Truck driver Pierre Roberts, 39, knew something wasn’t right when he began feeling more tired than usual. It had been well over a year since he’d been to a doctor. His busy work schedule made it easy to put off the visit.
Through the recommendation of a friend, Pierre made an appointment at HealthNet Northeast Health Center, which opened last August inside the Avondale Meadows Health & Wellness Center on the city’s near eastside. He credits Dr. Jennifer Seele, a physician at HealthNet Northeast Health Center, with helping him get his health back on track.
“My doctor’s visit was a wake-up call,” he said. “I found out I had uncontrolled diabetes. The fatigue and symptoms I was experiencing usually affect people much older than me. I was too young to be going through this.”
In spite of his sedentary job as a driver, Pierre has found ways to exercise more in his free time and to eat more fresh vegetables and fruit while on the road and at home. It’s paid off. In a few short months he’s lost more than 10 pounds, and his A1c has dropped from 13 to 6.
The first of its kind in the country, the Avondale Meadows Health & Wellness Center marks the latest milestone in the 100-acre neighborhood revitalization within the Meadows community. And it represents what leading hospitals across the country are doing to become proactive partners in helping manage population health.
The 70,000 square-feet, LEED-certified facility received financial support of nearly $5 million from Indiana University Health, including a $1 million grant from the Methodist Health Foundation’s Charles Lynn Trust. This center combines cutting-edge urban health care with state-of-the-art fitness and education programs to transform the health of this neighborhood and the broader Indianapolis community. In addition to HealthNet Northeast, the facility includes the 32,000-square-foot Avondale Meadows YMCA, United Northeast Community Development Corporation and the Meadows Community Foundation.