Journey for Control:
Collaboration to Advance Diabetes Education


Ten years ago, three organizations – the American Diabetes Association, Healthy Interactions and Merck – set out to test a simple proposition around diabetes care: could a set of tools focused on lifestyle and behavioral changes help health care providers to improve diabetes management for patients? In the first 14 months, 10,000 diabetes educators were trained. Another 10,000 were trained in the first three years. Now, more than 30,000 educators across the country have been trained on the innovative “U.S. Diabetes Conversation Map® program.”

Diabetes management is an unmet need, with most Americans with diabetes not meeting their glucose, lipid, and blood pressure goals. A key missing element to achieving greater success in diabetes control is that only a fraction of people with diabetes get the recommended diabetes self-management tools they need. We know that managing this disease calls for a set of solutions in which education is at the center. As part of the 10-year diabetes education initiative called Journey for Control, we've seen that the U.S. Diabetes Conversation Map program has been successful in bringing a dynamic option for diabetes education throughout the United States. The Map has become a widely-used teaching tool in diabetes education, providing a forum to promote free-flowing dialogue between diabetes educators and groups of people with diabetes.

Matt Petersen,
Managing Director, Medical Information and Professional Engagement
American Diabetes Association

The impact we have seen from the program shows that engaging and empowering people never goes out of style. If anything, that kind of approach to patient education is increasingly critical to the success of our health care system.

Pete Gorman,
President & COO, Healthy Interactions


By the Numbers ...

In just 10 years, the Journey for Control program has provided training for more than 30,000 diabetes educators to use the U.S. Diabetes Conversation Map® program.

According to a survey of more than 20,000 people with diabetes, 95 percent of patients surveyed indicated that they would make life changes based on what they learned – and 90 percent said they would attend another session.

Along the way, we’ve been able to work together to enhance the program and make it even more effective, including providing more advanced training, the addition of goal setting and planning tools, and the development and roll-out of Spanish language resources. We are also advancing digital solutions, including mobile responsive design and soon-to-be introduced cloud and web-based tools.

Diabetes is a health issue that is too big, too complicated for any one organization to tackle alone, and we believe that our collaboration with the American Diabetes Association and Healthy Interactions has allowed the U.S. Diabetes Conversation Map program to thrive. The success we’ve seen with this program is also compelling evidence that commitment matters. The U.S. Diabetes Conversation Map program was designed to stand the test of time, and – a decade in – we’re gratified to see it continue to thrive and grow.

Lisa French
Associate Vice President, Strategy and Commercial Model Innovation, Merck

The fundamental lesson of the success of the Journey for Control program is that people matter. The Journey for Control program has always put the educator-patient relationship at the center of the process, using the U.S. Diabetes Conversation Map® program to guide that discussion in a way that equips patients to manage their disease, rather than assuming that a one-way broadcast of information will suffice. A decade in, the data overwhelmingly back this approach, which is a model for future programs. Still, a 10-year anniversary is no reason to slow down: the program is continuing to find new providers to work with to expand the number of patients that can benefit from this kind of empowerment.


To learn more about Journey for Control, please visit: