Pro Player Health Alliance Tackling Sleep Apnea at the Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona

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The national “Tackle Sleep Apnea” campaign with Former NFL legends

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Derek Kennard and David Gergen

With over 12 million Americans diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and an estimate of millions more whom have not yet been diagnosed, the treatment of OSA is growing exponentially.

Dr. Roger Briggs, DDS and Dr. Allan Bernstein, DDS are teaming up with the Pro-Player Health Alliance (PPHA), the Living Heart Foundation and Former NFL legends, to take part in a sleep apnea awareness event on December 15, 2012 at The Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, Arizona. The event is part of the national “Tackle Sleep Apnea” campaign and will be yet another stop, in a series of stops across the nation.

With over 12 million Americans diagnosed with obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) and an estimate of millions more whom have not yet been diagnosed, the treatment of OSA is growing exponentially. OSA is a syndrome caused by obstruction of the upper airway. It is characterized by repetitive pauses in breathing during sleep, despite the effort to breathe, and is usually associated with a reduction in blood oxygen saturation. These pauses in breathing, called “apneas,” typically last 20 to 40 seconds. Symptoms are wide in range however the most common are unexplained daytime sleepiness, restless sleep, are overweight, have high blood pressure, experience frequent urination at night and experience loud snoring (with periods of silence followed by gasps). OSA can put you at risk for high blood pressure, obesity, stroke, and heart disorders, amongst many others. In order to treat OSA, many that suffer with the syndrome utilize oral appliance therapy to help open up the airway for healthy breathing. Sleep apnea is more common in men. One out of 25 middle-aged men and 1 out of 50 middle-aged women have sleep apnea that causes them to be very sleepy during the day. Getting tested and diagnosed is vitally important to your health. That is why PPHA started their awareness campaign.

“These events are extremely successful,” David Gergen, President of the PPHA said. “We are incredibly grateful that we are able to spread awareness to so many people.” Typical events range in size from 50 to 300 people, so it is important to make an appointment early. As part of the event, former NFL legends Roy Green, Derek Kennard, Dave Krieg, and Mark Walczak will share their experiences with sleep apnea and treatment. In addition, they will be signing autographs and photo opportunities will be available, for anyone in attendance. It is fantastic to see these NFL legends give back to the community to increase awareness of sleep apnea in the nation. In addition to the former NFL legends that will be in attendance, there will be surprise guests that will be announced shortly.

“I heard about the campaign and wanted to become involved in efforts to get the word out about what sleep apnea can do to you,” Walczak said. “I lost my best friend Junior Seau from the effects of this condition and I am trying to spread awareness, to save lives.”

For appointments or questions or for more information about PPHA or the “Tackle Sleep Apnea” campaign, visit http://proplayerhealthalliance.com.

About Pro Player Health Alliance
The Pro Players 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. In addition, the PPHA is dedicated to integrating education and raising sleep apnea awareness, in a fun and memorable way. In addition to the campaign, the PPHA is dedicated to testing and getting people treated who suffer from sleep apnea. The PPHA was created by David Gergen, President of Gergen’s Orthodontic Lab, Rani Ben-David, President of Sleep Group Solutions, and Former NFL legends.

About David Gergen
David Gergen, CDT and President of Pro Player Health Alliance, has been a nationally respected dental lab technician for over 25 years. He received the award for "The Finest Orthodontic Technician in the Country" given by Columbus Dental in 1986. He also has been appointed chair of the dental wing of the Sleep and Breathing Academy a national interdisciplinary academy dedicated to sleep training and education with over 60,000 members. David rolled out of bed on September 12, 1981 and had his career “ah ha” moment. He knew he was going to be an orthodontic technician and he knew he was going to help people all over the country to help treat their sleep disorders in partnership with their dentists. He has worked for some of the pioneers in the orthodontic and sleep dentistry fields. He was the personal technician for the likes of Dr. Robert Ricketts, Dr. Ronald Roth, Dr. A. Paul Serrano, Dr. Clark Jones, Dr. Harold Gelb, Dr. Joseph R. Cohen, Dr Rodney Willey, and Dr. Thiem Pham. One of his proudest achievements is receiving The National Leadership award for Arizona Small Businessman of the Year in 2004.

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