Monday February 9th, 2015

The NFL named Brigham and Women's Hospital president Elizabeth Nabel as its first chief health and medical advisor, the league announced Monday.

Just last week, Nabel said she wouldn’t be joining the NFL, saying she had “no intention of leaving our beloved Brigham.”

According to the NFL, Nabel will continue in her position at the hospital and as a professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

The chief medical officer is a new position created by the NFL to assist efforts to make football safer. Recently, thousands of former players sued the league, claiming the NFL hid the dangers of playing football and did nothing to help players deal with head injuries suffered during their playing days.

The proposed $765 million settlement was agreed to last summer, but U.S. District Judge Anita Brody, who is presiding over the lawsuit, says the settlement should include medical coverage for families whose loved ones have died from chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) between the time the settlement was agreed to and now.

"We are excited to have Dr. Nabel's insight as we continually seek ways to make our game better and safer," NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said. "The game is safer than it has ever been, but not as safe as it will be with advisors like Dr. Nabel providing expertise."

Nabel’s responsibilities will be to participate in the league’s medical advisory committees, identify areas for the NFL to enhance player safety, care and treatment, oversee the league’s medical policies and work “with players, medical personnel and others to continually update the league's healthy and safety guidelines.”

- Scooby Axson

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