Late last month, CleanSlate leadership had the opportunity to participate in a Community Action Poverty Simulation with Vanderbilt University School of Nursing’s Office of Diversity.
The simulation allowed CleanSlate colleagues to walk a mile in the shoes of those facing poverty during a three-hour experience where participants assumed the roles of low-income family members living on a very limited budget.
During the simulation, participants provided for their families and maintained their homes for “one month” during the course of four 15-minute “weeks.” This activity allowed CleanSlate leaders to rethink the challenges experienced by millions of low income individuals throughout the country and discuss the potential for change within the local communities we serve every day.
CleanSlate would like to thank the Vanderbilt School of Nursing Office of Diversity facilitators, Tamika Hudson and Jannyse Starks, along with the wonderful team of Nashville Edgehill community volunteers.
Below are a few takeaways from the group:
“Running between multiple agencies, spending (trading) countless hours for this benefit or that one is a daunting task even for an college-educated adult not suffering from the disease of addiction. We need to always be mindful to maximize the time we have with our patients as efficiently as possible, and to think about being accessible particularly during those times that aren’t competing for other life sustaining necessities. My heart hurts for our patients and their struggles. I will always be empathetic and fight to help them navigate towards a better life, towards peace, and creating solutions that give them a chance to not just survive, but to thrive. When you approach everyone with dignity, respect, and sincere love as fellow human-being, you give them hope,” said Cory McConnell, Expansion Business Partner.
“As I went through the simulation a lot of emotions went through my head. I could relate to what my parents were going through financially with two children. It made me understand the struggles someone in addiction (like my mom and our patients) face to provide for themselves or their families. I wake up thankful for the work we as an organization do every day. I am happy to help people who are suffering get back to living a life they and their families deserve,” said Stephanie Steiner, Director of Customer Service.
“It’s very easy to forget how difficult most of our patients’ lives are outside of our centers. Not only are they battling addiction and fighting to just survive every day, but they are most likely having to jump through hurdles and overcome obstacles that many of us couldn’t even begin to imagine. We have to keep those hurdles in mind when we are treating our patients, working them in to our schedules, speaking with them, etc. We can’t lose sight of the outside factors that all play a role in their treatment. The simulation was a breath of fresh air for me. It was a resurgence and reinforcement as to why I specifically chose to join CleanSlate,” said Juliana Serafini, Physician Talent Acquisition Consultant.
How can you put yourself in the shoes of our patients to relate to their daily challenges?