“I didn’t like it.” This response, made by one of the 80 March 27, 2013, participants in the Entergy-sponsored, Center for Bioethics and Medical Humanities implementation of the Poverty Simulation Experience to Amani Bailey, CBMH Education Administrator, captures an appropriate reaction to the frustration and escalating tensions that accompany managing a household with insufficient resources.
The simulation, developed by the Missouri Association for Community Action, Jefferson County, Missouri, aims to “sensitize participants to the realities faced by low-income people.”
“I see things differently,” was a comment raised by many in the group discussion that followed the actual simulation.
The learning outcomes of the Poverty Simulation Experience were many. As individuals, participants experienced the urgent and myriad challenges of limited resources. As a community of caregivers, they considered how pressures generated by insufficient resources complicate how health, disease, and health care are experienced. As health educators, they reflected on the effects of even modest losses and delays where the margin between barely managing and outright poverty is slim.
Plans are now underway to provide opportunities for UMMC students to engage the Poverty Simulation Experience, as well as again to extend it to UMMC staff and community health care partners. Inquiries about future participation can be addressed to Amani Bailey, MA, MPH.