The health screening was quite an experience. There were dozens of retired football players passing through screening stations on the second floor of the Center for Athletic Medicine at the Henry Ford Hospital. I was set up near the stations where the unattended portable monitoring equipment was being distributed. For those retired players interested in being screened for sleep apnea, I had a folder of material for them. There were even retired players who were in treatment for sleep apnea and they were interested in the packets of material.
It was like this for two days, Thursday and Friday... there were more players on Thursday.
The press conference on Thursday proved a valuable experience. I met and spoke with the Surgeon General of Michigan (a position unique to Michigan). She expressed a willingness to help get 03/30/06 proclaimed Sleep Apnea Awareness Day in Michigan. I also met and spoke with the director of retired players for the NFLPA. There are possibilities of more outreach to this community.
One of many highlights of these past two days was meeting Virend Somers. He is in the thick of the research on heart disease and sleep apnea. An important player in all this, for sure.
I also had the opportunity to visit the sleep lab at Henry Ford Hospital and sit in on a discussion of evaluating sleep studies for central apneas. I am reminded that medicine is both an art and a science... and proportion of each can vary widely.
It is too soon to draw any conclusions about this venture, but I can say that I made some important contacts and if I will follow through... they will advance the cause of the ASAA into new and important areas.