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Case study: Educating HCPs and patients about diabetes

Highlighting the challenges surrounding the treatment of diabetes in the US via the play 'Diabetes Close to the Heart'

Published: 24 Jan 2012

The program included a 30-minute play which highlighted the challenges surrounding the treatment of diabetes.

Client: Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc.

Agency: Chandler Chicco Agency

Campaign: Diabetes Close to the Heart

Timescale: January, 2010 to November, 2010

A quick look

Chandler Chicco Agency, with Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Inc. developed a thought-provoking, educational program that brought to life the challenges healthcare professionals (HCPs) and patients face in managing type 2 diabetes (T2D). The core program element was Diabetes Close to the Heart – a play, written by an Emmy-nominated playwright and performed by professional actors. Premiering at the American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions, the play and expert panel examined and discussed the link between weight, cardiovascular disease and T2D. Extending education beyond the live performance, CCA worked with Amylin to develop filmed adaptations of the play for use by HCPs and patients.


In a crowded marketplace, Chandler Chicco Agency (CCA) was challenged with developing a program that:

  • Educated healthcare professionals (HCPs) on the link between type 2 diabetes (T2D), weight and cardiovascular disease
  • Demonstrated best practices in comprehensive management of T2D
  • Underscored the role of appropriate therapy
  • Highlighted the need for a shift in the current treatment paradigm.

To do this, CCA needed to create a program that captured the attention of HCPs.


After a search of existing educational tools and resources, CCA uncovered that the best way to open the minds (and hearts) of HCPs was through the oldest form of education – theatre.

CCA developed a program called Diabetes Close to the Heart that consisted of an original 30-minute play, with an educational play program and multi-disciplinary expert panel, and three Cinematic Learning Modules (filmed adaptations of the play) provided as a toolkit with educational resources.

The program enabled HCPs to view and manage T2D differently, including how to engage with patients and caregivers to affect change. CCA hired an Emmy-nominated playwright and professional Broadway actors to bring the patient and HCPs’ challenges to life.

The live play and panel discussion premiered at the annual meetings of the American Diabetes Association (ADA) and again at the American Association of Diabetes Educator (AADE).


CCA created a differentiated program that broke through the clutter, made a lasting impression and achieved its objectives. Numerous testimonials validated the unique and meaningful nature of the program, including an ADA executive who said, “This was one of the most innovative ideas I’ve seen in diabetes education.”

The play and its accompanying tools also won praise from leading diabetes experts. Steven Edelman, MD, remarked, “The program is very unique and different and when it comes to medical education we have to think outside the box because there are so many boring programs about diabetes.”

The play and panel discussion was rated a 4 or 5 out of 5 from the majority of attendees at the professional meetings. Additionally, the play and subsequent filmed adaptations have reached more than two million HCPs and patients.

Client verdict

The performance and discussion at the ADA were so successful that the live performance was repeated at the AADE. To broaden reach, filmed adaptations of the play were developed and distributed with a facilitator and attendee discussion guide. Amylin continues to receive accolades and praise from HCPs.

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