IFV 2013: A Lot Happens in a Week!

Wow! A lot has happened in the past week as we’ve been preparing for our upcoming Conference! We’re edging closer to the vote on AB 1309 in California which will disqualify most professional athletes from Workers Compensation claims in the state. (Click HERE to read the actual bill that’s coming up for a vote as early as next week.)
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More news is coming out about Riddell’s prior knowledge about helmet safety and real their lack of protection from concussions. (Click HERE to read the latest piece from PBS Frontline.)
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And the behind-the-scenes story is also now emerging about the fight for Junior Seau’s brain after he committed suicide. (Click HERE to read that article also on PBS Frontline.)
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Then we have the NFL Alumni pushing a wide press release about a new miracle drug that will not only be an antidepressant but also possibly heal your brain with new stem cells. Only problem is that this drug is from a relatively new company that’s only beginning early-stage trials that only require a few participants and not the thousands that the Alumni (NFL) seems to be wanting to enlist for some strange reason. Retired players will need all the information they can get if they’re to make an informed decision on whether or not to participate in this – or any drug trial – as we continue to move forward with the concussion lawsuits.
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And the NFL Films lawsuit will now be moving into the notification stage to all players involved in the class. We’ll be having representatives from both sides of the Settlement Offer to present their arguments on Saturday so you can make an informed decision.
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We’ll be covering each of these new topics with experts from their fields at our IFV Conference. Watch for live posts and videos during the two days of discussions. And if you can make it down to Las Vegas, we can promise this will be the most informative two days that retired football players won’t want to miss.
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Watch this Blog for more details.
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IFV 2013: Who Owns You?

NFL break freeWell, by now many of you have already taken a look at Monday’s Court Order granting preliminary approval of the settlement offer in the Dryer vs NFL Films lawsuit. (You can read the filing by clicking HERE.)
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And here’s today’s plug for our upcoming Third Annual Independent Football Vets’ Conference May 3 – 5 in Las Vegas. You definitely won’t want to miss our Panel on your rights in general and the NFL Films lawsuit in particular. NO ONE – not the NFL, not the NFLPA, not your agent – has ever explained your rights to you in such detail! Participating on our Panel will be attorney Yakub Hazzard, Bob Stein, retired NFL player and the attorney who got the lawsuit started, along with Hall of Famers Elvin Bethea and Joe DeLameilleure and attorney Shawn Stuckey from Zelle Hoffman (who also played in the NFL).
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Yakub Hazzard is co-chair of the Entertainment and Media Litigation Practice at L.A.-based firm Robins, Kaplan, Miller & Ciresi L.L.P, specializing in music-related and intellectual property disputes. He represents songwriters, musicians, actors, managers, independent record and music publishing companies, apparel companies, and more. Robins, Kaplan recently joined with Bob Stein and Tom Ward to continue the fight for your rights.
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Some of the retired players participating in our discussion are lead plaintiffs in the original lawsuit and you will be hearing firsthand about their mistreatment and how the settlement negotiations got diverted by a group of attorneys who neither consulted with them nor informed them of any details during the entire process leading up to this current settlement “offer.” Now that the gag order is no longer in place, ALL retired players can now talk freely about the process and the offer, as well as get informed about your rights and all the options each of you can still exercise.
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If you don’t know what just happened in Monday’s Dryer vs NFL Films hearing and the subsequent approved settlement “offer,” you may want to read our other post that includes Judge Magnuson’s “disingenuous” comment about retired players – click HERE.
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With all the lawsuits piling up against the NFL right now, this is definitely one of the most important times that retired players have ever faced in their lifetime. We’ll be discussing these topics and more at our upcoming 2013 IFV Conference in Las Vegas May 3 – 5. Book your flight and hotel reservations NOW before our special discount rates go away next week – then click HERE to lock in your registration for FREE admission to the most important Conference for retired players in years!
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Final NFL Films Settlement Offer: Good or Bad?

