By Jeff Murphy, April 2, 2019
"The Providers” Photo caption and credit: Nurse Practitioner Chris Ruge listens to a patient's heart during a home visit in Las Vegas, New Mexico. Credit: Courtesy of Adria Malcolm.
WARRENSBURG, MO – KMOS-TV and Capitol Cinema join the Independent Television Service documentary series “Independent Lens” to present a special community screening of the feature film “The Providers” at 6 p.m. Wednesday, April 3 in Jefferson City. In concert with the film, Karen Edison, MD, Missouri Telehealth System, and Brian Sanfilippo, Preferred Family Healthcare, will lead a community discussion.
The event is free, and registration is available at capitolcitycinema.org/indie-lens.
“The Providers” follows three healthcare professionals in northern New Mexico at El Centro, a group of safety-net clinics that offer care to anyone who walks through the doors. Amidst personal struggles that reflect those of their patients, the journeys of the providers unfold as they work to reach individuals who would otherwise be left out of the healthcare system. Set against the backdrop of the physician shortage and opioid epidemic in rural America, the film shows the transformative power of providers’ relationships with marginalized patients.
Over the course of the film, the three providers - family physician Leslie Hayes, nurse practitioner Chris Ruge, and El Centro Medical Director Matt Probst - remain unfailingly compassionate despite a range of challenges from the system to their patients, and sometimes even their own families. Leslie believes it is critical for primary care doctors to treat patients who use opioids as part of their regular practice. When other physicians don’t want “those people” in their medical center, she says, “they’re already in your waiting room - you’re just not identifying and treating them.”
Medical director and physician assistant (PA) Matt is coping with a physician shortage and has begun training PAs to be the new front line of medical care. Nurse practitioner Chris is part of a special program that allows him to visit the homes of the most marginalized patients, and believes his relationship with them is making a difference. “The job offers me the opportunity to actually be walking alongside patients and helping them find the door,” he says. “Some people you need to open the door just once. Other people it’s months and years. If you open enough doors they will walk through that door with you.”
Directed by Laura Green and Anna Moot-Levin, both the children of doctors, “The Providers” will air on KMOS-TV Monday, April 8, 2019, 9:00-10:30 p.m. on “Independent Lens.”