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. (Feb. 3, 2015) – 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 from 9 a.m.-noon Feb. 7 at St. Eulalia’s Church, 1851 S. 9th Ave. in Maywood and 6-9 p.m. Feb. 10 in Mundelein Auditorium, 1020 W. Sheridan Rd. on Loyola’s Lake Shore Campus.

During the 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, co-director for the University’s Institute for Transformative Interprofessional Education (I-TIE) and family medicine physician, Loyola University Health System. “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.”

Loyola faculty will determine how this simulation can be used in 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 at the University’s 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.”

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 schools of nursing, medicine, dietetics, social work and public health to ultimately improve care for patients.