Why Upstream? A Broad View of Health

Our mission reflects a commitment to focus on the community conditions that impact health. To
improve the long-standing health issues confronting our community, we must address underlying
factors that cause disease and sickness. This “upstream” approach to addressing the root causes,
or social determinants of health, requires changes to structural and systemic barriers.

This following graphic shows the difference between a downstream (direct services) approach versus
the upstream (systems, policy, etc.) approach.


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