Healthy Interactions and Merck Announce Further Collaboration to Transform Diabetes Education in the U.S.

CHICAGO and WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J., June 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Healthy Interactions Inc., a global leader in health education, and Merck & Co., Inc., a global research-driven pharmaceutical company devoted to putting patients first, today announced the expansion of a multi-year relationship to transform how healthcare professionals engage patients in learning about diabetes and to improve Diabetes Self-Management Education (DSME) among patients. In response to strong professional feedback, Healthy Interactions and Merck will now undertake training and equipping 5,000 additional healthcare professionals with the U.S. Diabetes Conversation Map(R) Program, which was developed by Healthy Interactions in collaboration with the American Diabetes Association. The enlarged effort also provides for the debut of the U.S. Diabetes Conversation Map Program in Spanish, beginning this month, to help connect with the nearly three million Hispanics and Latinos(1) with diabetes in the U.S.

Training and distribution of the U.S. Diabetes Conversation Map tools are sponsored by Merck. Since launching at the 2007 American Diabetes Association Scientific Sessions, the demand for the U.S. Diabetes Conversation Map Program has been so strong that Healthy Interactions has surpassed its three-year goal of training 10,000 healthcare professionals in just 10 short months.

"Up until now, health education has been a one-way monologue with patients filling a lecture-style room to listen to an educator. What Healthy Interactions has created is a totally different way to engage patients; in fact, we are changing the paradigm of health education so people living with diabetes are better able to take control of their health," said Peter Gorman, co-founder of Healthy Interactions.

The expansion of the Conversation Map Program into the Spanish language represents an important milestone. Hispanics and Latinos have a significantly increased risk for diabetes, with Type 2 diabetes occurring at a rate approximately 1.7 times that in the non-Hispanic white population.(2)

"We're thrilled that through Merck's support we can now offer Spanish- speaking diabetes patients the inspiration and tools to help them draw new insights for better disease management and develop a personal plan for positive change," added Gorman.

"Merck is firmly committed to improving patient education through our flagship program, Journey for Control, and we recognize the value and impact that this Program has for patients with diabetes," said Kathryn Hayward, U.S. Marketing Leader, Diabetes at Merck & Co., Inc.

About the Conversation Map Program

The Conversation Map Program success stems from its inventive approach. People living with diabetes are exposed to a lively, dynamic conversation where small groups of engaged participants are captivated by a thought provoking visual and real-world dialogue between patients and between patients and diabetes educators. The Conversation Map Program taps into the transformative power of conversation to drive change and is built on the belief that people don't just learn and get engaged by hearing something; they learn by hearing, seeing, exploring, discussing and doing.

There are five different Conversation Map tools included in the Spanish language U.S. Diabetes Conversation Map Program:

Healthcare professionals can register online for Conversation Map Program training at healthyi.com. Educators receive a complimentary Conversation Map kit at the end of the training session, and can access online support offerings at healthyi.com.

(1) CDC, 2007. Health United States, 2007. Table 55. http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/hus/hus07.pdf

(2) CDC/NIH/ADA "Fact Sheet"

About Healthy Interactions, Inc.

A global leader in health education, Healthy Interactions is devoted to driving Personal Health Engagement -- our term for helping individuals commit to healthier actions. We create "Aha! Moments" that inspire people to change personal health behaviors. Healthy Interactions builds partnerships with leading medical and disease associations, not-for-profit organizations, corporations, and caring healthcare professionals trained in our approaches, enabling millions of people to take control of their health and live their best lives. Founded in 2003, Healthy Interactions is headquartered in Chicago. For more information, visit www.healthyi.com.

About Merck

Merck & Co., Inc. is a global research-driven pharmaceutical company dedicated to putting patients first. Established in 1891, Merck currently discovers, develops, manufactures and markets vaccines and medicines to address unmet medical needs. The Company devotes extensive efforts to increase access to medicines through far-reaching programs that not only donate Merck medicines but help deliver them to the people who need them. Merck also publishes unbiased health information as a not-for-profit service. For more information, visit www.merck.com.

Forward-Looking Statement

This press release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These statements are based on management's current expectations and involve risks and uncertainties, which may cause results to differ materially from those set forth in the statements. The forward-looking statements may include statements regarding product development, product potential or financial performance. No forward-looking statement can be guaranteed and actual results may differ materially from those projected. Merck undertakes no obligation to publicly update any forward-looking statement, whether as a result of new information, future events, or otherwise. Forward-looking statements in this press release should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect Merck's business, particularly those mentioned in the risk factors and cautionary statements in Item 1A of Merck's Form 10-K for the year ended Dec. 31, 2007, and in any risk factors or cautionary statements contained in the Company's periodic reports on Form 10-Q or current reports on Form 8-K, which the Company incorporates by reference.

SOURCE Healthy Interactions

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