Blog Post
importance of leadership in healthcare organizations requires a north star and people to answer why

The Importance of Why

Date: 
Jun. 14, 2017

by Healthforce Center at UCSF Director Sunita Mutha, MD, FACP

In 2017, health care organizations face great uncertainty about funding for health care and the ability to sustain coverage and access for large numbers of people.

In a time of such great flux, the relevant question to ask and answer for yourself is: “Why do you do this work?” Staying connected to your why is what will sustain and fortify your passion in the midst of uncertainty. Your why serves as a compass, guiding you through the hard work of determining the how and what while maintaining your focus on vision and impact. Your why is your north star.

I expect there will be similarities in your answers. Many health care professionals share a commitment to improving care for vulnerable populations and you identify with a social justice mission.  And you have identified ourselves as leaders of change and invested in your capacity to transform health care. You believe in the power of leadership in healthcare organizations.

So, what’s my answer to why? I am passionate about improving equity in care and enhancing the effectiveness of leaders who are mission driven. I see the change that activated, passionate leaders are driving throughout the safety net and am committed to accelerating that work.

Now, it’s your turn. What is your answer? Why do you do this work?


Sunita Mutha, MD, FACP is director of Healthforce Center, a professor of clinical medicine and internist at the University of California, San Francisco. With more than 20 years of experience as a physician and health researcher, she brings a deep knowledge of the health care landscape and a passion for preparing leaders to improve health in their communities and beyond.

Blog Category: