Poverty Simulation: Teach Compassion and Empathy | Loyola Medicine
Tuesday, February 3, 2015

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.

About Loyola Medicine and Trinity Health

Loyola Medicine, a member of Trinity Health, is a quaternary care system based in the western suburbs of Chicago that includes Loyola University Medical Center (LUMC), Gottlieb Memorial Hospital, MacNeal Hospital and convenient locations offering primary and specialty care services from 1,877 physicians throughout Cook, Will and DuPage counties. LUMC is a 547-licensed-bed hospital in Maywood that includes the William G. and Mary A. Ryan Center for Heart & Vascular Medicine, the Cardinal Bernardin Cancer Center, a Level 1 trauma center, Illinois's largest burn center, a certified comprehensive stroke center and a children’s hospital. Having delivered compassionate care for over 50 years, Loyola also trains the next generation of caregivers through its teaching affiliation with Loyola University Chicago’s Stritch School of Medicine and Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing. Gottlieb is a 247-licensed-bed community hospital in Melrose Park with 150 physician offices, an adult day care program, the Gottlieb Center for Fitness, the Loyola Center for Metabolic Surgery and Bariatric Care and the Loyola Cancer Care & Research at the Marjorie G. Weinberg Cancer Center at Melrose Park. MacNeal Hospital is a 374-bed teaching hospital in Berwyn with advanced inpatient and outpatient medical, surgical and psychiatric services, advanced diagnostics and treatments. MacNeal has a 12-bed acute rehabilitation unit, a 25-bed inpatient skilled nursing facility, and a 68-bed behavioral health program and community clinics. MacNeal has provided quality, patient-centered care to the near west suburbs since 1919.

Trinity Health is one of the largest multi-institutional Catholic healthcare systems in the nation, serving diverse communities that include more than 30 million people across 22 states. Trinity Health includes 94 hospitals, as well as 109 continuing care locations that include PACE programs, senior living facilities and home care and hospice services. Its continuing care programs provide nearly 2.5 million visits annually. Based in Livonia, Mich., and with annual operating revenues of $18.3 billion and assets of $26.2 billion, the organization returns $1.1 billion to its communities annually in the form of charity care and other community benefit programs. Trinity employs about 133,000 colleagues, including 7,800 employed physicians and clinicians. Committed to those who are poor and underserved in its communities, Trinity is known for its focus on the country's aging population. As a single, unified ministry, the organization is the innovator of Senior Emergency Departments, the largest not-for-profit provider of home health care services—ranked by number of visits—in the nation, as well as the nation’s leading provider of PACE (Program of All Inclusive Care for the Elderly) based on the number of available programs.