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Community Health

Working upstream allows us to reduce or prevent negative health outcomes downstream for individuals, communities, and entire populations.

Image by Jim Basio

Here is a Public Health parable that illustrates what Upstream work is and how it can help:

“Imagine a large river with a high waterfall. At the bottom of this waterfall hundreds of people are working frantically trying to save those who have fallen into the river and have fallen down the waterfall, many of them drowning. 

As the people along the shore are trying to rescue as many as possible one individual looks up and sees a seemingly

never-ending stream of people falling down the waterfall and they begin to run upstream. 

One of the other rescuers yells,

“Where are you going? There are so many people that need help here."

To which the man replied,

“I’m going upstream to find out why so many people are falling into the river.”

- Saul Alinsky

Image by Tim Foster
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