Between August 2013 and April 2014, eight family medicine organizations convened to develop a strategic plan and communication strategy for how our discipline might partner with patients and communities to build a new foundation for American health care. An outline of this initiative, Family Medicine for America's Health (FMAHealth), was formally announced to the public in October 2014. The purpose of this paper and the five papers to follow is to describe the guiding principles of FMAHealth in greater detail. FMAHealth is taking place at a pivotal point in the history of American health care, when the deficiencies of our overly expensive, underperforming health care delivery system are becoming more apparent than ever. By forming strategic partnerships to implement this initiative, family medicine seeks to define a new approach to health system leadership, care delivery, education, and research. This will require substantial reorientation of existing priorities and reimbursement systems, which are focused on delivering services, instead of on improving health. Family medicine is committed to engaging and empowering patients, their families and communities, and other health care professionals to establish a more equitable, effective, and efficient delivery system--a system in which health is the primary design element and the "Triple Aim" is the guiding principle.