30 years in the making, David Gergen an expert in oral appliance therapy, and owner of Gergen’s Orthodontic Lab has found an interesting and conducive way to raise awareness of the deadly disorder, sleep apnea. Teaming up with NFL greats such as Derek Kennard, Lincoln Kennedy, Warren Moon, Dave Krieg, Tony Dorsett, and Carl Eller to speak with fans who suffer with snoring and sleep apnea has quickly become an event worth talking about. David Gergen is the President and Founder of the Pro Player Health Alliance (PPHA). Creating the PPHA has brought a new wave of awareness to the public by NFL greats sharing personal struggles, experiences, and losses with sleep apnea.
“The Pro Player Health Alliance is an incredible organization created to help those who suffer from sleep apnea. Working with sleep apnea patients, I know how easy it can be to treat this disorder and our organization has already had a huge positive impact on many,” said Gergen. The organization holds several free events around the country to teach the public about the dangers of snoring and sleep apnea, as well as treatment options available.
Co-founder of the PPHA, Rani Ben-David from Sleep Group Solutions, has been a driving force in the momentum as his company is used to help facilitate seminars and events on sleep apnea awareness. Together with the former NFL players, PPHA is able to draw a captive audience and offer free home sleep testing to all attendees, to ensure everyone will get tested and seek treatment.
A majority of attendees report snoring, morning headaches, daytime fatigue, irritability, high blood pressure, hypertension and diabetes, these are all serious health issues that are linked to sleep apnea. Derek Kennard, former NFL Lineman can relate to many members in the audience. “I would wake up tired, blood shot eyes, irritable and I found it very hard to focus during practice. All I could think about was sleeping, I knew I had a serious problem,” states Kennard.
Kennard lost his brother Donald Kennard in 2009. He passed in his sleep due to sleep apnea. “I wish I had met David Gergen sooner. I feel he could have saved my brother’s life by making him an oral appliance for his sleep apnea.”
Saturday, December 15, 2012, 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 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 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.
The next event will be held on January 10, 2013 at The Scottsdale Plaza Resort in Scottsdale, AZ. Typical events range in size from 100 to 300 people, so it is important to register early.
For more information about PPHA or the “Tackle Sleep Apnea” campaign and to register for any of the next events, visit http://proplayersleep.org.
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.
About Dr. Allan Bernstein
Allan K. Bernstein, D.D.S., focuses his practice exclusively on orofacial pain disorders (TMD), and obstructive sleep apnea/snoring. He has been in practice in the Phoenix Valley since 1978. Dr. Bernstein received his dental training at McGill University in Montreal, Canada, and completed his dental internship at Sinai Hospital in Baltimore, MD. He continues to enhance and refine his clinical expertise through ongoing training and professional involvement in TMD, as well as the treatment of snoring and obstructive sleep apnea with the use of oral appliances, an area he expanded his practice to include since 1986. Dr. Bernstein is board certified by the American Board of Orofacial Pain, the Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine, and served as a member of the Academy’s Board of Directors.
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