MSUToday
Published: April 10, 2013

'The Waiting Room,' producer Bill Hirsch visit MSU

By: Courtney Culey Media Communications courtney.culey@cabs.msu.eduContact(s): Kristen Parker Media Communications office: (517) 353-8942 cell: (517) 980-0709 Kristen.Parker@cabs.msu.edu

Jobless, uninsured and sick – it can happen to anyone.

And it’s happening all over America.

To expose “the biggest healthcare issue of our time,” a collection of Michigan State University colleges and units brought in "The Waiting Room" and Executive Producer Bill Hirsch.

Hirsch was on campus April 7 and 8 for a film showing and fielded audience questions after the documentary was screened.

“We would love for the students at MSU and the community to be exposed to this issue,” Hirsch said. “We’re trying to get people to think about what it’s like to be uninsured.”

"The Waiting Room" is a character-driven documentary film that uses extraordinary access to go behind the doors of an American public hospital struggling to care for a community of largely uninsured patients. Young victims of gun violence take their turn alongside artists and small business owners who lack insurance. Steel workers, taxi cab drivers and international asylum seekers crowd the halls. The film weaves the stories of several patients – as well as the hospital staff charged with caring for them – as they cope with the complexity of the nation’s public health care system, while weathering the storm of a national recession.

The film – using a blend of cinema verité and character voiceovers – offers a raw, intimate, and even uplifting look at how patients, staff and caregivers each cope with disease, bureaucracy and hard choices.

“We chose to make this film because the healthcare crisis seems to be the issue of our time,” Hirsch said. “Our intention was to try to find a language to reach across the political and social barrier and communicate with people on all sides of this issue.”

The screenings were sponsored by the Residential College in the Arts and Humanities at MSU in conjunction with the Center for Ethics and Humanities in the Life Sciences, the College of Human Medicine, the College of Nursing, the College of Osteopathic Medicine and Lyman Briggs College.

To expose "the biggest healthcare issue of our time," various MSU colleges and units brought in "The Waiting Room" and executive producer Bill Hirsch.

To expose "the biggest healthcare issue of our time," various MSU colleges and units brought in "The Waiting Room" and executive producer Bill Hirsch.

Who will? Spartans Will.
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