NFL to hire Chief Medical Officer to oversee health initiatives

In a memo sent to all 32 teams, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell wrote the league is planning to hire a physician to serve as its Chief Medical Officer and work in the league office on a full-time basis.

The memo, which was obtained by NFL Media Insider Ian Rapoport, also stated that Dr. Elliot Pellman is retiring after nearly 30 years of service with the league and New York Jets. A league source told Rapoport that Pellman agreed to retire at Goodell's request.

The Chief Medical Officer's duties will include working with league medical staffs, the NFL Players Association and NFL medical committees, according to the memo. He or she will help clubs and players obtain timely and accurate information about injuries and injury prevention and ensure that research funds are spent in an effective manner.

Goodell wrote the new position is aimed at continuing and expanding upon initiatives and expert resources that are "designed to accelerate science, identify new technologies and means of preventing and treating injuries, and make our sport safer."

Goodell stated that the league's search for a Chief Medical Officer will begin this week and that it will be conducted by a panel of health and medical experts. The panel will work closely with Jeff Miller, NFL Senior Vice President of Health and Safety Policy.

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