February 18, 2006

Detroit... the final report

The dust is settling from my trip to Detroit and the NFL Player health screening project with the Living Heart Foundation. I made a number of contacts that have potential to move the association in several important directions.

There are several retired players who are involved in minority health initiatives. Looking at the related web sites I don't any reference to sleep apnea. OSA disportionately affects people of color and to the extent that their untreated sleep apnea can be addressed, it may have a beneficial impact on other chronic conditions that are shortening their lives... heart disease, diabetes, obesity, etc.

Then there are the active and retired players themselves. This is a special population of people, who, due to their large size are at a greater risk of sleep apnea than the normal population. The ASAA can certainly do more to educate the players about sleep apnea and guide them along the path to better health.

The national office of the players association is located in Washington DC, it should be easy to develop a relationship with them and become the resource for educational material and support options for the retired and the soon-to-be retired players.

The trip was also an opportunity meet and get to know several significant contributors in the area of research on sleep apnea. These personal relationships will be important as more forward on these various fronts.

The "Super Bowl" project was an investment. A significant investment that will require additional effort on my part if there are dividends to reaped. It will be some time before I can see those dividends and whether in the end it was a worthy investment.

I return to one last image from the trip, the one of me and Lem Barney. Lem, who is a member of the Football Hall of Fame, spoke at the community health screening on Sunday and at the retired player's screening on Thursday. A spry and energetic man, whose enthusiasm and joyfulness was infectious. I am glad to have met him and had opportunity to be uplifted by his positive outlook on life.

This journal is an opportunity for me to report and reflect on my work as the executive director of the American Sleep Apnea Association when I am on the road for the association.

I hope you find it informative and entertaining.

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