Longstanding PBS documentary strand ‘Independent Lens’ is slated to premiere a film that looks at the physician shortage and opioid crisis in rural America.
Directed by first-time filmmakers Laura Green and Anna Moot-Levin, The Providers follows three healthcare professionals in northern New Mexico at El Centro, a cluster of safety-net clinics that offers free healthcare. With intimate access, the film shows the transformative power of healthcare 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 – face a gamut of challenges they must navigate, from the system to their patients, and sometimes even their own families.
In order to deal with the physician shortage, medical director and physician’s assistant Probst has begun training P.A.’s to be the new front line of medical care. Meanwhile, nurse practitioner Ruge is part of a special program that allows him to visit the homes of the most marginalized patients.
Additionally, ‘Independent Lens’ and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting will present The Providers as part of Indie Lens Pop-Up, a neighborhood series that offers free film screenings to the public with the aim of fostering community-driven conversations.
The Providers premieres on ‘Independent Lens’ on April 8 at 10 p.m. ET/PT on PBS and will also be made available to stream simultaneously online via pbs.org.