There are a lot of “C words” that can be invoked to describe the foundation of MPHI: collaboration, cooperation, and community – and particularly the emphasis on voluntary participation to accomplish the mission and goals of health professions, interested and allied institutions and individuals coming together to improve population health. In these last two decades possibilities have multiplied exponentially with the capacity for two more C words “communication and the cyber capability” that further underscore the reasons to work together. The basic tenant of MPHI is that working together around mutual aims and demonstration projects supports concrete steps toward an increase in population health improvement outcomes “where the sum is greater than the separate parts”.

MPHI fosters these collaborations through the application of shared values that draw upon technology to create the channels to communicate, a forum to create cooperation and confidence building and activities that result in complementing each member’s mission.

Collaboration in communities is as old as human kind, from banding together to securing food and shelter. The rise of agriculture and urban communities attests to the strength of the instinct and development of tools and institutions that foster collaboration. And, equally true, collaboration requires building trust and confidence. With the increasing complexity of challenges, the availability of potential but often underutilized tools and best practices, MPHI can play an important role in implementing healthcare and public health collaborations.

There are compelling reasons to work together, and there are compelling inducements to work together and form a foundation for collaboration:

  • Health professions and communities have collaboration as part of their missions and reasons for being

  • There is a growing recognition that no single group no matter how talented can do it alone

  • Primary mandates of organization make up an already full agenda

  • Resources are committed to these primary needs

  • Globalization of everything is moving toward agreed upon standards and evidence based

  • There are many activities underway that provide the foundation to build further collaboration that are mutually based on cooperation

The MPHI structure and Forum that can fill the gaps through collaboration and demonstration. MPHI

  • Provides the Nexus for Collaboration

  • Is structured to provide communication and collaborative tools

  • Builds around values while recognizing diverse organizations overall mission and culture

  • Utilizes networking that can leverage scarce resources of time and funds

  • Builds on existing collaboration while providing “value added” efforts and effectiveness

  • Further publicizes and communicates participating organizations role, and mission

  • Uses collaboration tools, techniques and technical assistance in agenda building, basis for ongoing collaboration and project and demonstration development

  • Continuing backbone for sharing, development, diffusion as well as presentation, reports, and project organization and implementation