Several lessons have been learned throughout the MECC journey: the management of the profile of MECC in the region with awareness and sensitivity, since participants at times received negative reactions from colleagues. MECC turned the media focus - and public attention generally - to shared humanitarian goals and to tangible outputs gained by promoting palliative medicine in the region. Public leadership also played an important part in supporting these cross-border initiatives. For example, officials from the US, Egypt, Jordan, Cyprus, Israel and Turkey participated in the opening ceremonies of a MECC-sponsored International Kids Art Exhibit held in Tel Aviv (November 2009), Istanbul (April 2010), and Nicosia (June 2010).

It was vital and essential to humanitarian focus on patients’ needs. At times, when interactions ventured into sensitive political areas, MECC played a respectful but important role in refocusing the discussion to address health needs and project activities. This common denominator enabled our partnerships to work, skirting national confrontations and political disagreements. In tangible ways, the MECC example of cross-border cooperation helped create a social infrastructure in the region for better understanding, respect and tolerance.