The coronavirus pandemic has revealed and exacerbated the well being and healthcare disparities which have lengthy affected underserved communities. Those that endure from persistent sicknesses might have delayed or stopped testing and therapy through the pandemic.
That’s why Quest Diagnostics is teaming up with former Tampa Bay Buccaneer Warrick Dunn and several other Tampa Bay nonprofits to offer free well being companies to these 18 and older.
The “Tackle Your Testing” program will permit residents to bear free medical assessments for persistent sicknesses corresponding to diabetes, coronary heart illness, most cancers and sexually transmitted infections. They’ll additionally be capable to speak to medical professionals, and this system will join folks with testing and vaccinations for COVID-19.
The primary clinics in Tampa will happen Saturday and Sunday from 9 a.m. to five p.m. at Seminole Heights Methodist Church at 6111 N Central Ave. Dunn gained’t be at this weekend’s clinics, however might attend future occasions.
”I do know we’ve hesitancy about getting examined generally due to the historical past,” Dunn mentioned. “However in case you actually take into consideration your self and your loved ones, you (would) need to do what’s in your greatest curiosity and their greatest curiosity.”
Andrew Younger, Quest Diagnostics’ regional medical director for the southeast, referred to as it the “hidden pandemic.”
He mentioned the testing program addresses “the big variety of well being disparities in underserved communities that had been additional enlarged by delayed therapy or analysis through the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Their objective is “decreasing the hole in healthcare made obtainable to underserved populations and enhance their total well being and wellbeing.”
Through the pandemic in 2020, Quest Diagnostics mentioned it noticed a major drop in new diagnoses among the many laboratory firm’s shoppers: a 70 % drop in diagnosing kind 2 diabetes analysis; a 64 % drop in diagnostic assessments for coronary heart illness; a 46 % fall in new most cancers diagnoses; and a 39 % discount in circumstances of sexually transmitted infections.
These and lots of different illnesses additionally went undetected and untreated because the pandemic delayed medical appointments and testing.
Quest mentioned this system is targeted on communities who’ve been disproportionately excluded from the healthcare system, together with Black and Hispanic communities and people dwelling in poverty. Nonetheless, Younger mentioned the occasion is open to anybody who needs to attend.
Quest is placing on the clinics together with Tampa Household Well being Facilities, Feeding Tampa Bay, Massive Brothers Massive Sisters of Tampa Bay, and Dunn, the previous NFL and Florida State star whose charities embrace Properties for the Holidays.
Medical doctors at Tampa Household Well being Facilities will present free session and on-site help at this weekend’s clinics and residents can sign-up for follow-up appointments.
Feeding Tampa Bay will provide wholesome snacks and knowledge to assist contributors be taught extra about their alternatives to register for packages such because the USDA’s Supplemental Vitamin Help Program to assist deal with America’s meals insecurity.
Massive Brothers Massive Sisters of Tampa Bay will speak concerning the varied advantages of its mentoring packages. Kids ages 5-13 can enroll in this system and adults can signal as much as be a volunteer.
The following Tampa clinics can be held Aug. 21 and 22.
“I feel it’s vital to encourage folks and underserved communities that seeing the physician is vital,” Dunn mentioned. “But additionally know that this request is free, for free of charge. We simply want you to indicate up and do your half.”