Loyola University Chicago

Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing


Loyola students and staff to participate in poverty simulation

Exercise to teach compassion and empathy for underserved

MAYWOOD, Ill. - Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences students, faculty and staff will participate in simulations to help them better understand what it is like to live in poverty.

The simulations will take place Saturday, Oct. 25, at St. Eulalia’s Church at 1851 S. 9th Ave. in Maywood; Tuesday, Oct. 28, at Coffey Hall at 1000 W. Sheridan Road on Loyola’s Lakeshore Campus; and Saturday, Nov. 15, at the Rambler Room in Centennial Forum at 1125 W. Loyola Ave. at the Lakeshore Campus.

During the three-hour simulation, participants will role-play families living in poverty while others will serve as representatives from social service agencies.

“Participants will come away with a better understanding of the impact poverty has on health and well-being,” said Aaron Michelfelder, MD, family medicine physician, Loyola University Health System, and co-director for the Institute for Transformative Interprofessional Education (I-TIE), Loyola University Chicago. “This workshop also will teach our students, doctors, nurses and other health-care professionals how to better care comprehensively for patients in the context and realities in which they live.”

This workshop is part of a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Health Resources and Services Administration I-CARE-PATH grant (#UD7HP26040). The goal of the grant is to foster interprofessional education within the schools of nursing, medicine, dietetics, social work and public health to ultimately improve care for patients.

Loyola faculty will determine how this simulation can be used in a greater capacity within its curricula while Loyola doctors and other health-care professionals will be able to apply their findings directly to patient care.

“Loyola has a rich history of shaping our students into competent, compassionate, and socially responsible health-care professionals,” said Fran Vlasses, PhD, RN, NEA, FAAN, department chair in the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing and co-director for I-TIE. “This program is in line with our mission, as it gives our faculty and students a greater understanding of the needs of the underserved, making them more compassionate and well-rounded health-care professionals.”

Co-sponsors for the program are Loyola Chicago's I-TIE, Institute of Public Health, and Center for Community & Global Health.