“Our Charlotte medical school campus is thrilled to be partnering with Crisis Assistance Ministry to bring to life the impact that social situations such as poverty, homelessness, hunger, and social support have on health and quality of life. The stories shared help our future physicians realize that community organizations such as Crisis Assistance Ministry are as important, if not more important, to the patient’s health as our medical care.”Heather Tarantino, MD, FACP
Campus Director, Assistant Dean
Interim Vice Chair of Education, Associate Professor
Atrium Department of Internal Medicine
This year, over 200 Atrium Health staff and medical students have participated in virtual poverty awareness experiences with Crisis Assistance Ministry. Facilitated by civic engagement manager Bonnie Tiernan, the sessions present participants with an online simulation highlighting the difficult choices families are often forced to make when struggling with limited financial resources. The discussion expands when Crisis Assistance Ministry’s customer advocates share their personal struggles and experiences.
The sessions are part of an ongoing partnership between Atrium and Crisis Assistance Ministry that aims to sensitize healthcare providers to the challenges their patients may face outside the walls of the examining room. As one customer advocate puts it, “A pill can’t fix all my problems.”
Atrium Health is committed to improving health, elevating hope, and advancing healing for everyone, and Crisis Assistance Ministry is honored to play a role in that vital work. By leveraging its decades of experience supporting the most vulnerable members of our community, the agency provides powerful, real-world lessons that inform and impact healthcare workers. Untangling and addressing the relationship between poverty and health is complicated, but it all begins with listening and learning.
To learn more about the Poverty Simulation or a Virtual Poverty Awareness Experience, contact our Civic Engagement Team.