Tulane to treat former NFL warriors

January 27, 2012 5:45 AM

Keith Brannon

The National Football League has selected Tulane University in New Orleans as one of only seven institutions in the country to be part of its Neurological Care Program for retired players.

Dr. Gregory Stewart

Dr. Gregory Stewart, medical director of the Tulane Centers for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, evaluates a former football player. (Photos by Paula Burch-Celentano)

Dr. Roger Kelley

Dr. Roger Kelley, professor and chair of neurology, will co-lead the NFL Neurological Care Program at Tulane.

The program gives former players special access to the nation’s leading neurological hospitals for comprehensive evaluation of brain and spinal function along with an individually tailored treatment plan. Dr. Roger Kelley, chair of neurology at Tulane University School of Medicine, and Dr. Gregory Stewart, medical director of Tulane Centers for Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, will lead the program.

“Tulane will utilize staff in neurology, sports medicine, psychology and speech therapy to offer a unique, holistic approach in helping patients recover and effectively manage their conditions,” said Stewart, who expects to begin enrolling patients this month.

“Brain injuries, whether sport-related or caused by other events, can have a lasting impact on a person’s quality of life, affecting everything from short-term memory and concentration to interpersonal relationships with friends and family,” Kelley said.

Tulane is the only medical institution in the Gulf South selected to participate in the Neurological Care Program. Other institutions include Inova Memory Center in Falls Church, Va., Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, University of California in San Francisco, University of Southern California in Los Angeles and Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

The NFL agreement is just the first public step in a larger effort under way to establish Tulane University as a national center for sports expertise and professional services in medicine, law and business.

Stewart is teaming up with sports law professor Gabriel Feldman to develop the Tulane Center for Sport, a multi-disciplinary program for athletes and sports institutions. The center hopes to combine resources from Tulane Institute of Sports Medicine and the schools of business, medicine and law to become a one-stop shop for all programs aimed at athletes and those working in professional sports.

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