Brain and Body Program

Massachusetts General Hospital's Brain and Body Program is dedicated to providing world-class, evidence-based medical care to former NFL players. We provide a personalized, comprehensive evaluation and treatment plan.

Overview

The Brain and Body Program at Massachusetts General Hospital is dedicated to providing evidence-based medical care to former NFL players to help them develop and maintain a healthy brain and body.

Our multidisciplinary team has extensive experience treating NFL players. Our team includes experts in the diagnosis and treatment of traumatic brain injury (TBI) and other debilitating injury conditions.

We work closely with each player to provide a personalized, comprehensive evaluation and treatment plan that targets and reduces potential health risks and promotes overall wellness. The program focuses on diagnosis through evaluation and testing of cognitive, physical, emotional, neuropsychological and functional tasks. We also offer medication management, counseling, behavior modification, continuity of care and lifestyle management.

Integrated Multidisciplinary Care from Experts in the Field

The team of experts in the the Brain & Body Program includes:

  • Physical medicine and rehabilitation physicians
  • Psychiatrists, psychologists and sports psychologists
  • Neurologists and neuropsychologists
  • Orthopedists and sports medicine physicians
  • Internal medicine physicians
  • Cardiologists
  • Physical and occupational therapists
  • Speech therapists
  • Dieticians
  • Social workers and life care consultants
  • Radiologists

Each player is assigned a neurotrauma rehabilitation specialist who will ensure rapid access to medical care and facilitate communication. Following your initial evaluation, you will receive an individualized treatment plan with resources to access the recommended treatments. We will also follow up with you after your initial evaluation.

If you wish to include your significant other or family members, our team can provide education concerning any medical conditions identified during your evaluation and the recommended treatments, as well as family counseling services.

Learn More about the Brain & Body Program

Our Team

The Brain & Body Program includes a multidisciplinary team of specialists who work together to provide each player with personalized, comprehensive treatment.

  • Beth A. Adams, MEd, LRC

    Program Manager, Brain & Body Program
    Neurotrauma Rehabilitation Specialist

    Beth Adams, MEd, LRC is a neurotrauma rehabilitation specialist with clinical expertise in post-concussion rehabilitation. She assists players in navigating the Brain and Body Program. She has been in the brain injury field for over twenty years serving a multitude of players as a neurotrauma case manager and cognitive rehabilitation specialist in a variety of sports organizations, including the NCAA, NFL, MMA, WWE, MLS and NHL. She is on the medical advisory board for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Boxing Commission.

  • Ross Zafonte, DO

    Director, Brain & Body Program
    Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

    Ross D. Zafonte, DO, is the Earle P. and Ida S. Charlton chairman of the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School, senior vice president of medical affairs at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, and chief of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is a decorated researcher and serves as the clinical and research leader in traumatic brain injury for the Mass General/Red Sox Foundation Home Base Program as well as the co-primary investigator on the Brain Injury Model System at Spaulding. Dr. Zafonte is also currently the PI on an eight-center NIH multi-site clinical trial for the treatment of traumatic brain injury–the largest clinical treatment trial in the history of North America.

    As a world-renowned expert on traumatic brain injury, he has made numerous media appearances and testified many times to Congress on brain injury related issues such as concussions in youth sports. Dr. Zafonte has received the William Caveness award for outstanding clinical care and research from the Brain Injury Association of America, the Joel DeLisa Prize from the Kessler Foundation and the Moody Prize for Brain Injury research and care. In 2017 Dr. Zafonte was selected as the Physician of the Year by the American Osteopathic Foundation.

  • Aaron L. Baggish, MD

    Cardiology

    Aaron L. Baggish, MD, is the associate director of the Mass General Cardiovascular Performance Program, which is designed to provide comprehensive cardiovascular care to athletes. His clinical practice, dedicated to the care of athletes and active individuals, serves people across the spectrum from elite professional and Olympic competitors to recreational athletes.

