Program builds community awareness for health care students and providers

Mark Couch, (303) 724-5377, [email protected]
Erik Wallace
Erik Wallace

COLORADO SPRINGS — Students and faculty from the University of Colorado School of Medicine and the University of Colorado Colorado Springs will participate in a two-day project in August called Poverty Immersion in Colorado Springs (PICOS) that aims to help them better understand the health care needs of the community.

“Just as health care students and providers need to know human anatomy, they also need to know the anatomy of the community in which they learn and practice,” said Dr. Erik Wallace, associate dean, University of Colorado School of Medicine Colorado Springs Branch. “The PICOS program will help us work collaboratively to improve the health of our community.”

PICOS is designed to give participants the knowledge and skills to describe demographics and health care disparities within the Colorado Springs community; to define health equity and analyze social determinants of health effects on health outcomes; and to obtain and utilize basic resources while experiencing life in poverty.

PICOS will be Aug. 10-11, and will include up to 40 participants from CU School of Medicine, the UCCS Graduate Program in Psychology, the UCCS Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences, and the Colorado Springs community.

The community developed the PICOS educational program to prepare for the arrival of 24 medical students to the CU School of Medicine Colorado Springs Branch in April 2016. These students, and cohorts that follow, will conduct their third-year clinical rotations with health care providers throughout the community.

Activities include community resource presentations, a simulated one-month poverty experience, an overnight shelter experience, and living “A Day in the Life” of people in our community who have limited resources.

Organizations contributing to the planning, operations, and funding of PICOS include:

Community Health Partnership, Kaiser Permanente Colorado, Colorado Springs Regional Business Alliance, Colorado Springs Rescue Mission, El Paso County Public Health, Leadership Pikes Peak, Memorial Hospital – University of Colorado Health, Peak Vista Community Health Centers, Pikes Peak United Way, University of Colorado Colorado Springs, UCCS Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences, University of Colorado School of Medicine Anschutz Medical Campus and the University of Colorado School of Medicine Colorado Springs Branch.

About the University of Colorado School of Medicine

Faculty at the University of Colorado School of Medicine work to advance science and improve care. These faculty members include physicians, educators and scientists at University of Colorado Health, Children’s Hospital Colorado, Denver Health, National Jewish Health, and the Denver Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The school is located on the Anschutz Medical Campus, one of four campuses in the University of Colorado system. To learn more about the medical school’s care, education, research and community engagement, visit its web site. The School’s Colorado Springs Branch began providing clinical learning experience for 24 third-year medical students.  For more information on the Colorado Springs Branch, visit http://medschool.ucdenver.edu/csbranch.

About the University of Colorado Colorado Springs

The University of Colorado Colorado Springs, located on Austin Bluffs Parkway in Colorado Springs, is one of the fastest-growing universities in Colorado. The university offers 39 bachelor’s degrees, 20 master’s and five doctoral degrees. UCCS enrolls about 11,300 students on campus annually and another 2,000 in online programs. For more information, visit www.uccs.edu.