‘Bending the Arc’ sheds light on the power of high-quality health care for all | ParkRecord.com

‘Bending the Arc’ sheds light on the power of high-quality health care for all

Panel discussion will follow free screening

Kief Davidson and Pedro Kos' documentary 'Bending the Arc' focuses on a group of doctors who, 30 years ago, embarked on a medical and moral journey to bring quality healthcare to all a small Haitian village.

Little did they know the project would mark the start of the nonprofit Partners in Health and its global mission, which is based on notion that healthcare is a unalienable right for all humans, regardless of their socio-economic status.

That concept rings a bell for the Wasatch Back's own People's Health Clinic, a nonprofit that provides quality medical care to the uninsured in Summit and Wasatch counties.

So, when the opportunity came for People's Health to partner with the Park City Film Series to host a free screening of "Bending the Arc," both organizations jumped on the idea, said Katharine
Wang, executive director of the Park City Film Series.

"This is a perfect corollary to what the People's Health Clinic is doing," Wang told The Park Record. "Why does the work they do matter? It matters because if we want to be a resilient community and be strong against any [disease] outbreaks, we need to be healthy.

"We felt this film is a great way to highlight what the People's Health Clinic does in our community."

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Park City Film Series and People's Health Clinic will host a free screening of "Bending the Arc" at 7 p.m. on Saturday Aug. 19, at the Park City Library's Jim Santy Auditorium, 1255 Park Ave.

Wang is looking forward to the event, because she saw the documentary when it premiered in the 2017 Sundance Film Festival in the Jim Santy Auditorium.

"The film is so inspiring," Wang said. "It shows the work that Partners in Health is doing around the world in terms of how they think about health care and helping rural communities to have better health outcomes.

"When it showed at the Library venue, Sundance could not get people out of the theater, because they were so excited about the film."

Paul Farmer, one of the founders of Partners in Health, was in attendance and said a few words after the screening.

"They started as college kids and invested their resources into their work overseas," Wang said. "Their idea is that every community deserves to have good health care."

Wang said she was touched by the film's Rwanda segment that documented the Ebola virus outbreak and how they were able to contain the disease.

"They were able to keep it within their borders and not have that turn into a endemic in their own country," she said. "Part of the reason they were able to do this is because their minister of health has been able to provide health care at all levels — from primary care to treating cancer. She believes this level of care is important if you want to create a resilient community."

Beth Armstrong, executive director of the People's Health Clinic is delighted to work with the Park City Film Series on the event.

"What is wonderful about Park City is that all the nonprofits work with each other a lot," Armstrong said. "Katy and I had a conversation about working together and I told her I would love to do this."

Armstrong said she could relate to the doctors in the film, because their mission aligns with her nonprofit.

"We do it really well here," she said. "We do provide quality health care, as good as you will get if you go to a doctor's office in town. The physicians and volunteer physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants who work with us, choose to do this."

The People's Health Clinic does ask for donations to help with the services, but if people can't donate, they still will get treatment, Armstrong said.

"It's about people coming together to do good, and that organically grows into a mission," she said.

The "Bending the Arc" screening comes is a timely manner in the light of the political discussion in the country today.

"I have sat and still do sit on the board of the American Hospital Association for years," Armstrong said. "The Affordable Health Care Act is something we have discussed over the years. We address issues such as hospital administration, reimbursements, Medicare and Medicaid. And I tell you, we can do wonderful things if we all can embrace the power of the right of health care for all."

In addition to the free screening, there will be a panel discussion after the credits roll.

Panelists will include Dr. John Hanrahan, Founder and Medical Director, People's Health Clinic, Juan Carlos Negrette, Director of Global Health, University of Utah and Dr. Frederick Gottlieb. (See accompanying box).

"The documentaries such as this that we bring in to Park City are global conversations, and the panel discussions bring the discussion to the community on a local level," Wang said.

The Park City Film Series and the People's Health Clinic will present a free screening of Kief Davidson and Pedro Kos' "Bending the Arc" at 7 p.m. on Saturday Aug. 19, at the Park City Library's Jim Santy Auditorium, 1255 Park Ave.. For information, visit http://www.parkcityfilmseries.com.

‘Bending the Arc’ panelists
Submitted by the People’s Health Clinic

  • Dr. Juan Carlos Negrette is the director of the Global Health at the University of Utah, has more than 25 years of extensive international experience in health programs design, implementation and management and has adapted commercial tools, techniques and approaches to primary care programs in different parts of the world. He has also designed and implemented effective strategic health marketing and communication interventions in challenging environments in Asia, Africa, and Latin America and has structured and developed productive partnerships of strategic importance with relevant private sector companies and government entities.


  • Dr. John Hanrahan is a family doctor and the Medical Director at the People’s Health Clinic. He co-founded the nonprofit 1999. the year he also co-founded The Hope Alliance, where he worked as executive director. Hope Alliance provides humanitarian assistance in several Developing countries. Hanrahan has travelled with the Rotary International Cadre of technical Advisors to consult on health initiatives in developing countries.


  • Dr. Frederick Gottlieb has been involved in issues of international health, development, and issues of human rights for over 35 years. He was trained in Internal Medicine and has masters degrees in public health and international affairs.Gottlieb has worked on assessment of rural health care delivery models and refugee evaluations in Asia, Africa, and South America and served as regional medical officer for the U.S. Peace Corps in Southern Africa. He also worked in the tsunami recovery in Indonesia and received the US Public Health Service Physician of the Year Award.Last year, Gottlieb assisted the country of Bhutan with their first internal medicine training program. He currently practices Internal Medicine and Geriatrics in Salt Lake City.