    Dr. Baggish is a fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the American College of Sports Medicine. He serves as medical director for the BAA Boston Marathon and cardiologist for Harvard University Athletics, the New England Patriots and the Boston Bruins. His research interests include exercise-induced cardiac remodeling, pre-participation screening/sudden death prevention and the cardiovascular effects of anabolic steroid use. His research group, the Harvard Athlete Initiative, conducted the first blinded comparison of competitive athlete screening with and without 12-lead ECG screening.

    Dr. Baggish was the lead author on the RACER Study, a decade long effort designed to examine sudden death during long distance running events. He currently maintains independent research funding from the National Institutes of Health, the American Heart Association, the NFL Players Association and the Department of Defense.

  • David N. Caplan, MD

    Neurology

    David Caplan, MD is professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, and a leading clinical investigator in chronic cognitive deficits and treatments. He also serves as the director of the Cognitive Behavioral Neurology Unit in the Department of Neurology and directs the Sports Concussion Clinic.

  • Lenore Herget, PT, DPT, MEd

    Physical Therapy

    Lenore Herget, PT, DPT, MEd is a senior physical therapist, certified clinical instructor and certified emergency medical responder at the Mass General Sports Medicine Center and serves as the rehabilitation consultant to the Mass General Sports Concussion Clinic. Her practice focuses on sports concussion, most specifically evaluating and treating high school through professional level athletes who have sustained concussions, then assisting in their safe return to play.

    Her research has focused on management of athletes with post-concussion syndrome and the efficacy of pre-season and post-season visuo-vestibular testing to aid in return to play decision-making. She has lectured nationally on the topics of concussion and the non-acute management of athletes with post-concussive syndrome. Her clinical expertise is in the cervicogenic contributions and visuo-vestibular treatment of athletes who sustain concussions as well as the progression of exercise through exertional protocols. Additionally, Dr. Herget focuses her orthopaedic practice on the biomechanical assessment and management of lower quarter injuries.

  • Mary A. Iaccarino, MD

    Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation

    Mary A. Iaccarino, MD, is a physiatrist in the Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at Mass General. She is board certified in physical medicine and rehabilitation and brain injury medicine. She is an attending physician in the Mass General Sports Concussion Clinic, the Mass General/Red Sox Foundation Home Base program and the Brain and Body program. She conducts clinical research in sport and blast related traumatic brain injury. Dr. Iaccarino completed undergraduate and medical school training at Georgetown University. She complete her residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at Harvard Medical School and Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital where she served as chief resident. She completed a sub-specialty fellowship in traumatic brain injury at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital

  • Kevin E. Houston, OD, MSc

    Vision Rehabilitation

    Kevin Houston is the director of the Vision Rehabilitation Service at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital, an investigator at Mass Eye and Ear’s Schepens Eye Research Institute and is an instructor in the Department of Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School.

    Dr. Houston provides expert consultation to patients in the Brain and Body Program for suspected binocular vision problems. These issues are extremely common after head injuries, are often not detected in routine eye exams and can exacerbate vestibular and cognitive symptoms.

  • Grant L. Iverson, PhD

    Psychiatry

    Grant L. Iverson, PhD, is an internationally-recognized clinician scientist in the areas of evidence-based neurocognitive assessment in psychiatry and neurology, sport-related concussion and mild traumatic brain injury. Dr. Iverson has a longstanding research interest in outcomes from mild traumatic brain injury. He is involved in ongoing clinical research with injured athletes, civilians, active duty military personnel and veterans.

    He has published more than 280 articles and book chapters. He served as a consensus panel member for the 3rd and 4th International Conferences on Concussion in Sport in Zurich, Switzerland in 2008 and 2012.

  • Catherine L. Leveroni, PhD, ABPP

    Psychiatry

    Catherine L. Leveroni, PhD, ABPP is a neuropsychologist in the Mass General Psychology Assessment Center, an instructor in the Department of Neurology and the director for neuropsychology internship training in the Internship in Clinical Psychology at Mass General/Harvard Medical School. Dr. Leveroni received her PhD from Rosalind Franklin University of Health Sciences/Chicago Medical School. She completed her clinical internship training at Brown University and clinical/research fellowship at the Medical College of Wisconsin. She has been a psychologist at Mass General since 2001.

