and NFL Hall of Fame CB Mike Haynes, Gergen mentioned Dr. Morris as the perfect candidate to be the sleep dentists for the newly relocated Las Vegas Raiders because of his thousands of successful outcomes.
ASBA members are the only qualified sleep dentists to treat the former NFL players for obstructive sleep apnea when medically indicated. To attend the ASBA Annual Meeting and become a member of the ASBA, visit Sleep-Conference.Com or email David Gergen at firstname.lastname@example.org.