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Crafting a solution

Raising awareness about Prostherpetic Neuralgia

Published: 19 Aug 2011

crafting a solution

Old-fashioned quilting provided much-needed social and educational support.

Client: Endo Pharmaceuticals

Agency: GCI Health

Campaign: Patchwork of Hope Network

Timescale: 2009 to 2010

A quick look

Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN), also known as after-shingles pain, is a painful condition that can lead to serious depression and is one of the most common causes of pain-related suicide in the elderly. The Patchwork of Hope Network (P.H.N.) combined the social activity of quilting with educational presentations to raise awareness about PHN. Media impressions, online activity and event attendee feedback all signaled the program’s success.


Endo Pharmaceuticals charged GCI Health to increase consumer awareness of Postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). One in five of the 1 million Americans who get shingles each year – predominately older adults – may go on to develop PHN. PHN pain can be so severe that it leads to serious depression and is one of the most common causes of pain-related suicide in the elderly.


Research revealed that events offering both social and educational components would appeal to older Americans. GCI Health also found that quilting is a popular social activity among older adults; Quilter’s Newsletter Magazine estimates that 27m Americans quilt. Reviving the old-fashioned quilting bee was an innovative way to provide much-needed social and educational support.

GCI Health and Endo partnered with three organizations: National Council on Aging (NCOA), American Pain Foundation (APF) and Visiting Nurse Associations of America (VNAA) to create the Patchwork of Hope Network (P.H.N.). The campaign was named Patchwork of Hope Network”to signify both the significance of creating a quilt from the hope of PHN patients as well as the abbreviation for the condition. This educational campaign engaged patients and families in events that allowed attendees to help create a quilt and to hear an educational presentation about the condition.

In addition to local media outreach at each P.H.N. event, GCI Health stimulated national media interest by enlisting professional baseball player and PHN sufferer LaTroy Hawkins to share his personal experience. Also, GCI Health worked with APF to recognize a PHN Awareness Day in the past two Septembers (National Pain Awareness Month), and publicized each Day with a satellite media tour, multimedia news release and audio news release.

GCI Health also re-launched the website to provide a comprehensive, online resource on shingles and PHN. An online application allowed site visitors to be a part of the campaign by designing their own quilt square as part of a virtual quilt.  


The two-year campaign has totaled 340,795,963 impressions to date. Educational seminars have been hosted in more than 40 locations, and 94.8 percent of attendees have said that the presentation provided useful information about shingles and PHN. received 574,095 hits by the end of 2010, with a spike of 577 visitors on PHN Awareness Day in 2009 and 551 visitors on the Day in 2010, and 388 virtual quilt patches have been created by website visitors from 46 states.

Client verdict

Feedback from Endo, including its senior executives, was overwhelmingly positive. The P.H.N. program has been mentioned by both the CEO and COO in earnings calls with investors. More than 94 percent of the sales force said the program increased the value they provided to healthcare professionals. 

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