Hornets in the Community: Hugo, Honeybees Visit Diabetes Support Group

February 22, 2013

The regular attendees at the monthly diabetes support group meeting at the Ochsner Medical Center West Bank Campus experienced a lively and energetic time on Feb. 20, with an unexpected visit by New Orleans Hornets mascot Hugo and two members of the Honeybees.

Hugo and the Honeybees were at the meeting to help raise awareness for the 2013 “Dribble to Stop Diabetes” campaign. The campaign, spearheaded by the NBA, the American Diabetes Association and Sanofi U.S., is in its third year of encouraging fans to live an active, healthy lifestyle. Sanofi is one of the world’s leading diabetes companies, and carries Lantus, the number one insulin in the world. They are proud to be involved with the initiative.

“We were approached by Ochsner,” said Sanofi Executive Sales Professional, Dan Happoldt. “Sanofi has been a partner with Ochsner for many years in helping patients deal with their diabetes. It’s a situation where we have a lot of patient education literature, in addition to the (medicinal) products that we sell for diabetes to try to improve the lives of the people in Louisiana that have diabetes.”

The meeting started off with some casual trivia. If a question was answered correctly, the lucky winner would have a chance to shoot a mini-basketball into a mini-hoop to win prizes. Questions ranged from “Who are the Hornets playing tonight?” to “Who did the Hornets beat in their first game in New Orleans?” (Correct answers: Cleveland and Utah, respectively).

The meeting proved to be informative as well as entertaining. Attendees were given important information regarding living a healthy life with diabetes, and more specifically how they can keep their hearts healthy. They were informed on a number of facts and tidbits to help live a more active lifestyle. Ann Moll, the Hospital Education Manager at Ochsner West Bank, described how Ochsner makes sure they keep their group as informed as possible.

“We give a little education about many different topics,” said Moll. “We’ll talk about diabetes in the feet, we’ll talk about exercises and we’ll have an exercise therapist come out who will give different ideas to the clients about what you can do. We also talk about the heat in the summer, and things you can do to stay cool and keep our skin healthy, because that’s very important.”

As the meeting came to a close with many laughs and smiles at Hugo’s antics, each attendee received a signed Hornets basketball and a raffle ticket for a signed Anthony Davis jersey.

“Today was a great event,” Happoldt said. “I think it was really important that everyone stressed that diabetes is a disease that can be managed. Louisiana is 49th in the United States in diabetes cases per capita, so we have a real need out there for patients to not only get education, but to get them the tools they need to deal with their diabetes and live long and healthy lives.”

Moll agreed that the meeting was a success, and a nice upbeat experience.

“This is just awesome because we (Ochsner) have a relationship with the Hornets and the Saints of course,” she said, “so it was really exciting to be able to energize the group and bring something to them that is New Orleans, that is our lifestyle, that is fun, and just give a little more enjoyment for them.”