Stop the baby battle and give dads their own paid leave

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The Globe and Mail's Denise Balkissoon has hit the nail on the head with this article. Her call for paternal leave looks 'upstream' at early childhood development (ECD) as a social determinant of health. A recent report from the Royal Society of Canada outlines the important role that this period plays in healthy development,

"Early childhood is an extremely sensitive period in human development...When the environment is a secure, positive one, these factors join forces to help maximize their potential. But when children face enduring obstacles to healthy development, such as poverty, inappropriate care, or violence, environment and biology may route them on a course to emotional, physical and mental health problems".

How can we think upstream about giving all Canadians the best start in life? How about making sure that both parents have an opportunity to influence those early days of health and development, without fearing income insecurity? 

(Psst- an added benefit of paternal leave? It contributes to more equal societies!)

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Blogging Mozambique 2: Life in the Developing Ward

Upstream Executive Director, Dr. Ryan Meili, is in Mozambique this summer as part of a program that gives medical students an opportunity to work with underserved populations and get a better understanding of the social determinants of health! Back in 2010, when Ryan was on a similar trip coordinating the program, he took some time to blog about his experience.

We’re going to share a few of those experiences with you here, some four years later.

Wishing all the best to Ryan, Mahli, Abraham, and the students!

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Thoughts on Storytelling

Do you remember the last time you heard a story that really stuck with you?

Maybe it was something you read in the news, or a first person account from someone you know. Maybe it was a movie, a book, a parable, or an oral history.

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'Groceryships' for Healthy Eating

Solving downstream problems often requires systems-level change, but today we’re looking at an upstream solution being implemented at the household level.

"So much of food movement and policy is focused on top-down stuff. And rightfully so, because that impacts the most people…We are coming from the opposite direction. We know that if you empower one family, the ripples through concentric circles of people they know can have profound effects.” - Sam Polk

The ground-up solution proposed?

Groceryships: scholarships for healthy food and healthy eating courses.

Read on and then tell us what you think – should your community get on board with ‘groceryships’?

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Blogging Mozambique 1: Introduction

Upstream Executive Director, Dr. Ryan Meili, is in Mozambique this summer as part of a program that gives medical students an opportunity to work with underserved populations and get a better understanding of the social determinants of health! Back in 2010, when Ryan was on a similar trip coordinating the program, he took some time to blog about his experience.

We’re going to share a few of those experiences with you here, some four years later.

Wishing all the best to Ryan, Mahli, Abraham, and the students!

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Upstream: #SendMeToGenMo

Upstream wants to send you to Generating Momentum 2014!

#SendMeToGenMo

Want to go to Generating Momentum 2014? We do! Read on to learn more about Generating Momentum and find out how to be entered to have Upstream send you to GenMo! 

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SK Public Looking Upstream for Better Health

Saskatoon residents are looking upstream for better health, says a recently published public opinion poll. The report indicates that 80% of respondents listed income as the most important factor affecting health. This is an encouraging upstream shift from 2006 data where nearly all respondents (98%) listed nutritious food as the top determinant of health. 

Read more from the Saskatoon Health Region and the Social Sciences Research Laboratory (University of Saskatchewan).

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Three Ideas to Improve Canadian Healthcare

“Health care is one thing that affects health, but there are many more powerful forces at play in determining whether or not people grow up and age in good health.”

Dr. Danielle Martin has three big ideas to improve Canadian health care, and they have 'upstream-thinking' written all over them. Have a listen to the video below, and let us know what upstream ideas YOU have to improve our ability to develop healthy societies. 

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Refugee decision a victory for compassion and common sense in Canadian health care

The latest blog from Upstream Director Ryan Meili on recent court decisions about refugee health care.

 

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When Housing Meets Health: Ontario's housing crisis is also a health crisis

Here's a great article that's already been getting a lot of attention this week. Dr. Stephen Hwang and Dr. Kwame McKenzie provide a compelling argument for the link between our access to safe & affordable housing and our health. Housing is a social determinant of health, and these authors are calling for upstream action on housing in Toronto, Ontario, where "close to 78,000 households are waiting for social housing, with almost 160,000 waiting Ontario-wide (that’s 3 per cent of all households)."

 Read on!

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Connect upstream.