Donald Faison Talks Saving Real Lives: “I Want To Be Around When My Young Kids Are My Age”
You know his name. One of America’s favorite small screen doctors, Donald Faison, hasn’t come close to saving an actual life – until now. As part of a new campaign with Cigna, the “Scrubs” alum will be featured in ads alongside more of America’s most iconic TV doctors, including Patrick Dempsey (“Grey’s Anatomy”), Alan Alda (“M*A*S*H”), Noah Wyle (“ER”), and Lisa Edelstein (“House”), with the hope of conveying to people the importance of an annual check-up as well as taking control of their health.
According to the CDC, up to 100,000 lives a year could be saved if people received their preventive care, which often begins with seeing a doctor #IRL (in real life) for an annual check-up. Additionally, Americans only use preventive services at about half the recommended rate, even though preventive care is free with most insurance.
The importance? Regular health exams can pinpoint health issues early on or even prevent them before they begin, increasing your chances for proper treatment. In fact, by seeking out the right health services, people are taking steps to increase their chances for living a longer, healthier life.
BlackDoctor.org recently spoke with Faison who stressed the importance of preventive care, working alongside “real life” doctors and much more.
BlackDoctor.org: What inspired you to get involved with Cigna’s new campaign?
Donald Faison: It was a no brainer, really. They [Cigna] were doing the whole TV doctor theme and they asked me to partner. I have two very young children. The campaign is all about [preventive] care and I want to be around when my young kids are my age – I’m 42-years-old now. So, that would make me 84-years-old.
The only way I have a good chance of that – anything can happen – is taking control of my health. That means, knowing my key numbers, BMI, cholesterol, blood sugar, blood pressure. Knowing these things is very important – in case there are life changes you need to make, you can get ahead of them. A lot of times, people wait until it is too late. If we can save 100,000 lives this year, I’m for that!
BlackDoctor.org: What is the importance of getting an annual exam?
Donald Faison: “There are so many reasons why getting an annual exam is important. Along with early detection [like I spoke on earlier] comes the opportunity to better treat health issues – possibly even cure what you’re facing. The best part is, most of this is probably covered by your [insurance] provider. “