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Building Community Awareness

CU School of Medicine

8/3/2016

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – 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 Erik Wallace, MD, associate dean for the University of Colorado School of Medicine’s 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 held 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
  • University of Colorado Colorado Springs Helen and Arthur E. Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences
  • University of Colorado School of Medicine Anschutz Medical Campus
  • University of Colorado School of Medicine Colorado Springs Branch