For so many Legends, there is one event during NBA All-Star Weekend their bodies thank them for — the Health Screenings program. The initiative has been a staple of the National Basketball Retired Players Association’s events and is one of the most impactful programs available to all Legends of basketball.
Launched in 2016 by the NBPA in partnership with the NBRPA, the acclaimed Health Screenings program has impacted hundreds of former players. This free initiative, which aims to deliver valuable, preventive, long-term healthcare check-ups to former professional players, is perhaps the program this organization is most proud of. The screening provides preventative testing — including blood work, electrocardiograms and echocardiograms along with orthopedic and cardiology consultations — and has actually saved lives on more than one occasion.
This past year, the NBRPA announced that they would oversee the program and brought along a familiar face, Dr. Joe Rogowski, to head the operation. Rogowski, who served as the NBPA’s Chief Medical Officer for the past decade, was named the NBRPA’s Chief Medical Director in November of 2022.
In addition to addressing many of the medical issues experienced by the Legends, the NBRPA has also introduced its Medical Innovation Program to educate members on proactive measures that promote a healthy lifestyle. In this expanded format, the health screening program will include the creation of strategic medical partnerships with first-class leaders in the medical field.
NBRPA President & CEO Scott Rochelle discussed the impact of having Dr. Rogowski continue to oversee the program.
“Joe is a true leader in his field, and we are thrilled to have him and his network of medical specialists developing and expanding sound health programs and best practices for our more than 1,800 members,” Rochelle said. “His work is paramount to our members living healthy lives.”
Rogowski’s nearly 20 years of experience working with NBA players is not lost on him. He considers himself fortunate to assist players navigating their transition into retirement.
“I am honored that the NBRPA has entrusted me to continue this mission to elevate both the physical and mental care of the men and women that have helped lay the foundation for our current players’ success,” he said glowingly.
With the best pension and health benefit programs in professional sports and the addition of the Health Screenings program under one umbrella, the NBRPA is looking to not only make every All-Star Weekend and event memorable but also to ensure that we are all around for more of them.