Staying Close to the Source


Yesterday in clinic one of my patients phoned to say she wouldn't make her appointment. Buses aren't running in Saskatoon this week because of a lockout of transit workers, and she had no way to get to clinic.

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Why upstream thinking is so damn difficult: Part 2

Earlier today I began to consider why upstream thinking is so damn difficult, and now I’m going to look at three reasons as to why this is the case. Take a look at that before diving in here if you'd like a bit of a background on what I mean by "downstream" "upstream" and the metaphor of the river. 

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Bridging the Gap

Arguably, I did not have the coolest major in university. I was a political science major, with a focus on Canadian Politics. People’s eyes seemed to glaze over when I talked about what I was taking at university. I admit, compared to some of the sexier political fields like International Relations, Canadian Politics can seem a little ho-hum.  But, to me, there was nothing more interesting than understanding how our political system affected the day-to-day lives of Canadians.

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Why upstream thinking is so damn difficult: Part 1

The first time I heard about thinking upstream, it was through a little story that we affectionately refer to as our ‘founding myth’. The story goes, you’re standing on the edge of a river, the story goes, and suddenly see a flailing, drowning child.

You dive in to rescue her, only to see another child, and then another, and another. You call others over to help you. As you pull child after child out of the river, someone finally asks, “Who keeps chucking these kids in the river?” and they head upstream to find out.

 

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What does building community have to do with it?

com·mu·ni·ty

kəˈmyo͞onitē/

2. a feeling of fellowship with others, as a result of sharing common attitudes, interests, and goals.

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People's Climate Mobilization

A healthy planet is an essential component of a healthy society, and many are now pointing to climate change as the greatest threat to human life and wellbeing. This Sunday, September 21, thousands of citizens from around the world will gather in New York City to bring attention to the global climate crisis, with thousands more joining them in satellite events across the globe.

1500 events have been registered for September 21 in over 130 countries. Will you join us in demanding upstream action to address climate change? The time to act is now.  

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Portrait of a Scared Scientist

The world is not acting fast enough about climate change and now scared scientists are starting to tell their stories. 

Photographer Nick Bowers invites us to look the truth in the eye through these portraits of climate scientists as they reveal their greatest fears about climate inaction. We know that our environment is a factor to our health, and that now is the time to act. 


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Taking Care of Childcare Data

Upstream thinking and upstream ideas rely on current, accurate, and relevant data. Increasing data and evidence around many of the social determinants that dictate lifelong health are encouraging, but organizations' abilities to maintain current data isn't a given.

Recently, the Childcare Resource an Research Unit that maintains current data, and releases regular reports, on the status of childcare and early childhood education in Canada is feeling the squeeze. They're turning to the public to help. 

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What had the biggest impact on health outcomes?

Dr. Ryan Meili provides some insight into what has the biggest impact on our health outcomes. The answer may surprise you! 

#UpstreamThinking is the right thing to do and the smart thing to do. 

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"My Basic Income": Michael Bohmeyer's Story

More than exercise or diet, income is the leading factor in determining our health, with poverty being the root cause of poor health for so many Canadians.

Enter: basic income. That is, a minimum income below which no Canadian would fallan idea that could make an enormous difference to our collective, long-term well-being. 

But beyond keeping us healthy, a minimum annual income could also revolutionize the way we look at our time, our relationships, and our work, truly challenging the idea of what's good for us.

Check out this interview with Michael Bohmeyer, a German 29-year old who decided to stop working and instead live off the $1300/month he gets from his tech startup. Bohmeyer might get you thinking-

"What would you spend your time doing if your basic needs were met?"

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Connect upstream.