Concurrent Sessions

E5-b – Why does money matter anyways? Advocating for income supports to increase health.

Theme 5. Why hasn’t this expanded: scalable pilot programs

  • Date: Thursday October 25, 2018
  • Concurrent Session E
  • Time: 11:00-11:45am
  • Room: Pier 2 & 3
  • Style: Presentation (information provided to audience, with opportunity for audience to ask question)
  • Focus: Balance between both (e.g. Presentation of a best-practice guideline that combines research evidence, policy issues and practical steps for implementation)
  • Target Audience: Leadership (ED, clinical lead, board chair, board member, etc.), Clinical providers, Representatives of stakeholder/partner organizations

Learning Objectives

  1. Discuss how poverty affects health and mental health
  2. Explore specific interventions to reduce poverty and improve health in clinical practice
  3. Provide practical tips and strategies to help advocate for income supports for our patients While this presentation can be covered in 45 minutes, a 1.5 hr presentation would allow for greater audience participation and a more thorough understanding of social support programs


In this engaging and interactive workshop participates will follow a case study of an individual from 25 years to retirement and explore the various income supports necessary to support this person’s health, increase medical care engagement, and increase medication adherence.  From mental health crisis through to retirement, participants will learn when to apply for various social programs, how to apply to them, as well as why money matters to support both mental and physical health.    This presentation will also discuss the Income Security Health Promotion program at St. Michael’s Academic Family Health Team.  An innovative program with big impacts on the social determinants of health.  This program is well researched and shows big impacts in three key  outcome areas: increasing income, reducing expenses, and improving financial literacy.   This interactive session will allow for question and answer periods and an engaging style as we investigate which social benefit program to apply to next.  Presented at various medical venues this workshop has received high praise for its interaction, engaging style, and the expertise of the presenters.  Engage with two income experts as we answer the question “why does money matter anyways”.


  • Alyssa Swartz, MSW RSW Income Security Health Promoter, St. Michael’s Academic Family Health Team
  • Chloe Walls, MSW, RSW Income Security Health Promoter, St. Michael’s Academic Family Health Team