Multi-Channel Public Health Outreach Campaign Aims to Increase Health Literacy and Accessibility for One Million High-Risk Black and Hispanic Residents
Philadelphia, Pa. & Providence, R.I., August 24, 2022 – To address the public health crisis of skyrocketing diabetes among Black and Hispanic Pennsylvanians who develop diabetes at greater prevalence, the Health Promotion Council (HPC) and the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) have joined forces to launch “Make a Choice for a Healthier Life” campaign. More than one million households in Pennsylvania are being engaged through this multi-channel campaign, led by multicultural marketing firm Perry Media Group (PMG) and powered by the global health and wellbeing engagement leader, Virgin Pulse.
The “Make a Choice for a Healthier Life” campaign is a public health initiative designed to ensure populations of focus have access to life saving information about type 2 diabetes prevention. While all Pennsylvanians are welcome to be screened, the campaign is primarily focused on Black and Hispanic residents at risk for prediabetes, aged 18-and older, in Harrisburg, Philadelphia, and Pittsburgh and their surrounding areas. Those who want to know if they are at risk for type 2 diabetes can text the word “TODAY” to 600400 (textea HOY al 600400) to answer a few quick questions to get started. Participants who screen high will be referred to a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-led National Diabetes Prevention Program (National DPP) in their area. The “Make a Choice for a Healthier Life” campaign runs now through Oct. 2, 2022.
“Prediabetes is a serious condition that can be reversed if identified early and addressed with lifestyle changes, including eating healthy, getting more physical activity, and reducing stress. There are 96 million adults nationwide living with prediabetes (1) and most don’t even know it,” said John Patton, Vice President, Center for Innovation and Partnership, of NACDD. “It’s critical that we help Pennsylvanians know if they are at risk for developing type 2 diabetes. By using a multi-channel approach, we are able to aim our message at the right people and facilitate a simple, text-based risk assessment.”
Type 2 diabetes is a significant health issue in the U.S., particularly among Black and Hispanic populations. Black adults are nearly twice as likely as White adults to develop type 2 diabetes, a racial disparity that has been rising over the last 30 years. (2) Hispanic adults also have a higher likelihood of developing type 2 diabetes and are more likely to develop it at a younger age and experience higher rates of serious complications. (3) Recognizing the need to address this growing health threat, CDC established the National DPP to reduce the impact of prediabetes and type 2 diabetes.
“It’s harder than ever to get people’s attention, especially when it comes to addressing health risks that they may be unaware of. Using accessible channels like text, mail, social media, online, and radio helps build awareness of health disparities and helps address them by connecting the right people with the programs that will make a significant difference,” said Chris Michalak, CEO of Virgin Pulse. “We’re honored to partner with the NACDD, HPC, and PMG on such an important public health initiative and help change more lives for good.”
Pennsylvanians who wish to be screened can text the word “TODAY” to 600400 (textea HOY al 600400) to determine their risk for prediabetes. More information about the “Make a Choice for a Healthier Life” campaign can be found at makeachoice.org, or follow the campaign on Instagram and Facebook.
About Health Promotion Council
Health Promotion Council (HPC) is a nonprofit corporation, formed in 1981, whose mission is to promote health, and prevent and manage chronic diseases, especially among vulnerable populations, through community-based outreach, education, and advocacy. In 1999, the organization joined Public Health Management Corporation (PHMC), Pennsylvania’s Public Health Institute, as an affiliate to strengthen its work in the public health sector. Through partnerships, HPC convenes and fosters collaboration among community‐based organizations, government, public health professionals, health systems, and community residents.
About National Association of Chronic Disease Directors
The National Association of Chronic Disease Directors (NACDD) works to improve the health of the public by strengthening the state-based leadership and expertise for chronic disease prevention and control in states and at the national level. NACDD’s mission is national in scope, but the reach of NACDD goes beyond State Health Departments (SHD) into the communities and through partners working in local health departments, universities, other non-profit organizations, and other representatives who have self-identified as part of the chronic disease prevention workforce. A 501(c)3 non-profit organization, NACDD is a capacity building organization and for almost 30 years, has been providing support and technical assistance to SHDs, including territorial health departments. NACDD links more than 7,000 diverse, multi-disciplinary members in a network to promote national priorities, and prevention policies and programs; encourage knowledge sharing; and develop partnerships for promoting health.
About the National Diabetes Prevention Program
The National DPP Lifestyle Change Program (National DPP): A key component of the National DPP is a structured, year-long lifestyle change program to prevent or delay onset of type 2 diabetes in adults with prediabetes or at risk of developing type 2 diabetes. The National DPP lifestyle change program is founded on the science of the Diabetes Prevention Program research study, and subsequent translation studies, which showed that making realistic behavior changes helped people with prediabetes lose 5% to 7% of their body weight and reduce their risk of developing type 2 diabetes by 58% (71% for people over 60 years old). The program is group-based, facilitated by a trained lifestyle coach, and uses a CDC-approved curriculum. The curriculum supports regular interaction between the lifestyle coach and participants; builds peer support; and focuses on behavior modification through healthy eating, increasing physical activity, and managing stress. The program may be delivered in-person, online, via distance learning, or through a combination of these delivery modes.
About Perry Media Group
Perry Media Group (PMG) is a strategic marketing, public relations and advertising firm that specializes in implementing fiscally responsible and culturally-relevant campaigns that positively impact the world. We are committed to creating innovative solutions that educate, inform and empower people at a local, national and global level. Our comprehensive strategies are built upon the foundation of research, analytics and out-of-the-box tactics that are designed to engage even the hardest to reach audiences. Every plan we develop is custom-tailored to successfully reach our clients’ unique goals while fully leveraging the value of our resources and relationships.
The PMG network is a highly skilled group of independent small businesses that operates seamlessly as one team. PMG is intentional about supporting minority and women-owned businesses who deliver exemplary service while strengthening our communities.
“Funding was made possible by 75D30121C11333 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The views expressed in these materials do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.”