Our July 2021 update

Our July 2021 newsletter is out! Sign up here.

When will we return to normal? A question so many of us are considering, while at the same time recognizing some changes are here to stay. One change that will certainly persist is virtual care. This was the topic of the first of the four-part EXITE summer series, co-hosted by the Upstream Lab and the recording is available online. The session explored equity concerns, but I think much more work remains. My own experience as a clinician fits with what a recent Royal Society report found: that many people may have died at home and did not pursue or could not access care, virtual or otherwise. Another change that will persist is the recognition that data on social determinants is crucial during a public health crisis. We have seen many jurisdictions collect this data during COVID-19, but also make plans to continue. One example is Nova Scotia, which is also embedding a strong community-based approach, something called for by the EGAP framework. This relates to lessons and guidelines emerging from the SPARK Study. Finally, many are examining how work will change permanently post-pandemic. In the Upstream Lab, we feel it is crucial that these discussions engage the workers most impacted by precarity, low wages and automation. In the next few months, you will hear more about our work on engaging personal support workers in upstream policy change, building on our research findings. We look forward to continuing to be a resource to communities and organizations, catalyzing discussions and developing new approaches, as we all envision a healthier and more equitable world emerging from the pandemic.

Published by Andrew Pinto

Dr. Andrew Pinto is the founder and director of The Upstream Lab. He is a Public Health and Preventive Medicine specialist and family physician at St. Michael’s Hospital. Dr. Pinto completed his residency at the University of Toronto and his Master’s in Health Policy, Planning and Financing at the London School of Economics and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine as a Commonwealth Scholar. Currently, he is a Scientist in the Centre for Urban Health Solutions at the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital and an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto.

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