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Health Disparities Activity

Objectives
1. For students to understand how people can be affected by ill health
2. For students to see how different demographic factors can affect health (care)
3. For students to develop empathy for those in negative health care and financial situations
4. For students to learn how to find resources, and gaps in resources in their surrounding
area.

Assessment
1. In the presentation of their finding to the class they reflect on considerations they had to
make, the influence of the health-care system, how it could be easier. They also present
the options they come up with for their scenario which shows they understand what
people are faced with.
2. As some of the groups have small demographics changed, I have them present in
succession of one and other. Then I ask the whole class to contribute to why those
differences had such a different outcome due to the small change of region or finances
etc.
3. Measuring empathy is a not as easy to assess, but the nature of having to put themselves
in someone else’s shows demonstrates the structural rather than individual barriers people
may face related to health.
4. The task is adapted to the different areas in the state in which I teach, so students can see
how their state is in terms of health disparities. By asking questions about what could
make this easier and are there non-profits I provoke them to learn how polices, resources
and institutions function in the area around them.

Task
Students are split into small groups and each group is given a scenario.
They are then asked the following questions on a worksheet:
● Are you going to seek health care?
● What kind of health care can you seek?
● What resources would you need to get this information?
● How much would it cost?
● How would you transport yourself to care?
● What considerations are you making when selecting healthcare?
● What does this tell you about the health-care system?
● What would do you think needs to be done to make your options easier?
● Are there any non-profits that could help?
Students then report back to the class and those that have slight changes eg location, age, child
care etc compare how the situation is different.

Below are some examples of scenarios I made up specific to Georgia. I have also done a national
and global comparison activity for classes where this is appropriate.

Examples
You are 27 years old, educated through the 11th grade, and live in rural surroundings in
Webster, GA and travel to columbus to work. You found a job as an evening security guard. Your
wages are enough to pay for a rented room in centerpoint. 3 months after starting work, you
scuffle with intruders and suffer gunshot wounds in your leg. You spends 2 weeks in the hospital
after losing four pints of blood through your wounds. This is covered by your work. However,
here you find you are HIV positive.​ Treatment is not covered.​ ​In the meantime, your room in is
rented to someone else because of your concurrent lack of rent payment. After discharge from
the hospital, he spends a few nights in a hotel- you need to decide to find and pay for treatment
and find somewhere to live. You only have $68 dollars left and can’t work with your injuries for
at least 6 months.

You are 17, you are homeless living in Atlanta. Last night you were sexually assaulted. You have
​ o money,​ and no expected income.
no ID, you want to get sexual health services. You have n

You are 17, you are homeless living in Waynesboro, GA. Last night you were sexually assaulted.
You have no ID, you want to get sexual health services. You have ​no money​ and no expected
income.

You are a single mother living in Atlanta. Your five year old son has got chicken pox and he
can’t go to school. You work full time as a waitress, you have no health insurance. You have $​ 72
dollars​ in your bank account, you should make up to $300 this week if you go into work, but rent
is due at $295 at the end of the week, if you miss this payment you face eviction.

You are working two jobs You work from 7am to 10pm Monday - Saturday. You are living in
Hapeville, Atlanta. You have a cut on your arm from when you car was broken into last week, it
seems to be getting infected, you have no health insurance. You car isn’t driveable. You have $50
in your bank account and get paid monthly, most of your wage goes to bills.
You are a single mother working in Donalsonville, GA. Last night walking to the bus stop you
fell down the stairs, you think your arm is broken. You have no health insurance and you are
struggling to work. You have​ $72 dollars​ in your bank account. You would make up to $300 this
week if you go into work, rent is due at $295 at the end of the week, if you miss this payment you
face eviction.

You are working two jobs You work from 7am to 10pm Monday - Saturday. You are living in a
rural area near Arp, GA. You have a cut on your arm from when you car was broken into last
week, it seems to be getting infected, you have no health insurance. You car isn’t driveable. You
have $50 in your bank account and get paid monthly, most of your wage goes to bills.

You are a 16 year old man and live at home and go to the local high school in Newport, GA .
When you were was 14 your mum died suddenly. Your father is always at work at the apple farm
and your older brother 17 and sister 19 run the household. Everyone is expected to pull their
weight and help out. However, even though everyone thinks you are happy, sometimes you goes
home, shuts the door to your bedroom and cries on your bed for hours. Your family doesn’t have
health insurance and any extra money goes to paying off your mom’s medical debt and sisters
college assistance.

You are a 16 year old man and live at home and go to the local high school in Roswell, GA .
When you were was 14 your mum died suddenly. Your father is always at work at the apple farm
and your older brother 17 and sister 19 run the household. Everyone is expected to pull their
weight and help out. However, even though everyone thinks you are happy, sometimes you goes
home, shuts the door to your bedroom and cries on your bed for hours. Your family doesn’t have
health insurance and any extra money goes to paying off your mom’s medical debt and sisters
college assistance.

You are a 20 year old man in your second year at university, GATech, and have found being
there a real struggle. You’ve had trouble sleeping and feel very negative about people and life in
general. A few weeks ago you began having some strange experiences. For example, you began
seeing people out of the corner of his eye who were looking straight at him, but who were not
there when he looked again. You don’t want to call at home as your single dad is busy working
at a factory and is trying to support you financially with a labourer job at night.

You are a 20 year old man in your second year at university, Middle Georgia State University -
Cochran Campus, and have found being there a real struggle. You’ve had trouble sleeping and
feel very negative about people and life in general. A few weeks ago you began having some
strange experiences. For example, you began seeing people out of the corner of his eye who were
looking straight at him, but who were not there when he looked again. You don’t want to call at
home as your single dad is busy working at a factory and is trying to support you financially with
a labourer job at night.

You are 27 years old, educated through the 11th grade, and last year you left your rural
surroundings because there was no opportunity to work,. You found a job as an evening security
guard. Your wages are enough to pay for a rented room in MT paran parkway. 3 months after
starting work, you scuffle with intruders and suffer gunshot wounds in your leg. You spends 2
weeks in the hospital after losing four pints of blood through your wounds. This is covered by
your work. However, here you find you are HIV positive.​ Treatment is not covered. You don't
have insurance.​ ​In the meantime, your room in is rented to someone else because of your
concurrent lack of rent payment. After discharge from the hospital, he spends a few nights in a
hotel- you need to decide to find and pay for treatment and find somewhere to live. You only
have $150 dollars left and can’t work with your injuries for at least 6 months.

You are 17, you are homeless living in Waynesboro, GA. Last night you were sexually assaulted.
You have no ID, you want to get sexual health services. You have ​no money​ and no expected
income.