Skip Navigation Links
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
 CDC Home Search Health Topics A-Z

National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion Diabetes Public Health Resource
Home | About the Program | Site Map | Contact Us

CDC Diabetes
Public Inquiries

Call toll-free
1-888-232-6348 TTY

NDEP Inquiries

Call toll-free


National Diabetes Education Program

Spotlight On Partner Activities

Puerto Rico’s Diabetes Prevention and Control Program (DCPC) Uses Spanish-Language NDEP Materials to Support Diabetes Education Campaign

 PR Logo

Link to top of page Introduction

The Puerto Rico Department of Health, Division of Preventive Medicine, Diabetes Section, proposed to establish an innovative diabetes project to reduce the impact of diabetes on the island of Puerto Rico. This project used the government’s television station and the university of Puerto Rico to produce educational segments for local television airing.

Link to top of page Challenges

In 2004, the health department in Puerto Rico began planning its diabetes educational campaign as part of the federally-funded Diabetes Prevention and Control Programs (DPCP). In Puerto Rico, the DPCP works in close relationship with many local resources and organizations, such as local health disparities centers, faith-based organizations, health insurance companies and community-based organizations including the

  • Puerto Rican Diabetes Association
  • Puerto Rico Chamber of Commerce
  • Puerto Rico Bankers Association
  • Puerto Rican Association of Nutritionists

Through their years of community service, the DPCP staff saw the need for a “local product with local flavor” that could be a major part of their diabetes education training sessions held in the community. Most of these sessions are “train-the-trainer” events conducted by the DCPC 5-member team of a coordinator, nurse, nutritionist, epidemiologist/evaluator and a secretary; however, this team felt the need for a new resource. This resource should reflect Puerto Rican people in their communities—real people who live with and have diabetes—to make a significant impact.

Link to top of page Solutions

With a very limited budget, it was important to use local contracts and be creative using allocated funds. They reached out to the government’s television station and the University of Puerto Rico to produce culturally –sensitive diabetes education segments for local airing. The Puerto Rico DPCP was able to negotiate reduced fees for production and research needed to create effective messaging.

Link to top of page Outcomes

The “Cambiemos el rostro de la diabetes” (Let’s Change the Face of Diabetes) campaign consisted of six informative TV segments ranging between 30–45 seconds each. The segments focused on several themes related to diabetes: the emotional aspects, the value of family support; diabetes control factors, weight reduction, smoking cessation, and physical activity.

A focus group of diabetic patients from the Corporation of Health Services and Advanced Medicine, later became the real “actors” of the segments. This focus group expressed their feelings about having diabetes and what they expected to see on the final television segment.

Some of the questions asked were

  • What is diabetes?
  • If you would have to put a face to diabetes, how it would look and why?
  • If you would make a TV commercial about diabetes, what would you say? What messages would you include?

Many of the participants did not have much information about diabetes or how to control it. Focus groups proved that there was a need to educate people about diabetes. Members of the group wanted an effective message to go out to the public with a messenger that looked like them.

The segments were evaluated by a WIPR-TV, Channel 6 communications project counselor Mayra Vega. Ms. Vega is also a communications professor at the School of Pharmacy and Public Health Graduate Studies at the University of Puerto Rico (UPR).

Segments were filmed in various locations, including the Cidra Municipality, a health center, a basketball court, a supermarket and other public places. Technical services were provided by the Educational Technology Department of the UPR’s Medical Sciences Campus.

Segments are shown at events, conferences, meetings, and trainings. NDEP products are featured, including the Movimiento CD, Recetas y plan de comidas (Recipe and Meal Planner Guide), and the Cuide Sus Pies Durante Toda Su Vida (Take Care of Your Feet for a Lifetime) booklet. Through these efforts, the Puerto Rico DPCP educates people with diabetes and those at risk of developing the disease.

For more information contact Leonardo Pérez, DPCP coordinator, 787-632-3826, by e-mail or by fax: (787) 767-8008. Or send a written request to Puerto Rico Diabetes Prevention and Control Program, Attention: Leonardo Pérez. PO Box 70184, San Juan, PR 00936-8184.

Link to top of page Suggested Materials and Staffing

Would you like to create diabetes education segments for local airing do this in your organization? See below for general “how to” instructions.

Link to top of page General Instructions

  • Research to see if a media campaign similar to yours has been done before for another population. See what resources you can use (focus group data, etc) so that you do not “reinvent the wheel.”
  • Create a budget. This will determine your limitations and expectations for the final product.
  • Contact local partners for funding opportunities.
  • Hire a consulting firm or an expert, such as a college professor or groups of students to conduct research, focus groups, and evaluation.
    • This group will assist you in determining what type of research you will need and the best way to reach your audience.
  • Use the NDEP Web site for media tips

Link to top of page Do your homework

  • Has this been done before? Is there a justified need to improve what has been done before? How can we improve or expand what has already taken place?
  • Who is your target audience?
  • What is the best medium to share this information with the public (e.g., radio, television, newspaper)?

Link to top of page Follow-up

  • Be sure to evaluate your efforts. There may be items you want to change for future campaigns.
  • Share results of the campaign (i.e., number of the target population reached) with partners and stakeholders.


* Links to non-Federal organizations are provided solely as a service to our users. Links do not constitute an endorsement of any organization by CDC or the Federal Government, and none should be inferred. The CDC is not responsible for the content of the individual organization Web pages found at this link.


Page last reviewed: September 5, 2007
Page last modified: November 9, 2007

Content Source: National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Division of Diabetes Translation

Privacy Policy | Accessibility

Home | About the Program | Site Map | Contact Us

CDC Home | Search | Health Topics A-Z

United States Department of Health and Human Services
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion
Division of Diabetes Translation