Canadians have one thing right: They care about health

In poll after poll Canadians rank our Healthcare system as one of our top policy priorities. Rightly so, Canadians care an awful lot about health: their own health, the health of their family and friends, and the health of their communities.

 

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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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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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Blogging Mozambique 3: Income from Within

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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Faces of Mental Illness

Jack_Saddleback.jpg

Upstream is so pleased to see Jack Saddleback, a member of our Saskatoon community, selected for the Canadian Alliance on Mental Illness and Mental Health "Faces of Mental Illness" campaign.

As we strive for a healthy society, where everyone can enjoy full physical, social, and mental well-being, it is vital that we consider the factors that influence our mental health. The Canadian Mental Health Association tells us that these factors include "life experiences, workplace or other environments, and the social and economic conditions that shape our lives."

Sound familiar? Yep, we're talking about the social determinants of health.  Read on for Jack's story and more information about the campaign. 

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Connect upstream.