Upstream Initiative

Our mission: To impact the health outcomes of the populations we serve by addressing the endemic social and environmental factors upstream of their traditional medical care. 

Our purpose: Build the organizational capacity of UIHC, and our community resources, to engage and assist clients and patients in improving health outcomes by addressing social determinants.

The Upstream Initiative was born out of the recognition that patients within the High Risk Obstetrics Clinic at UIHC were facing significant social factors in their life outside of the hospital or clinic that were negatively affecting their pregnancy. In 2016, a group of CCOM students completed a needs survey of this population and found that up to 40% of patients were negatively affected by social determinants of health with food insecurity being a primary concern of the clinic population, especially amongst patients with diabetes.

Today, the Upstream Initiative is an interdisciplinary group of graduate health professions students, nursing students, and undergraduate students who volunteer in the High-Risk Obstetrics Clinic at UIHC and serve by connecting patients with resources in their hometown to combat food insecurity and transportation needs. The Upstream Initiative is also growing to support other clinics and community partners such as the Coralville Food Pantry and Mobile Clinic. Volunteering allows students to gain early exposure to working with patients and providers at UIHC and provides opportunities for leadership, research, and service projects.

If you’re interested in volunteering with the Upstream Initiative, please email or reach out to one of the CCOM representatives on the Executive Board.

Board Members: