Football legend Warrick Dunn encourages people to get health screenings at Tackle Your Testing event

Event held Saturday at Jack McClean Community Center
Posted at 1:34 PM, Aug 14, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-14 13:34:59-04

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (WTXL) — It was a different type of tailgate at the Jack McClean Community Center Saturday afternoon.

Quest Diagnostics, holding their Tackle Your Testing day, used community partners to help families catch up on health checks and blood work.

"Heart disease, cancer, diabetes, just really your overall health. A lot of it really stems from not being able to see a doctor during the pandemic," former Florida State University and NFL football player Warrick Dunn said.

Bond Community Health, one of Saturday's clinic partners, says during the pandemic, they, like many other health professionals in the country, have seen a decrease in people coming to get tested.

"Some of the things we see the wide eyes for are, 'hey, you're pre-diabetic,' " Temple Robinson of Bond Community Health said.

According to the United States Census Bureau, a study by the the Harris Poll in 2021 showed that 27% of 1,093 adults postponed annual checkups.

Diagnostic lab Quest Diagnostics gives what they believe that reason may be.

"Easy question. Nobody wants to be around anybody so nobody wants to catch it. But you know what, COVID is still here with us, I think we look at it at a different light so to speak, most people are coming out know and getting back into the community," John Toye of Quest Diagnostics said.

To help drive home the point of the importance of testing and keeping up with health checkups, Dunn, who played in the NFL for 12 seasons with teams in Tampa Bay and Atlanta, stopped by to offer some words of encouragement.

"I think that it's important that we stress health. For me it's if you have a healthy mind and a healthier body you have healthier communities overall. So if we can have families that really think of the long term aspect of it, of their health," Dunn said.

Quest Diagnostics adds that throughout the pandemic-- there has been a 64 percent drop in diagnostic tests for heart disease and a 70% decline in new type 2 diabetes diagnoses.