  • John D. Matthews, MD

    Psychiatry

    John D. Matthews, MD, is a psychiatrist at Mass General. He serves as the medical director of the Bulfinch Program at Mass General and an assistant professor of psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. In his role with the Bulfinch Program, Dr. Matthews has developed an integrated health care model that defines an individual’s state of wellness in terms of the interactions among psychiatric disorders, medical disorders and the hyper-reactive stress response. This model determines the approach taken for evaluation and treatment of participating patients.

  • Lars C. Richardson, MD

    Orthopaedics

    Lars C. Richardson, MD is an orthopaedic surgeon in the Sports Medicine Center at Mass General and an instructor in orthopaedic surgery at Harvard Medical School. He also serves as the team physician for the New England Patriots and Boston Bruins and is the head orthopaedist for Harvard Athletics. Dr. Richardson specializes in athletic and traumatic injuries of the knee, ankle and shoulder. He has extensive experience in the care of athletes ranging from professionals to weekend warriors.

  • Janet C. Sherman, PhD

    Psychiatry

    Janet Sherman, PhD is the clinical director of the Mass General Psychology Assessment Center and chief neuropsychologist at Mass General. She also co-directs that Harvard Partners Consortium postdoctoral fellowship in clinical neuropsychology. She is an assistant professor of psychology in the Departments of Neurology and Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. Dr. Sherman is a regional leader in the neuropsychological assessment and treatment of young athletes with concussion.

  • Nicholas Tritos, MD, DSc

    Neuroendocrinology

    Nicholas Tritos, MD, DSc, currently serves as a staff neuroendocrinologist in the Neuroendocrine Unit at Mass General and an assistant professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

    Dr. Tritos’ research and clinical interests include pituitary disorders, including pituitary tumors and hypopituitarism. He has authored or co-authored over 75 peer-reviewed publications.

Our Services

Medical Services

Our neurotrauma rehabilitation specialist Beth Adams, MEd, LRC schedules appointments for each player, assists you in navigating the Mass General Brain and Body Program and coordinates all follow-up care.

Each player in the Brain and Body Program completes a pre-visit clinical intake to identify all services that are needed. These services will vary based on the needs of the individual. These services may include:

  • Evaluation by a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician
  • Evaluation with a psychologist or psychiatrist
  • Neurological evaluation by a neurologist
  • Neuropsychological evaluation to assess brain function
  • Musculoskeletal rehabilitation evaluation
  • Internal medicine evaluation
  • Cardiology evaluation
  • Physical or occupational therapy evaluation
  • Speech and language evaluation
  • Body composition evaluation & dietary consultation by an exercise physiologist and sports nutritionist
  • Transition and life skills counseling to successfully transition to life after football
  • Marriage or family counseling
  • Musculoskeletal and brain imaging
  • Blood work

Recommendations for treatments and strategies to enhance cognitive efficiency will also be provided.

Going Above and Beyond

In addition to expert medical care, the Brain & Body Program also provides the following:

  • Concierge-level service in a beautiful facility with access to state-of-the-art equipment
  • Access to world-renowned experts and all Mass General services
  • Ability to adjust your schedule in real-time if additional services are needed while you are on-site
  • Team-based approach in development of a personalized treatment and follow-up plan based on evaluations and test results
  • Coordination of follow-up care and collaboration with local and preferred healthcare providers
  • Follow-up with the players to continue to advise players in regard to their recommendations
  • Patient- and family-centered care

 

Appointments

Please Note: The Brain & Body Program is open only to former NFL players. All patients must be referred through The Trust, a program of the NFL Players Association. Please contact The Trust to learn more or to be referred.

Other patients seeking treatment for concussion and related conditions, please contact the following departments at Mass General:

 

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