FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Two members of the American Sleep and Breathing Academy took
their concerns about public safety and the health of transportation workers to several U.S.
Senators. Drs. Elliott Alpher and Neal Seltzer spoke in support a bill that would bring
regulatory certainty to the diagnosis and treatment of deadly obstructive sleep apnea among
transportation workers. OSA has been a factor in several recent rail and bus and truck accidents.
However, the bill is stalled in a committee and needs help from constituents to move it forward before Congress adjourns in December.
On October 26, 2017, Drs. Elliott J. Alpher and Neal Seltzer met with representatives of Senator Cory Booker (D- NJ), Senator Kirstin Gillibrand (D-NY) and Senator Debbie Stabenow (D- MI).
Fellow ASBA member Dr. Richard Klein worked behind the scenes to arrange the meeting with
Stabenow who is a member of the influential budget and finance committees.
“We need to reach each member of the Senate,” Dr. Neal Seltzer said.” We have met with four
so far. With the help of the membership, we can contact all the senators.”
During their Senate meetings, Drs. Alpher and Seltzer explained the need to have a dental sleep expert appointed to the Medical Review Board. This body sets health guidelines, including the diagnosis and treatment of OSA for transportation workers. Currently there are no sleep medical experts among the five members.
The staffers were especially interested in a letter Dr. Alpher received from the FMCSA in
response to his letter to Department of Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao. FMCSA
Associate Administrator for Policy, Larry Minor, responded that the agency had decided the
current methods of diagnosing and treating OSA among transportation workers are “adequate.”
Drs. Alpher and Seltzer also volunteered to provide medical and scientific expertise to the
Senators as the legislation works its way through the process.
“In all three offices, we were well received,” said Dr. Alpher. “They were genuinely interested
in willing to follow-through on our offers to help them gain some certainty for transportation