We're seeing some great examples of upstream thinking from our friends in Colorado. Here's a piece by Sarah Mapes, director of communications at the Colorado Coalition for the Medically Underserved, about the need for upstream initiatives to fight health inequity.
"Addressing these inequities will take more than a focus on nutrition education, lowering alcohol and tobacco consumption, and increasing physical activity. These and many other important downstream solutions are already in place, but we need to take bigger, bolder action if we are to solve the underlying problems of poverty, racism, and other social inequalities that put people at a disadvantage from birth.
We as a state must both explore the upstream solutions that we could pursue to tackle health equity head on, while strengthening the programs and projects that are helping individuals overcome barriers to good health. That means increasing data collection to understand the experiences and needs of those facing disparities, engaging those affected in designing solutions, advancing economic opportunity, supporting community innovations, and much more."
Read the full article, "Health disparities place Coloradan's lives at risk," Sarah Mapes, Health News Colorado, May 21st, 2014.