Pro Player Health Alliance and Living Heart Foundation Providing Sleep and Cardiovascular Screenings for Former NFL Legends

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The National “Tackle Sleep Apnea” Campaign with Former NFL Legends.

We are incredibly grateful that we are able to spread awareness and screen these incredible NFL legends.

Dr. Allan Bernstein, DDS., Dr. Roger Briggs, DDS., and Dr. Archie Roberts, MD., Chairman of the Living Heart Foundation (LHF) are teaming up with the Pro-Player Health Alliance (PPHA) and Former NFL Legends, to take part in a sleep apnea and cardiovascular disease screening for retired NFL Players only. The screening will be held on December 15, 2012 at The Mayo Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ from 8:00am to 2:00pm. The screening is closed to the public; however, the media are welcome to attend. 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. The NFL Players Association (NFLPA) has been a huge help in the PPHA “Tackling Sleep Apnea” campaign. In fact, Tony Dorsett is flying into Phoenix on December 15 to lend his hand with the screening because he believes in PPHA and the difference they are making nationally. Last weekend there was a sleep apnea and cardiovascular disease screening that took place in Boston with over 20 NFL legends in attendance.

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. This disorder can be extremely serious and must be addressed and treated.
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 and screen these incredible NFL legends.”

Phoenix-based Gergen’s Orthodontic Lab is one of only a few labs in the country that can fabricate the oral appliances that are exquisitely created to treat OSA. It is the official lab of the PPHA and will be fabricating any appliance for those players that need to be treated from the campaign to save people’s lives.

For more information about PPHA or the “Tackle Sleep Apnea” campaign, visit To schedule an appointment, please call Scott Perryman, Operations Manager at The Living Heart Foundation at 508.254.1108.

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, Dr. Allan Bernstein, 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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