The SIU School of Medicine held a poverty simulation program. Ruth Heitkamp, is the program coordinator and says the simulation teaches students in several different health related programs to look beyond the clinic.
"Increase awareness and understanding of the daily struggles faced by children and adults and older adults living in poverty. So, we want the students to have a strong foundation on what poverty is. And we also want them to increase awareness of community and safety net programs that are available."
Students were divided into families and given tasks. Tasks like work, required 8 minutes, but students only had a total of 15 minutes. Poverty is linked to shorter life expectancy, limitations with routine activities because of chronic illness, it's a contributing factor to elder abuse, and more. Heitkamp says more than 70 students attended the simulation