Set against the backdrop of the physician shortage and opioid epidemic in rural America, THE PROVIDERS follows three healthcare providers – a doctor, a nurse practitioner, and a physician assistant – in northern New Mexico. They work at El Centro, a group of safety-net clinics that offer care to all who walk through the doors, regardless of ability to pay. Amidst personal struggles that reflect those of their patients, the journeys of the providers unfold as they work to reach rural Americans who would otherwise be left out of the healthcare system. With intimate access, the documentary shows the transformative power of providers’ relationships with marginalized patients. THE PROVIDERS will screen as part of DOC NYC festival on Friday, November 9.
Directors’ Statement — Laura Green and Anna Moot-Levin: Given the political and discursive tension over the future of American health care, this film has a particular urgency at this historical juncture. New Mexico is one of the country’s poorest and most rural states and opted to expand medicaid under the ACA. However, the challenges in rural healthcare go far beyond the ameliorating effects of the ACA. THE PROVIDERS reflects the ways poor health is created at the structural level by a lack of public health resources and access to care – in 2016, there were 70,000 preventable deaths in rural areas, and on average life expectancy in rural areas is two years shorter than in urban areas. Set on the frontlines of rural healthcare under the medicaid expansion, the film takes an intimate journey with those who remain marginalized and difficult to reach within traditional healthcare delivery models. We hope the film will inspire more young people to go into rural healthcare, and we are developing an outreach campaign that will target both rural high schools and medical education institutions, including medical schools, nurse practitioner programs, and physician assistant programs.
Co-directors Laura Green and Anna Moot-Levin join us to talk about the health care crisis that is ravaging rural America.
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