Three healthcare providers bring care to a rural American community, showing the transformative power of providers' relationships with marginalized patients.
Directed by Anna Moot-Levin, Laura Green
Produced by Stray Pony Productions
Executive Producer/Creative Advisor: Jamie Meltzer
Editors: Chris Brown, Anna Moot-Levin, Laura Green
Camera/Sound: Anna Moot-Levin, Laura Green
Original Music: Paul Brill
Executive Producers for ITVS: Sally Jo Fifer, Lois Vossen
A co-production of Stray Pony Productions LLC and the Independent Television Service (ITVS), with funding provided by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB)
[Note: Community screenings of THE PROVIDERS can be booked at Bullfrog Communities.]
"Seeing this film is a reminder that human nature is good despite all evidence to the contrary." Louis Proyect
Set against the backdrop of the physician shortage and opioid epidemic in rural America, THE PROVIDERS follows three healthcare providers 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.
Grade Level: 10 - 12, College, Adults
US Release Date: 2019
Copyright Date: 2018
DVD ISBN: 1-948745-22-4
"This film could be renamed The Heroes. We are so proud of the work of thousands of clinicians across the country who have dedicated their lives to those who need their help the most. This film perfectly exemplifies the challenges and hope for those living in underserved communities. The challenges are real, personal, and pervasive - but improving people's lives is truly rewarding. The Providers is authentic and shows that providers are heroes in their communities every day."
Craig Kennedy, Executive Director, Association of Clinicians for the Underserved
"A very concrete and tangible example of how imperative rural providers are to the health and well-being of a community...This excellent film can be utilized in classroom and community settings to not only illustrate the need for rural provider recruitment and retention, but to also illustrate rural models of care where the rural provider treats the whole patient and sees the whole person. These providers offer care for substance misuse without judgement while also addressing social determinants of health, including food insecurity, poverty, insurance status, health literacy, adverse childhood events, and childhood trauma."
Shawnda Schroeder, Associate Professor, Center for Rural Health, University of North Dakota
"A compelling portrayal of the individuals - physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners - who deliver care under very difficult circumstances. I enjoyed the film."
Bill Finerfrock, Executive Director, National Association of Rural Health Clinics
"To be effective, workers must be empathetic, caring, and non-judgmental...Alternately inspiring, poignant, and depressing, this documentary sheds light on the urgent, unmet medical needs that continue to persist even in a thriving economy. Recommended."
S. Rees, Video Librarian
"The Providers shows humanity at its neediest and at its most admirable."
The Boston Globe
"The Providers delivers a deeply moving portrait of selflessness and dedication that feels particularly timely in this era of division between the red and blue states."
The Hollywood Reporter
"Beautifully-composed doc, which immerses us in the lives of three unsung heroes quietly making a difference on the margins"
"A heart-warming, soul-affirming documentary [which] provides a deep insight into small-town America while confronting the challenges of keeping those in poor, rural communities safe."
"Your community needs you...This inspiring movie finds that, for some young professionals, vocations start where they are most needed-at home."
Washington City Paper
"Deeply touching from beginning to end, The Providers tells stories of triumph and tragedy, of heroes and their travails."
"Our own inadequate medical system is given a merciless treatment in The Providers, Anna Moot-Levin and Laura Green's clear-eyed but encouraging look at a collapsed community."
The Flip Side Reviews
"With intimate access, the film shows the transformative power of healthcare providers' relationships with marginalized patients."
Selina Chignall, Realscreen
"A hot-button topic."
Adrian Gomez, Albuquerque Journal
"A complex portrait emerges of small-town America. This absorbing documentary is a quiet yet urgent reminder that the country's heartland is in trouble, and that the very nature of general practice medicine needs to be rethought to address a devastating epidemic."
American Film Institute
"Inspiring...A heartfelt, life-affirming watch...The heart of the documentary is its focus on relationships, particularly on the trust the healthcare professionals have built over their long-term engagement with their patients."
Michael Abatemarco, Santa Fe New Mexican
"Explore[s] a critical aspect of the health-care crisis...Moving, almost elegiac."
This Week In New York
"There clearly are many places like Las Vegas, New Mexico, where the simple day-to-day basics already feel tenuous. It's frustrating to everyone that in a country and at a time when medicine has never been more sophisticated or more effective, too many people still are kept from its benefits."
David Hinckley, TV Worth Watching
"Outstanding...Reminds you that some people join the profession out of a love of humanity rather than the dollar."
Louis Proyect, The Unrepentant Marxist
"The unique perspective being documented here is the way all three providers are constantly navigating the way addiction and their dedication to treating it is intertwined with their lives, families, and their dedication to their community."
Trisha Brown, Brightest Young Things
"The Providers is what any aspiring rural doctor or nurse practitioner should see to know if they are really cut out for the job. Against the setting of magical New Mexico landscapes is the reality of tough country living, and the personal challenges that can all too easily fall into depression and substance abuse. How then do those driven to provide medical care for these folks deal with the challenges and retain their own humanity? This film does a marvelous job in providing us with that insight."
Dr. Bill Honigman, National Outreach Lead, Progressive Democrats of America
"These dedicated professionals face lack of funding, lack of staff, and constant burnout. They try to balance their home lives with their work, but all admit to long hours and family neglect. They strive to 'make a difference' with their work and to provide a sense of community for these often forgotten populations. This is an inspiring program that celebrates everyday heroes."
Candace Smith, Booklist
DVDs include public performance rights.
DVD includes SDH caption for the deaf and hard-of-hearing, and scene selection.
The film's website
Awards and Festivals
Nationwide Broadcast on PBS's "Independent Lens"
Spotlight on Inspiration Documentary Award, St. Louis International Film Festival
Gold Jury Prize for Best Documentary Feature, Seattle Social Justice Film Festival
Audience Choice Award Best Documentary, Santa Fe Independent Film Festival
Spirit of Activism Award, San Francisco DocFest
Triumph of the Human Spirit Award, Middlebury New Filmmakers Festival
Humanitarian Award (feature documentary), DOCUTAH Film Festival
Humanitarian Spirit Award, Rockport Film Festival
Power of Film Award, Beloit Film Festival
Full Frame Frame Documentary Film Festival
AFI DOCS Film Festival
DOC NYC Film Festival
Big Sky Film Festival
Cleveland International Film Festival
GlobeDocs Film Festival
United Nations Association Film Festival
Rocky Mountain Women's Film Festival
Sebastopol Documentary Film Festival
Buffalo International Film Festival
Virginia Film Festival
Louisville's International Festival of Film
Las Cruces International Film Festival
Newburyport Documentary Film Festival
North Dakota Human Rights Film Festival
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"Highly Recommended...The Providers is a good documentary to have for academic libraries where there [are] health majors and areas of study for medical professionals and nurses. It is also good for public libraries to purchase since the opioid issues is such a widespread issue and many topics covered in this documentary show the impacts there are for multiple people beyond the doctor and patient."
Linda Yau, Free Library of Philadelphia, Educational Media Reviews Online