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Tulane Doctors Offering Health Screenings For Former NFL Players At Super Bowl

Tulane doctors are conducting health screenings today and tomorrow for former NFL players during Super Bowl week festivities. Many players don’t keep up with medical care after leaving the league.

Tulane University School of Medicine is the official screening partner for the NFL Player Care Foundation. It conducts 10 different screening a year, mostly at NFL cities and at major events, like the Pro Football Hall of Fame Week and Super Bowl.

What are they finding?

Dr. Gregory Stewart is medical director of the player foundation screenings program at Tulane.

“Everybody is very worried about concussions and their brain, but the former players die of the same things that other men die of – cardiovascular disease, prostate cancer – and so we do the screenings for those types of problems," he said.

In addition to getting about $10,000 worth of tests for free in a few hours, players get to socialize with each other – something many haven’t done since leaving the game.

Stewart says many former players aren’t familiar with how current health care systems work. One man left a doctor’s appointment after waiting a half-hour. He’d always been taken to a team doctor who’d be ready and waiting, so he thought no one wanted to see him.

“That’s how they’re used to accessing health care, and it’s been that way a lot of times from high school, certainly at the college level and at the professional level for them," he said.

Stewart says about 70 former players are scheduled for the Super Bowl week screening, ranging from men in their 30s to some in their 70s.

Eileen is a news reporter and producer for WWNO. She researches, reports and produces the local daily news items. Eileen relocated to New Orleans in 2008 after working as a writer and producer with the Associated Press in Washington, D.C. for seven years.

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