Geneva Health Forum Archive

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Promoting Population Health through Voluntary Health Professional Alliances: The Medicine and Public Health Initiative (MPHI)

Author(s): J. H. Glasser*1, R. Cranovsky2, R. Levinson3, J. Huang4
Affiliation(s): 1The Medicine and Public Health Initiative, Houston, USA, 2Consultant, Epalinges, Switzerland, 3Health Management, Howard University, Washington DC, USA, 4Epidemiology, Peking Union Medical College, Beijing, China

Integrating medicine and public health, national and global, interdisciplinary education and manpower development, translational research and capacity building


Complexity, cost, and rising expectations have created capacity, manpower needs, and resulted in gaps in healthcare system improvements. The recognition of the consequences of the gaps provides opportunities to strengthen the integrity of the system through interdisciplinary education, evidence-based delivery, and diffusion of best practices into delivery systems. Improved professional networking supports efforts to mobilize professional associations and health institutions to coordinate efforts in the cyber age.


The Medicine and Public Health Medicine Initiative (MPHI) provides practical experience in building an organization to better effect such changes by providing voluntary professional and institutional participation in action oriented programmes. MPHI is structured around the continuum of the framework of population health improvement. This paper describes:
1 – Answering the challenge to close gaps among Clinical Medicine, Public Health and the Health Professions;
2 – How MPHI evolved both nationally and internationally;
3 – Strategic targets and goals of MPHI;
4 – The organizational structure; how MPHI builds on local and regional priorities;
5 – The role of professional associations, health delivery, and educational institutions to affect sustainable changes in population health.


1 – The approach and model complements the development of integrating health networking.
2 – A continuum to counterbalance the evolution of the separate paths of Medicine and Public Health.
3 – National, state, and international network partners are collaborating.
4 – Strategic goals provide an interconnecting continuum to bridge the gaps;
5 – Interdisciplinary education and training;
6 – Applied and translational research diffusion;
7 – Capacity building and demonstration projects.
Three illustrations:
1 – Integrated Disease Intervention spectrum: The MPHI modification of the (USA) CDC National Forum on Heart Disease and Stroke Heart Prevention programme.
2 – National and State: adopting the MPHI model to specific settings: Examples, California: Policy and Advocacy, Texas: Multidisciplinary health professions education and student participation.
3 – International: Cross national MPHI collaboration: In MPHI China it includes Associations, Universities, and local health authorities in applied research in China

Lessons learned:

MPHI population health framework provides essential enablers; builds on nascent activities of collaboration; provides value added to existing efforts; world wide web and dissemination network; collaborative multi-site projects and technical assistance; linking education across the continuum from current students through continuing practitioners; expanding to new areas in care and prevention for multiethnic, multicultural/religious populations. Barriers exist: institutional inertia; need for a small core of champions: leaders, professional association, university, or health delivery settings; resources, though modest, needed from internal or external sources.

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