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Markle Foundation

March 2012

Markle Foundation The Markle Foundation, based in New York City, works to realize the full potential of information and information technology to address critical public needs, particularly in the areas of health and national security. Collaboration with other funders and other sectors has been vital to Markle's success. The Foundation Center asked Zoe Baird Budinger, the foundation's current president:

Question Last year, the Markle Foundation and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation co-sponsored the Blue Button Developer Challenge, the purpose of which was "to stimulate innovation and...let customers securely download their medical information at the click of a blue button." What opportunities currently exist for other funders advancing the effective use of information technology in the health care field to collaborate with you?

Answer "The idea for the 'Blue Button' download capability was generated through a Markle collaborative working group process. From its inception, we have strongly believed that 'Blue Button' technology — the ability of patients to download their health data — provides for a paradigm shift in how patients access their medical information, a shift that empowers patients to take a more active and effective role in managing their own health care. After Markle and our partners developed a detailed policy and technology guide on the download capability and launched the Blue Button Developer Challenge, the federal government took a strong leadership role in bringing this functionality to market. We hope and expect that the 'Blue Button' concept will continue to proliferate and be adopted across the health care industry, enabling innovation and transformation of the provision of health care and leading to better outcomes and reduced costs for the entire health system.

"At Markle, we are convinced that collaboration across sectors is key to finding solutions that work in our complex, connected world. Both in our health and national security work, we bring together innovators and thought leaders from the public and private sectors whose expertise lies in information technology, privacy, civil liberties, health, and national security. This has enabled us to offer comprehensive recommendations for sectoral change, many of which have become law through acts of Congress and by executive orders.

"We always welcome collaboration with other funders interested in advancing the effective use of information technology in the health care field. We do all our work in collaboration with others. It is essential to effective broad scale change and that includes collaboration among funders working in the public interest in the same field."

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