Howard University Hosts Former NFL Players Effort
to Show Public the Need for Regular Medical Screening
Joe Jacoby, the four-time All Pro offensive lineman for the Washington Redskins, knows that with his family’s medical history, every day is precious, particularly now.
“Both of my parents died in their 50s,” he said. “I’m 52.”
His father died of heart disease, his mother from a hypertension-related aneurysm. So, for him, monitoring his health is paramount.
Jacoby, who helped lead the Redskins to three Super Bowl victories, was one of 24 former National Football League players who were screened, poked and prodded for a variety of ailments at Howard University Hospital Saturday as part of an effort to encourage the public to better monitor its health.
“This is not just about football players,” said Jacoby, who has Type II diabetes. “This is about the whole population. If we want to live productive and healthy lives, we have to take care of our bodies”
Dr. Babafemi Adenuga, chair of the hospital’s Department of Community and Family Medicine, teamed with Dr. Shelly McDonald-Pinkett, chair of the Department of Internal Medicine and Dr. Andre Duerinckx, chair of the Department of Radiology.
The hospital partnered with The Living Heart Foundation, an association founded by a former NFL player to tackle cardiovascular disease, NFL Players Care Foundation and the American Urological Association Foundation to provide the men free medical examinations.
The players, who represented all positions and nearly every team, included Redskins greats punter Mike Bragg, offensive guard Fred Dean and Mark Mosley, the only NFL placekicker to be named the league’s Most Valuable Player.
The men received a series of cardiovascular screenings for assessing risk for coronary artery disease. Other tests were cholesterol and triglycerides screening, extensive blood testing, blood pressure and pulse analysis, body composition measurements, prostate exams and joint health assessment.
Dean, who joined Howard University as a coach after a stellar football career and now works in Office of Residence Life, said he has been reminded repeatedly over the years about the importance of getting frequent medical testing.
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