Gene Marie UpshawA few years ago, we could hear the cussing all the way from NFLPA Headquarters in Washington DC when someone explained the meaning of our Gene Marie Antoinette “Let ’em eat cake” picture to Gene Upshaw. Well, after hearing Judge Magnuson’s comments about retired players objections to the proposed NFL Films settlement offer, we decided to post a new Marie Antoinette picture (you can see it at the bottom of this post). But first, a little background – here’s the article from the Boston Herald/Associated Press reporters who were covering the hearing in the courtroom yesterday:
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BostonHerald

NFL retiree publicity rights settlement approved

Monday, April 8, 2013
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MINNEAPOLIS — The $50 million settlement between the NFL and a group of retired players over publicity rights was given preliminary approval Monday by a federal judge who likened some of the retirees to petulant children for complaining about the money now that it has been awarded.
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IFV 2013: NFL Keeps Trying to Move the Goal Posts

EDITOR’S NOTE: Today, we’re announcing two more of our Concussion Lawsuit panelists. A reminder: There is NO attendance fee for retired players and their guests and approved media (and we still won’t be playing golf either!). But you have to book your travel arrangements NOW and register for your admission badges before rates go up. Links to signing up are at the end of this post.
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By way of introduction, most retired players know that for decades, the NFL has not only been denying the connection between concussions and long-term brain damage but they went so far as to aggressively put up a campaign to not only discredit scientific papers by professionals like Dr. Omalu but they also funded their own phony MILD Traumatic Brain Injury Committee with co-chairs that included the infamous Ira Dr. No Casson. Then a couple of years ago, the NFL funded Sports Legacy Institute’s long-term study of CTE (after denying it) with a $1 million grant with the caveat that “But we won’t have complete studies for many years because no one can detect CTE in a live brain.” Of course, the game changer is that earlier this year, a new CAT scan technique was announced that could detect CTE in live subjects (Dr. Omalu will be addressing this at our Conference). But not to be outdone by the NFL throwing $30 million at the NIH after Junior Seau’s tragic suicide, the NFLPA announced a $100 MILLION grant for further brain studies at Harvard (all with money that could have gone to retired players, of course). With this kind of collusion, it’s small wonder that the NFL is doing another slow reverse to once again deny the link between concussions and long-term brain damage. Worse still, with all the flip-flops, the NFL is going to use a last-ditch effort in the courts to argue that this issue was covered under the current – and past – Collective Bargaining Agreements (CBA) and their fraud and coverups shouldn’t even be tried in a court of law in front of a judge and a jury! Yeah right – like long-term fraud and deception on your former employees are covered under a CBA!
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Now it comes out that two of the people who recently did consulting work with one of the Philadelphia law firms involved with the NFL concussion litigation have also been working with the NFL.
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Are any of you still convinced that the NFL has players’ best interests on their minds? (Well, maybe Deion Sanders and Herschel Walker…)
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IFV 2013: Brain Injuries, CTE and You

EDITOR’S NOTE: We’re completing our schedule for our upcoming Third Annual Independent Football Veterans Conference once again at the South Point Resort in Las Vegas next month May 3 – 5. We’re going to start posting announcements about our list of prominent panelists who will be flying in to speak and interact with our attendees. Today, we’re very excited to officially announce one of our Brain Injury panelists. As always, there is no attendance fee for retired players and their guests and approved media (and we won’t be playing golf either!). But you have to book your travel arrangements NOW and register for your admission badges before rates go up. Links to signing up are at the end of this post.
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CTEThe term most used today in football brain injuries is CTE: Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy. More and more of you retired players have been reading and hearing this term used in the concussion lawsuits and sports reporting as it continues to make its way into our daily conversations. For those of you still unfamiliar with the terms CTE and tau protein, here’s the definition from Wikipedia:
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Chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) is a form of encephalopathy that is a progressive degenerative disease, which can only be definitively diagnosed postmortem in individuals with a history of multiple concussions and other forms of head injury. The disease was previously called dementia pugilistica (DP), as it was initially found in those with a history of boxing. CTE has been most commonly found in professional athletes participating in American football, ice hockey, professional wrestling and other contact sports who have experienced repetitive brain trauma. It has also been found in soldiers exposed to a blast or a concussive injury,[1] in both cases resulting in characteristic degeneration of brain tissue and the accumulation of tau protein. Individuals with CTE may show symptoms of dementia, such as memory loss, aggression, confusion and depression, which generally appear years or many decades after the trauma.
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Everything Retired Football Players Need to Know in 2 Days

