NFL Players Union Offers Free Wellness Program

The Brain and Body Health component of The Trust allows former players who had concussions during their careers to have a brain MRI done at the UNC Brain and Body Health Program, Tulane University and Tulane Institute of Sports Medicine, or the Cleveland Clinic's facilities in Cleveland, Ohio; Las Vegas; and Weston, Fla.

The NFL Players Association announced a new wellness initiative for former players named The Trust. Brain and Body Health is one of the program's pillars and is getting attention because of former Dallas Cowboys running back Tony Dorsett's recent disclosure that he has been diagnosed with chronic traumatic encephalopathy.

Brain and Body Health will allow former players who had concussions during their careers to have a brain MRI done at any of three medical facilities partnering with The Trust: the UNC Brain and Body Health Program, Tulane University and Tulane Institute of Sports Medicine, and three Cleveland Clinic sites -- its main campus in Cleveland, Ohio; at Cleveland Clinic Florida in Weston, Fla.; and at the Cleveland Clinic Lou Ruvo Center for Brain Health in Las Vegas.

"Athletic injuries and sports-related brain trauma have become part of the public consciousness and are being viewed as legitimate public health problems," said Jay Alberts, Ph.D., director of the Cleveland Clinic Concussion Center. "Former professional football players, in particular, are at increased risk for neurological disease. The goal of this program is to identify potential problems – physical, neurological or cognitive – earlier, which may lead to earlier interventions and treatments."

Career Transition and Development, Education and Entrepreneurship, Financial Literacy, and Personal Interaction are additional pillars of The Trust. "We are excited to begin the important work of serving the former NFL player community," said Bahati VanPelt, its executive director. "Together with our partners, our staff, and former player leadership, we can begin to address the important issues that face NFL players when they transition out of professional football."

Athletes' Performance, Athlife, Babson College, Financial Finesse, Hillard Heintze, and SCORE also are on board as partners.

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