In this plenary address, I introduce the Global Congress for Qualitative Health Research, its purpose, and its role internationally. Within this context, I explore the origins and development of qualitative health research, the content of qualitative health research, its components, and its contribution to health research. I argue that qualitative inquiry develops in levels, building from exploration and description of phenomena to the identification of concepts, the theoretical basis for quantitative inquiry, qualitative theory development, and to utilization, implementation, and evaluation. This incremental development is not purposefully planned, but occurs as a result of voluminous inquiry into similar topics using different qualitative approaches and designs. A single study rarely makes a breakthrough; rather, we must recognize the conglomerate of qualitative studies that give it validity and strength. The Global Congress for Qualitative Health Research will provide a forum for international collaboration for the development of qualitative health research.