2012 IFV Conference
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Here’s a more detailed overview of the Discussion Panels we’re planning out for our upcoming IFV Conference at the South Point Resort in Las Vegas May 3- 5. You really don’t want to miss this Conference – book your flight and hotel room today while the rates are still low and then register for your free admission passes by clicking HERE.
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FOOTBALL: THE LONG-TERM IMPACT ON NFL FAMILIES
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Our Football Family Panel will include retired players and their families in an open discussion on how football has affected your lives off the field. All too many players and their families have gone through divorces and financial difficulties after their football careers ended and only now are we beginning to realize the impact that concussion issues may have played.
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Football Vets Conference May 3 – 5

SouthPoint
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Our Third Annual Independent Football Vets Conference is set for May 3 – 5 at the South Point Hotel in Las Vegas! When you book your Conference weekend, please follow these steps:
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  1. Book your room using the South Point Reservation link (click HERE) or by calling them Toll Free at (866) 791-7626 and use Group Discount Code INDO0502;
  2. Book your flight as soon as possible to get the best advance ticket rates;
  3. Then sign in with that information on our Registration Page (click HERE) so we can have your admission badges ready when you arrive (all retired players and families, panelists and invited media are welcome but you will need an admission badge to be admitted to all events).

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As always, this year’s Conference will be evolving and improving to provide the most useful information to our retired football player community.
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And once again, there’s never a shortage of topics to cover this year at our Third Annual Independent Football Veterans Conference. We’re adopting an informal living room format and assembled discussion panels with audience participation instead of individual speakers for most of our Conference. Each panel discussion will be broadcast and posted as a separate topic covering the most important issues and questions retired players want to know.
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Each panelist will be given an opportunity to talk approximately 5 – 10 minutes about their particular areas of expertise and interest, after which 40 – 45 minutes will then be devoted to general discussion with questions from our audience following the panel conversation. We’ll be posting a list of our panelists and speakers, along with their Bios shortly. Here’s our proposed 2013 Schedule so far (still in final development and subject to changes).
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2013 IFV Conference Schedule (Final Schedule April 25, 2013)

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Our list of panelists and speakers will be posted shortly.
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THURSDAY May 2 2013
7:00 – 9:30 pm Arrivals, Mixer (location to be announced)
FRIDAY May 3 2013
8:30 – 9:00 Welcome, Introductions & Announcements
9:00 – 10:30 CONCUSSIONS: UPDATES AND LATEST INFORMATION FROM THE EXPERTS
10:45 – 12:30 CONCUSSIONS: LAWSUIT NEWS & UPDATES
12:30 – 1:45 LUNCH BREAK
2:00 – 3:30 WHO OWNS YOU: A BASIC PRIMER ON YOUR RIGHTS, LICENSING & ROYALTIES
3:30 – 5:00 FUTURE OF WORKERS COMPENSATION CLAIMS: IMPACT OF CA BILL 1309 AND IMPORTANT CASES TO WATCH
After Dinner MOVIE NIGHT
SATURDAY May 4 2013
9:00 – 10:45 FOOTBALL: THE LONG-TERM IMPACT ON NFL FAMILIES
11:00 – 12:30 PENSIONS, DISABILITY con’d: LATEST NEWS & UPDATES ON CASES
12:30 – 1:45 LUNCH BREAK
2:00 – 3:30 SPECIAL DISCUSSION PANEL: THE TWO SIDES OF THE NFL FILMS SETTLEMENT OFFER – LAWYERS & PLAINTIFFS
3:45 – 5:30 FOOTBALL: TRUE STORIES ABOUT WHAT PLAYING CONDITIONS WERE REALLY LIKE IN THE OLD DAYS
Evening CONFERENCE BANQUET
SUNDAY May 5 2013
9:30 – 11:00 Conference Summary, Check Out
CHECKOUT

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Announcing IFV-TV!

IFV-TV AnnouncementFirst of all, we want to thank every one of our readers for their patience. We’ve been intentionally quiet in holding back until the last minute to announce more about our Second Annual Independent Football Veterans Conference coming up this weekend in Las Vegas at the South Point Resort and Casino. A lot of our readers have been checking in and many of you (friends and others) have been anxiously looking for more details on our panel discussion topics.

As many of you already know, this year we’ve decided to use discussion panels to cover a wider range of topics that are most important to retired football players. While individual speakers have been informative, as these topics become more complex and wider-ranging, the retired player community needs even more timely and detailed information from as many expert sources as possible. We’ve done our best using this blog to convey the latest information on everything that’s important to each of you. Now we’re going to kick it up another notch or two again. Last year, we hosted our First Conference and all of the proceedings were videotaped and made available online. This year, we’re going to create a studio-like setting with panels to discuss all those topics you want to hear about and to take questions from our audience at large. Each topic will be broadcast like a television talk show and after our Conference, we’ll professionally edit them down for online viewing as well.

