The National Football League Players Association (NFLPA) chose Las Vegas, NV to host its annual meeting for player representatives March 2018. Along with usual discussions of player wages, benefits, and positional elections, the Living Heart Foundation offers a free health screening for former players who attend. Pro Player Health Alliance (PPHA) has covered the sleep/dental component of the screening for many years and has chosen to partner with the Project Rose Sleep Program as of late to provide the sleep testing. 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.
In 2017, more than 100 retired players took advantage of the screening at the NFLPA Annual Meeting where they were assessed for body composition, blood pressure, pulmonary function, hearing, sleep apnea, and more. American Sleep and Breathing Academy (ASBA) Diplomate Dr. Shad Morris, a practicing dentist in Nevada and Utah, has been selected as the head dentist for the screening. Dr. Morris has done an excellent job of treating former players in the past, but this will be his first main event with Living Heart Foundation, NFLPA and Pro Player Health Alliance. He has lectured for the ASBA over the years and built a fine reputation of being one of the most successful sleep dentists in the country with thousands of positive outcomes.
Dr. Ronny Rosenbaum will be the second ASBA Diplomate helping screen the former players at PPHA’s sleep/dental station. Recently, Dr. Rosenbaum was the point dentist at the Pro Bowl Screening in Orlando, FL. He saw over 60 former players and began treatment for over 25 for their sleep apnea.
David Gergen, CEO of PPHA, has said he only selects ASBA Diplomates to participate in the NFLPA/Living Heart Foundation related screenings to ensure the highest quality of treatment. “I have spoken with several physicians over the years and some say, ‘I sent the patient to a dentist and it did not work,’ and that is because the dentist was not properly trained,” says Gergen. “That is why the ASBA is so important. Dentists trained by our doctors know what they are doing—clinically and financially. If you get a dentist who makes an appliance that does not work, it hurts the dental sleep medicine industry as a whole.”
The ASBA Annual Meeting, scheduled for April 13-14, 2018, in Las Vegas, NV, is the place to find this knowledge. With a laser-like focus on the business and clinical side of sleep medicine, it is the conference for dentists who are seriously interested in sleep medicine. Ultimately, dentists who are helping many patients, and succeeding financially, are not merely “dabbling” in sleep medicine. Instead, more than 50% of their practices are sleep.