“Patient care is at the center of what we do”
– Alexis Boone, Novo Nordisk employee

Growing up in the greater Indianapolis area, Alexis Boone and Andre Miles would attend the Indiana Black & Minority Health Fair to learn about health issues disproportionately affecting their community. As adults, they now attend as volunteers representing Novo Nordisk to share disease education materials with the local community.

While in years past people would stop by their booth for educational information and swag giveaways, they noticed a change this year. The pandemic had elevated attention on chronic diseases, like obesity and diabetes, resulting in people being much more proactive about having real conversations about their health.

“From the first interaction we had, we knew this year was different,” Andre explains. “People really wanted health information. I gave out business cards and said, ‘if you have questions contact your physician,’ more than ever before. Usually, we’ll get one or two of those, but this year, it was everyone. Some people even came back to see us the next day!”

With every new conversation, Alexis and Andre realized the potentially life-changing impact they could have by understanding each person’s unique situation. They saw firsthand what healthcare providers see on a day-to-day basis - which is how important it is to equip patients with the tools and resources they need to be proactive about their health and empower them to feel comfortable having challenging conversations.

Outside of having the hard talks, fear of the unknown influences patients from getting pretested for various diseases. “We had individuals writing things down and confessing to us that they’re scared to get tested for diabetes because they don’t want to know,” recalls Andre.

Alexis adds, “One patient was really struggling with this. The patient contemplated for a half hour, looking like they were going to cry. We went over some diabetes complications and how progression can be slowed with treatment, while encouraging them to get tested at a nearby booth. Eventually, they went over and got the test. Andre and I said to each other, if we help even just one person it’s all worth it.”

Taking their learnings from patients back into the field, Alexis reflects, “Our goal is to collectively understand patients as best we can so we can help them. At the fair, we really got to see the impact education has and how it helps people. It was amazing.”

  • to increase minority awareness of chronic diseases, and how to prevent them
  • raise public awareness of the health issues that disproportionately affect minorities