The Greater Plains Collaborative (GPC) is composed of 10 leading medical centers repurposing the research programs and informatics infrastructures developed through Clinical and Translational Science Award initiatives. Partners are the University of Kansas Medical Center, Children's Mercy Hospital, University of Iowa Healthcare, the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Medical College of Wisconsin and Marshfield Clinic, the University of Minnesota Academic Health Center, the University of Nebraska Medical Center, the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at San Antonio, and the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. The GPC network brings together a diverse population of 10 million people across 1300 miles covering seven states with a combined area of 679 159 square miles. Using input from community members, breast cancer was selected as a focus for cohort building activities. In addition to a high-prevalence disorder, we also selected a rare disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.