MSUToday
Published: March 23, 2018

Simulation workshop helps fight poverty in the community

Contact(s): Sarina Gleason Media Communications office: (517) 355-9742 sarina.gleason@cabs.msu.edu, Jill Vondrasek College of Nursing office: (517) 353-8742 jill.vondrasek@hc.msu.edu

Michigan State University’s College of Nursing and the School of Social Work will jointly provide a workshop for healthcare professionals that focuses on poverty in the Lansing area.

The event, Poverty: A Call to Action for the Greater Lansing Community, will be held on April 27 from 1 to 5 p.m. at the MSU Federal Credit Union Farm Lane branch. It is open to individuals at all skill and experience levels. The goal is to empower participants to brainstorm strategies for a call to action.

Although poverty is a global issue, community members, human service professionals and others are typically not educated on what poverty really is and how navigating the system affects family dynamics and stress. To help build understanding and empathy, this workshop will utilize a community-based simulation—an immersive, experiential opportunity designed to expose participants to the everyday struggles faced by those living in poverty.

“Poverty is the intensive care of community health,” said Roxane Chan, assistant professor in MSU’s College of Nursing. “Healthcare professionals need to understand the complex relationships between the social determinants of health, the physiological and emotional changes that occur in individuals in poverty, and our multilayered political system in order to eliminate or lessen the grip of poverty in our country.”

The workshop format includes small- and large-group discussions and multimedia presentations. It will also help identify community resources to assist individuals and families in need. Local leaders and experts in poverty will serve as panelists for a debriefing of the experience. 

Panelists include:

  • Joan Jackson Johnson; director of the City of Lansing’s Human Relations & Community Services
  • Jessica Martin; MSU law enforcement officer
  • Andrea Martineau; coordinator of MSU’s Fostering Academics, Mentoring Excellence Program
  • Marcella Wilson; CEO and founder of Transition to Success, a model to address poverty, social injustice and health care inequities

“In the United States, the poverty rates overall are decreasing,” Chan said. “However, the difference between the poor and the rich is widening at a rapid rate. This is leaving areas of poverty unlike anything we have seen before.” 

Register for the workshop here. Telephone and e-mail registration will not be accepted. Cost is $15 per person and includes all seminar materials and refreshments.

Nurses who participate in the event will be eligible for 3.75 hours of continuing education; social workers will be eligible for 3.5 hours.

If you have questions or would like more information about the workshop, e-mail Rosalva Aguilar or call (517) 355-3393

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