Merck portal helps patients keep diabetes in check

WHITEHOUSE STATION, NJ: Merck is working with GCI Health on a campaign to help people living with type 2 diabetes manage their condition.

WHITEHOUSE STATION, NJ: Merck is working with GCI Health on a campaign to help people living with type 2 diabetes manage their condition.

The agency is providing media outreach support for the “Taking Diabetes to Heart” campaign. It also created a microsite for the effort that includes tools to help patients keep their condition in check. The portal also has sample questions for patients to ask doctors about how they can manage their diabetes and reduce the risk of heart disease.

“There are so many patients with type 2 diabetes. Our strategy is to provide patients with the tools and resources that will allow them to take small steps towards lifestyle changes,” said Kerry Wycislo, VP at GCI Health.

The firm is also working closely with American Idol judge Randy Jackson, the celebrity spokesman for the campaign, as he highlights the efforts on his Facebook and Twitter pages. It will also place promotional videos on YouTube, Wycislo added.

The campaign has been covered on The View and the Rachel Ray Show  and in AARP and Parade magazines.

“We're working to shed light on this very important issue and help patients understand that it is not a ‘one size fits all' when it comes to managing this disease,” said Kim Hamilton, director of global human health communications at Merck.

The 26 million people living with type 2 diabetes and their caretakers are the campaign's target, Hamilton added.

Jackson is expected to help the campaign because of his wide appeal to audiences such as African-Americans, who are more likely to get type 2 diabetes.

“We very carefully assessed who the appropriate spokesperson for this campaign would be. [Jackson] has always been passionate about educating others about type 2 diabetes,” Hamilton said. “He has been an advocate for raising awareness about the disease for a long time and is very well versed in his own experience with it. He aims to inspire people and help them consider healthy changes in their lifestyle just as he did.”

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