Episode 13 of the More than Health Care: A Community Health Conversation podcast is now available on the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities’ website and on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, and Spotify. Every other week, a new episode uncovers keys to collaboration and holistic health in pursuit of improved health outcomes and lower costs for all.  

CUPS is an organization located in Calgary, Alberta, Canada, whose vision centers on helping its community overcome adversity, reach their potential, and end the cycle for poverty and trauma for themselves and their families. This episode explores how this organization designs its programs around brain science and why that is crucial for long-term, positive change.

One of the leaders at CUPS who is helping develop and promote the 40 services offered by the organization is Director of Philanthropy and Special Projects, Patricia Bailey. She emphasizes that CUPS is adamant in its belief that for the best outcomes, the services must be client-led with each person served being placed at the forefront to make decisions regarding their care. “We’re providing the appropriate clinicians [and] subject matter experts to get them where they need to go, but it’s collaborative, and it really needs for it to come from the client to be successful,” said Bailey.

From its inception nearly 30 years ago helping chronically homeless clients get basic care, CUPS has evolved into a sophisticated, evidenced-based organization using data to drive its program development and client interaction. “Everything we’ve done is rooted in brain science, and our ultimate goal is to build resiliency so the people that we see in low-income populations or vulnerable populations don’t fall back into crisis,” Bailey explains. And the results have been recognized! CUPS was recently named one of the top-10 most impactful charities in Canada and has received a gold-star rating from the University of Calgary for reliability. Most importantly, the tangible highlights of success are in the results; an example being CUPS Child Development Center where 100% of the children that have come through it have graduated high school.

In the future, CUPS may look to make a broader impact, possibly advocating across Canada to promote the services it provides. But Bailey points out that success, especially on a larger scale, means fostering partnerships and collaborating with other nonprofits and philanthropic organizations whether those relationships are formal or informal. And given the outcomes from CUPS current, evidence-based program achievements, other organizations should welcome the opportunity to join forces.

Listen as Bailey provides a deeper insight into CUPS belief in evidence-based brain science and its use in making positive differences within its client-led services in Episode 13 of the  More than Health Care Podcast  available through the Alliance website or subscribe on the Apple Podcast, Google Play, or Spotify apps

About the Podcast

While many are realizing that collaboration and holistic approaches are the solution, the health care and human services sectors are struggling to find the right formula to realize the full potential. The More than Health Care podcast is designed to help organizations overcome barriers to partnerships resulting from cultural differences, financial pressures, and rules and regulations. 

In addition to showcasing inspiring examples of integration from across the country, featured experts will expose the myths, misconceptions, and shortcomings of efforts to address the social determinants of health through collaboration across sectors. 

This podcast is presented by the Alliance for Strong Families and Communities, Ascentria Care Alliance, and Beech Acres Parenting Center. Cohosts Jill Huynh, vice president of new business development at Beech Acres, and Tim Johnstone, executive vice president of community services at Ascentria, work at the intersection of health and human services, bringing the expertise and practical experience to uncover key takeaways for improving health care and human services integration. 

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Learn more about the Alliance's efforts to improve population health and well-being.