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The Multiple Intervention Programs Invitational Symposia Series was developed to address topical and challenging issues of relevance to invited researchers, decision makers, and program planners working in the field of public health and specifically focused on Multiple Intervention Programming (MIPs).

The objectives of the Symposia Series were to:

  • Develop strategies to integrate multiple intervention program research findings into programs and policies;
  • Identify new multiple intervention program research approaches sensitive to government needs and realities; and
  • Document insights gained for participants and the larger public health community.

The third in a series of three invitational symposia was held in April, 2009 under the direction of Dr. Nancy Edwards of the University of Ottawa. Previous symposia looked at issues of context and equity within MIPs (Inaugural Symposium 2007: “Changing Contexts”) and (Symposium 2008: “Addressing Public Health Inequities”).

Symposium Background, Purpose, and Organization

The theme for the 2009 symposium was “Achieving Vertical and Horizontal Integration.” The symposium tackled the question of how issues of MIP structure, process, and equity related to vertical and horizontal integration can improve MIP outcomes. In addition to researchers, decision makers, and program planners, key leaders of community health services where integration is essential to effectiveness and efficiency were invited to participate.

The overarching goal of the symposium was to examine the theoretical, empirical, experiential, and ethical base for the vertical and horizontal integration of multiple intervention programs.

The objectives of this symposium were to explore:

  1. The challenges inherent in developing accountability, governance, and other structural components essential for integration;
  2. The critical processes required for successful integration; and
  3. The ethical foundations for an equity-oriented approach to integration.

Symposium presentations, panel discussions, and work groups provided venues to explore how to develop MIP program policy, design, and research, and how to work together over and across sectoral and jurisdictional levels to improve public health.

In preparation for the symposium, participants were asked to consider issues relevant to multiple intervention programs and integration. Background readings were provided to initiate this process.

Symposium Opening

The symposium began with welcomes, introductions, and opening remarks by Nancy Edwards. She set out the objectives of the Symposium to provide the context for the broad-ranging and substantive presentations and deliberations to follow. Edwards then thanked the Symposium sponsors and introduced and thanked the members of the Planning Team and the MICOP (Multiple Intervention Community of Practice) Group who assisted with Symposium planning and organization.