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Highmark taps funny bone to promote cancer testing

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Highmark Inc. has created a humorous Nudge-Kit to urge people to nudge their family and friends to get cancer screenings. The program launched in Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania in early May, and will roll out in Delaware on June 1.

The nudges, available at www.allforhealth.com, include notes, coupons, bribes, social nudges and nudge-o-grams that can be customized with personal video, photos and special effects.

“We thought long and hard about whether humor was the right approach to take in discussing a serious topic like cancer,” said Cindy Donohoe, senior vice president of marketing. “Yet what’s not funny is that one in three people put off getting screened for cancer even though many cancers have a survival rate of 90 percent when found early.  Statistics like that told us we needed to shake things up and try something different.”

The nudge campaign was created because:

• 1 in 4 women is not up-to-date on breast-cancer screening

• 2 in 5 adults are not up to date with colorectal cancer screening

• About 40 percent of women report they have not been screened for cervical cancer.

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