Lawsuits! We have too many to keep track of this year. From the original Eller and Gault lawsuits filed against the League and the NFLPA during the lockout to all those concussion lawsuits to the lawsuits filed against the NFL and NFL Films. We’ll have several shows to address the latest information and details that so many of you want to know. Confused about all those concussion lawsuits you’ve been hearing about almost daily? Sick and tired of the ‘Join me, Join me’ groups all wanting you to sign up with them? Wondering who you should really sign with and why? We’re going to hear from the top firms leading the charge and from some of the retired players on why they chose the firms they did. And maybe why you might want to re-consider who you’ve signed with!

Concussions! We’ll have Dr. Kristen Willeumier from the Amen Clinics to tell you all about their most recent studies on concussions as well as some of their latest findings and ways to help your improve brain. And we’ll also have the top specialists with hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBOT) to tell you about their latest studies and their lobbying efforts to bring this life-changing therapy into the mainstream. You’ll even be able to see one of the units that many of the current players have bought for their personal use.

And while we’re at it, we’re going to have a show on the culture of football, from college through to the professional Leagues. With the NFL still doing damage-control from Bountygate, who better to have talk about it than documentary maker Sean Pamphilon? Sean will be joined by attorneys who are currently involved with suing Electronic Arts on behalf of NCAA athletes who have never been paid for the use of their images and statistics in Electronic Arts video games in past years. Does that sound familiar? And they’re still doing it today to retired players!

And while we’re on the topic of not getting paid for playing football, you’ll also be getting an update on the NFL Films lawsuit. The Beatles get paid every time their songs get played on the radio or for every CD sold or for a download of their songs. Authors get paid for every copy of a book they sell. You pay for your movies when you watch them on HBO. And we all pay extra to the cable and satellite companies for all those sports channels that many of us don’t even watch. So why are retired football players the only guys who don’t get paid every time the NFL and NFL Films sells a classic DVD of one of your old games? At $30 – $50 a pop, there’s plenty of money to go around – where’s it all going?

How about all the latest on Workers’ Compensation? It looks like the NFL is now trying some nasty new tricks to cut retired players off from receiving their earned Workers’ Comp claims now as well. Hear all about your rights and what you can do about getting your case reviewed and filed in our special show about Workers Comp from some of the people with the most successful rates.

And how about that Legacy Fund that was supposedly negotiated by a Union that was de-certified last year? And then re-certified with retired players’ new benefits mysteriously negotiated and finalized as part of the new CBA? And did you know that there were $100’s of millions more that was also supposed to have offered by the League directly to retirees? Seems it was already “redistributed” by your friendly Union. All while saying nothing about standing up for widows who will receive absolutely no increases from the Legacy Fund. Never mind that many of you haven’t even received your “new” benefits yet long after the CBA was signed, Roger Goodell got his new $10 – $20 million contract, De Smith got his bonus and a new contract and… football season is now over! And NO Legacy Checks yet! We’ll have show to discuss that as well as to answer your questions on your rights under federal law for pensions and disability benefits. We’ll even have people who heard it directly from Commissioner Goodell about that “other” benefit money the owners offered during the final negotiations.

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Like they say, “STAY TUNED!” Here’s comes IFV-TV for retired football players! Broadcasting monthly soon!
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EDITOR’S NOTE: Our attendees will make up the small studio audience joined by our larger audience online. For those of you able to sign up and attend, we’ll also be hosting a movie night on Friday night with a cash bar and a sponsored dinner for each of our attendees and panelists on Saturday evening. For those of you arriving on Thursday afternoon, watch for an announcement on where our Thursday evening mixer, meet-and-greet will be held in the South Point.
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10 Questions We’ll be Asking at Our Next IFV Conference

If you haven’t signed up to attend our Second Annual Independent Football Veterans Conference this April 20 – 22 in Las Vegas, you may want to book your plane tickets and rooms this week while the rates are still low. Sign up for our Conference and reserve your room by clicking HERE. This year, we’ll be be using a different format to allow us to present more information and answer more questions that retired players have been asking:
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What’s the latest news on the lawsuit against the NFLPA? When the NFLPA decertified just after the lockout this summer, legally and technically they had no right to represent current or retired players. Yet magically, the Legacy Fund and other benefits suddenly appeared in the weeks immediately following the ratification of the new CBA and recertification of the NFLPA. All with virtually no input or vote from the majority of retired players. We’ll have representatives from some of the law firms there to discuss what has happened so far.
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Why is it that every time a song or a film gets played or sold, a musician, an actor or a composer gets paid a royalty? So why aren’t retired football players paid anything whenever they’re in a video game or on a DVD?
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What are some of the more recent discoveries in concussions and traumatic brain injuries? Is there anything I can do to slow down or improve my mind and my memory?
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And what about concussions? Most of us suffered from countless concussions over our careers. Our coaches and managers taught us to call them ‘zingers’ and sent us back into the game as quickly as possible. And what about the long-term effects? If the League and the owners denied most of us any disability benefits from the effects of concussions, yet in creating the 88 Plan, they finally acknowledged those long-term effects only after it’s taken its final toll from our families both financially and emotionally.
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There are so many lawsuits currently fighting for every player’s attention, hear all the important issues and present your questions to the panel on concussions and equipment. We’ll be covering concussions and equipment on both days of the Conference: On Friday, our law panels will be discussing the legal aspects and what’s being done today as well as reviewing future action. On Saturday, our medical and neurological panels will be addressing topics ranging from how to detect and recognize the symptoms of a brain injury to questions such as just how effective have helmets been in protecting players from concussions?
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And how about the Legacy Fund? Some of you are only finally receiving your retroactive checks while many others are still waiting for return calls from the benefits office in Baltimore. And why were the widows overlooked for the increase?
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Why are more players winning their Social Security Disability and California Workers Compensation cases than those reaching favorable Disability and Pension verdicts with their own Plan? And just how legal is the Plan itself and the way it’s been managed? And just who do those people who run the Plan work for anyway? A panel of Disability and Workers Compensation attorneys will be there to discuss the latest cases and answer your questions.
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If the NFL gets to pick the best of the best out of all the college football teams, then what responsibilities should they – and the universities who benefit from their lucrative football programs – bear when those players sustain life-changing injuries? For many of these college players, the football scholarship is just that: A scholarship based on their abilities as an athlete. Attorney Steve Berman’s firm has filed a lawsuit against the NCAA on behalf of college athletes and will be sitting on a panel that will prove to be very informative.
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What new findings have come out of hyperbaric oxygen treatments and how will these new studies advance the general use of HBOT treatments not only for football players but also for our returning veterans and for everyone else who has ever had a concussion? Hear what some of the foremost experts in the field have to say about how much more quickly hyperbaric treatments are becoming accepted as one of the most cost-effective ways to treat concussions and brain injuries.
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And The Amen Clinic will also be back to present results of three new brain studies they’ve completed over the past year.
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I’m so excited about this year’s Conference that I know I’ve gone over the Top 10 Questions we all want to ask! The full list of our panelists’ biographies will be posting up this week. Stay tuned!
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So be sure to sign up for our Conference and reserve your room by clicking HERE!
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IFV Conference Part 11: Dr. Bill Duncan

Dr. William A. Duncan serves as President of Capitol Strategy Consultants, Inc., where he represents clients on healthcare, biomedical research, veterans, Department of Defense, and criminal justice and public health arenas. His clients benefit from his extensive background in the congressional appropriations process and heath care regulations.
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In the medical realm, Dr. Duncan supervised numerous legislative priorities including National Institutes of Health reforms for setting research priorities, expansion on biomedical research infrastructure, AHRQ and evidence-based medicine initiatives, NIH and CDC initiatives in environmental medicine, amputee services, and addressing chronic disease including diabetes and public health. He dealt with Centers for Medicare & Medicaid services problems, including getting CMS to approve a new indication for hyperbaric oxygen to reduce diabetic foot amputations, reducing the regulatory burden on health care, prescription drug, and FDA issues.
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(Our videos are hosted on Veoh in HD and you can watch them full screen by clicking on the Expand button in the lower right corner of the video window.) To follow the entire slideshow, we suggest starting the video and then opening the slideshow full screen so you can hear the accompanying narration.
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IFV – Bill Duncan from Jennifer Thibeaux on Vimeo.
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And here’s his Powerpoint presentation on SlideShare:
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