Waking up the world to the threat of chronic disease.

National Diabetes Education Program

Challenge

How do you engage people in preventing and treating a disease they don’t think about? In 1997, only 8 percent of Americans recognized diabetes as a serious disease. In response, the The National Institutes of Health (NIH), National Institute for Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases launched the National Diabetes Education Program (NDEP). On behalf of NIH, Hager Sharp contributed by leading a series of social marketing and integrated communications initiatives designed to raise awareness and improve treatment and prevention.

Solution

Turning the tide on a chronic disease requires more than communicating with people who have the condition or are at risk for it. So, we developed a strategic plan and created a wide range of resources—website, consumer-facing materials, and health education toolkits—to help NDEP support health care professionals, caregivers, and families. With these resources, which featured tailored messages and materials in 16 languages, NDEP reached an extremely diverse set of audiences to facilitate healthy behavior change.

Results

We helped move diabetes from a little-known, silent killer to the front pages, increasing awareness from 8% to 90% in just over a decade.

Health care materials were adapted for seven vulnerable population groups.

For nearly 20 years, we helped NDEP reach millions of people—consumers and health care providers—to improve the treatment and outcomes for people with diabetes, promote early diagnosis, and prevent or delay the onset of type 2 diabetes. And, with more than 200 core NDEP partners to engage on a regular basis, and more than 900 partners in total, stakeholder engagement was a major focus of our work.

Our radio media tour for National Diabetes Month featuring National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease Director Dr. Griffin Rodgers garnered more than 11.5 million listeners.