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Building on the strengths of our connection

An endeavor of the magnitude of the Global Health Initiative requires strategic movement and alliance with others to ensure that our efforts are effective. Within The United Methodist Church, this translates to increased collaboration among United Methodist health-care institutions, agencies, annual conferences, universities and local congregations. While this effort seeks to capitalize upon the church's historic commitment to ministry beyond the walls of church buildings, it also draws strength from within those walls and our 11.6 million members and 13 agencies.

United Methodist Communications and the boards of Global Ministries, Church and Society and Higher Education and Ministry, among others, are important partners in the Global Health Initiative.

Through its local congregations, The United Methodist Church has a "priceless infrastructure" of committed individuals who want to make a difference, according to the Rev. Larry Hollon, top executive of United Methodist Communications.

The church has people who will volunteer, share skills and information, and contribute money to help people in developing countries, he said.

Building and expanding partnerships

The United Methodist Church has long recognized the power of working partnerships to invest in the human and financial resources for fighting diseases of poverty.

These important partnerships will enable The United Methodist Church to do things it could not do before through existing resources and infrastructure — namely broaden its mission, help more children and save more lives. Such cooperation brings The United Methodist Church into relationships with partners who can use and work with the denomination's health-care resources worldwide.

We now have the opportunity to expand these partnerships to undertake a large-scale fund-raising and advocacy effort that will strengthen and increase the church's efforts to raise public awareness, advocate for humanitarian response, train community health workers, renew hospitals and clinics, and create a communications infrastructure for health ministries.