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Long exposure of Carolina football players

Former NFL players will have access to UNC sports medicine professionals through a new partnership. (photo by Donn Young)

UNC partners with NFL to focus on former players’ health

Carolina will partner with the National Football League Players Association on a new initiative aimed at providing medical services and support to former NFL players.

The NFL Players Association unveiled its new program, called “The Trust.” UNC’s Brain and Body Health Program, which was created by the Center for the Study of Retired Athletes in the College in collaboration with the School of Medicine, was selected to be a medical partner of The Trust to provide former NFL players with a comprehensive evaluation and treatment plan for their cognitive and physical functioning. Other medical partners in The Trust are Tulane University and the Cleveland Clinic.

“This partnership with the NFL Players Association will provide former NFL players with better access to our expert sports medicine professionals for comprehensive assessment and clinical care,” said Kevin Guskiewicz, co-director of the Brain and Body Health Program and a leading expert on the long-term impact of head traumas at all levels of sports competition. He is research director of the Center for the Study of Retired Athletes, Kenan distinguished professor of exercise and sport science, and senior associate dean of natural sciences.

The Brain and Body Health Program was designed to address the needs of former players who are in need of a baseline medical evaluation upon leaving the NFL as well as those that may be experiencing both physical and mental problems as a result of abusing their bodies for years on the playing field. These problems can include musculoskeletal pain that has led to lifestyle changes and psychological problems, anxiety about transitioning out of the sport, chronic headaches and other post-concussion signs and symptoms, increased episodes of sadness, irritability or depression and early signs of memory impairment.

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