IWU to host Cost of Poverty Experience

Indiana Wesleyan University Interprofessional Education (IPE) Task Force is teaming up with Circles of Grant County and Northeast Area Healthcare Education Center (NEI-AHEC) on Tuesday, Oct. 25 to host the second annual Cost of Poverty Experience (COPE) for students. The three-hour simulation is designed to offer participants a glimpse into the lives of low-income individuals and families living in the community. Participants will able to experience first-hand the obstacles that are faced, the decisions that are made and the consequences that impact families every day.

During the simulation, students will be assigned a role in a family, where they will navigate through a month of tasks such as work, school, healthcare, paying bills, and leveraging available resources and services. The following are anonymous comments from students after last year’s experience:   

  • “It was tough. I can’t believe how stressful it was and how I really had to think about what I was doing.”
  • “It was a good experience and portrayed issues/struggles people can really face, and how difficult it can be to get where you need to live.”
  • “I will be more understanding of those with numerous demands and limited resources.”
  • “I am more likely to have more empathy for families and know how to assist them.”

The IPE Task Force is a group of faculty from the health and caring professions, led by Ruth Eby, associate dean, non-residential, IWU School of Nursing. The task force encourages education and collaboration among the health and caring professions. 

Circles of Grant County is affiliated with Circles USA, a non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire and equip families and communities to thrive and resolve poverty. The organization has hosted several poverty simulations in Grant County over the past few years, this being the first of its kind with a focus on healthcare.

The NEI-AHEC is part of a state and nationwide network of programs working to enhance access to quality health care, particularly primary and preventative care, by improving the supply and distribution of health care professionals through community/ academic educational partnerships. NEI-AHEC serves 17 counties in Northeast Indiana. Grant County is one of their areas of priority because it is a designated area of Primary Care Health Professional Shortage.

Indiana Wesleyan University
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Marion, IN 46953

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