People to Know 2013: Wendell Pierce
The sterling efforts of Wendell Pierce, accomplished actor (he played Detective Bunk Moreland in The Wire) and native son of New Orleans, shine like silver in "food desert" communities still ravished by Hurricane Katrina. New Orleans is identified with culinary excellence and, unfortunately, with too many cases of diabetes. Wendell understands his city, its culture, and diabetes, and he advocates for the welfare of his community. He and his partners developed a chain of grocery and convenience stores, named Sterling Farms and Sterling Express, where affordable, healthy, and quality items are offered in areas otherwise dependent on substandard products sold at inflated prices. Champions such as Wendell provide hope to those still trying to maintain wellness during a long, daunting rebuilding process. (It's a process mirrored in HBO's Treme, in which Wendell stars as trombonist Antoine Batiste.) He models reciprocity at its finest. He's a beloved member of the community and a hero to those with diabetes.
Felice M. Guimont, RN, CDE, is a nurse and certified diabetes educator for the New Orleans Musicians' Clinic. She's also a singer/songwriter and actress who had bit parts in Treme and served as a nurse expert for the show. She has successfully managed type 1 diabetes for 39 years.