Episode #171 Operationalizing Love in Healthcare Organizations – with Stephanie Feals & Dr. Apurv Gupta


The number one question I get asked after my presentations and seminars is, “But Zeev, what can I do?”  Making positive humanistic change in healthcare seems daunting, if not impossible. The system is incredibly entrenched. And yet, in this interview we’re going to hear examples of leaders who have used the principle of ‘love’ to create positive, impactful, and measurable change in their healthcare organizations.  

Our two guests in this episode – Dr. Apurv Gupta and Stephanie Feals – have been on a journey to explore and share how ‘love’ is being deployed in healthcare organizations – not just as a vision or mission, but as a tactical operating principle. They co-founded and co-host a wonderful podcast entitled, ‘Making Healthcare Work For You’, which I highly recommend.

In addition, Dr. Gupta – who is VP of Advisory Services at Premier Inc – has been consulting to organizations who are interested in creating a ‘loving’ healthcare organization. I find this to be incredibly encouraging and inspiring – that a publicly held company with the size, stature and reputation of Premier is supporting its people and its clients in working to rehumanize healthcare. 

In this episode, we’ll hear about nationally renowned leaders and organizations who have been deploying love as a leadership principle. There are many pearls of wisdom that Apurv and Stephanie shared.  I’ll briefly mention three:  

  1. If we believe ‘love’ to be an important component and principle in healthcare delivery, we need to make it part of our daily narrative. Dr. Gupta puts it this way, “The conversation changes with us. Organizational culture is about conversation. Healthcare relationships are about conversation. If we think ‘love’ is important, we have to include it in the conversation.”

  2. The principle of ‘love’ has to become integral to the daily operations of organizations. It has to be manifest in strategic decisions, policies and protocols, and in the daily management approach. Rather than placing the onus on individuals, the focus should be on the organizational infrastructure.

  3. Ultimately, ‘love’ is the responsibility of leaders – in creating the conversation, the culture and the infrastructure that supports a loving organization. As Dr. Gupta put it, “… it starts with one person – with that spirit of courage, optimism and hope…”

I would love to hear your thoughts about this.  If this interview resonates with you, please comment on it and share it with others.

Zeev Neuwirth, MD