Mission, Vision, and Values

Mission, Vision, and Values

Mission & Vision

Our Mission
We work shoulder-to-shoulder with countries and communities to save lives and improve the health of the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people by building strong, resilient, sustainable health systems.

Our Vision
A world where everyone has the opportunity for a healthy life.

Our Values

In 2022, MSH ran an inclusive process involving hundreds of staff from more than 20 countries, to determine our organizational values. These are the core ethics, behaviors, and principles to which we commit to abide – a promise to each other and our stakeholders that this is the experience you should expect when you interact with MSH.

icon-equity Respect

icon-accountability Accountability

icon-Equity Equity

icon-impact Impact

About Our Values


At MSH, respect is at the center of our mission and everything we do. Respect for each other; respect for our partners and donors; and respect for every person who is touched by our work, wherever they are in the world. We are an inclusive, people-centered organization that respects divergent views. Collaboration, humility, and empathy enable us to hear and act on the best ideas from our stakeholders and achieve the greatest impact. We seek to recognize the efforts of everyone involved in our vital work and support their diverse needs.


MSH’s work depends on trust among communities, partner organizations, governments, and donors. We manage the funds entrusted to us responsibly and with the utmost integrity. We believe that as a mission-driven, nonprofit organization, we are financially and morally accountable to deliver the highest quality work. We seek to be transparent and insist on accountability among one another and our partners. We take personal and professional responsibility—and pride—in our work and the impact it has. 


MSH is a global organization with colleagues from widely diverse backgrounds. As we seek to deliver on the promise of universal health coverage, we know that historical and current injustices affect different communities in many ways. Equity is central to our response: seeking to understand, address, and overcome the systemic inequities behind the intractable problems that undermine health care advances. We seek to develop the capacity of our colleagues and partners and to elevate health leaders and emerging professionals globally. By taking this approach, we improve the health outcomes of those who have been most disenfranchised and create greater health equity. 


At MSH, we strive for impact and a culture of evidence-based actions in all we do. Our technical expertise, professionalism, data-driven decision making, quality program delivery, and ambition to accomplish more are essential to ensure that we achieve the greatest impact for our partner communities around the world. We seek to learn from each experience and share that learning with one another and our peer organizations. We take a systems thinking approach to ensure the quality of our activities to secure long-lasting impact. We believe local partnerships result in global impact. 

The Tao of Leadership

In the late 1960s, MSH founder Dr. Ron O’Connor was introduced to a poem based on the Tao Te Ching, “The Tao of Leadership.” It was introduced to him by a Japanese doctor in Nepal with whom he worked, Dr. Noboru Iwamura. Dr. Iwamura embodied the selflessness and humility that inspired Dr. O’Connor and is expressed in the Tao of Leadership. These values still resonate today in our daily work and serve as continuing inspiration to our staff in the many countries where we work.

Go to the people

Live with them

Love them

Learn from them

Start with what they have

Build on what they know.

But of the best leaders

When their task is accomplished

The work is done

The people will say

We have done it ourselves.

– Lao Tzu, “The Tao of Leadership”