There are 250 million footballers globally. The United States hosts the top football players through NFL , holding just 1696 players in the last 11 years. Extreme sports come with unpredictable and severe injuries and not to mention the importance of maintaining one's mental health. This begs for attention to longitudinal healthcare planning and engagement.
"Taking on a challenge is a lot like riding a horse, isn't it? If you're comfortable while you're doing it, you're probably doing it wrong." - Ted Lasso
In this episode, I am in conversation with Kelvin Beachum, NFL Player at Arizona Cardinals. We discuss the dedication, resilience, and impact it takes to be an athlete, the techniques he uses to ensure he strives to balance sports and life, and we soundboard how healthcare can be made more accessible in a longitudinal format to such players. When dedicating one's life to such a sport, we within healthcare must equally think about their family members and caregivers long term and the implications their dedicated career would have in a positive and negative lens to give the entire unit the best healthcare possible.
The NFL only covers healthcare for five years after retirement. After that, their health plan can cost up to $35,000 in premiums annually. While the NFL provides healthcare stipends, they do not even amount to the premium payment on the league's plan.
We, in silence, acknowledge that making healthcare a fundamental right is critical, and this holds while disregarding one's race, color, income bracket, and profession chosen to empower a life with good health and dignity.
We channel our Ted Lasso within us and wrap up the episode agreeing we need empathy and compassion within the field of sports and health.
Kelvin Lee Beachum Jr. is an American football offensive tackle for the Arizona Cardinals of the National Football League. He played college football at SMU and was drafted by the Pittsburgh Steelers in the seventh round of the 2012 NFL draft. He has also played for the Jacksonville Jaguars and New York Jets
Smriti Kirubanandan has a strong background in robotics and public health and is a Healthcare Executive, where she focuses on driving significant transformations within the healthcare ecosystem, concentrating on customer experience, intelligent automation, data analytics and insights, and is determined to make healthcare more accessible and affordable through innovation and empathy. She also spearheads brand development, thought leadership, and market research.
Smriti is a selected Young Global Leader 2023 by the World Economic Forum, a member of the Young Leaders Circle at the Milken Institute, and is the Founder of HLTH Forward Podcast- an award-winning media platform that hosts healthcare leaders, policymakers, and artists to discuss the challenges in the system and what we could do collectively to move healthcare forward.Support the show