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  • Jennifer Slepin, MSN, RN

My Why


In Simon Sinek's famous TED talk he discusses "the WHY" of successful people and companies. Sinek defines "the WHY" as "that purpose, cause, or belief which inspires and drives you to do what you do". He suggests if you act on your WHY, you will be working in a way that doesn't feel like work and is aligned with your true purpose.

UCSF's ECHO+ programIt's exciting, intense, and uncertain. Just the way I like it. I've just returned from a 6 month cross country trip, meeting people all along the way and talking about hepatitis C. Now, I've landed back in San Francisco for a short period of time and then I'll head up into Northern CA to begin the outreach work with . I'm beginning to get into the real work now, making connections, attending meetings, planning. I'm creating an outreach program in collaboration with some world class researchers and clinicians.

I feel a lot of things; fear that people may categorize me as "crazy" to be undertaking such a pioneering venture at the age of 59, exhilaration to be doing such creative work as a Registered Nurse, and gratitude that this opportunity to do truly good work has come my way. Saying yes to the challenge of crossing the country by myself strengthened my self reliance. I had to go to the edge of what I thought I was capable of, and then push a bit farther. I proved that I'm up to the task of taking healthcare out to the most rural of areas, living amongst the people to whom I am in service.

In the picture to the left, I'm wearing a hospital bracelet. When I sit in that seat to have my blood drawn, lay in the noisy claustrophobic MRI machine to have my abdomen scanned, or have discussions with my providers about my high risk for cancer, I am no longer a nurse. I too, sit in the seat of vulnerability. With cure, there comes great hope. I sit with each of you who suffers from this disease. I will fight for your rights and give voice to our cause.

This is my WHY. The foundation of my motivation is my lived experience with what I often refer to as my unwelcome, uninvited guest- HCV. I do this work for the millions of others who suffer.

PS- this was my 6 month SVR and I'm happy to say, no virus detected!!


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