2017 Global Health Film Festival Summary

December 5, 2017

On Thursday, November 30, over 90 individuals from across the Midwest attended the Global Health Film Festival.

The film festival focused on the healthcare challenges that immigrants and refugees experience around the world and in St. Louis. This event was hosted by the Global Health Student Advisory Committee (GHSAC) as part of the 2017 Midwest Universities Global Health Meeting at Washington University in St. Louis and sponsored by the Institute of Public Health, Monsanto, and the Infectious Diseases Interest Group.

Dr. William Powderly, MD, and Hon. Keith Martin, MD, PC, provided welcoming remarks, followed by the premiere of Healthcare Disparities of Immigrants and Refugees in St. Louis, a documentary produced by the Washington University GHSAC. The documentary highlights challenges that immigrants, refugees, and providers face from a clinical point of view and includes successful initiatives that are currently being implemented. While no immigrants or refugees were interviewed for this film due to safety and privacy concerns, the aim was to include narratives from a patient perspective for future projects. Additionally, there are still many hours of valuable film material from the interviews with potential to be used for developing additional documentaries on topics including mental health and discrimination in healthcare

Larry J. Shapiro Director, Institute for Public Health; J. William Campbell Professor of Medicine, director of the Institute for Clinical and Translational Sciences (ICTS), and Co-Director of the Division of Infectious Diseases, School of Medicine

WashU Global Health Film Festival Documentary from WUSTL Public Health on Vimeo.

The film was directed by Cynthia Tang, BS, and Wayne Warner, BSc, and edited by Cynthia Tang and Kae Schwalber. Interviews were filmed by Kae Schwalber and conducted by Rahul Ramaswamy, Cynthia Tang, Wayne Warner, and Grazia Ezzi, PhD. Creative and technical input was provided by Joseph Burclaff, BS, and Richard Pack. The film featured Vinaya Mulkareddy, MD, Heidi B. Miller, MD, Ivan Mugisha, MD, Maimuna Abukar, and Jorge Riopedre, BA.

Andwele Jolly, DPT, MBA, and Anirudh Gururaj moderated the discussion on the local healthcare disparities that immigrants and refugees experience in Saint Louis. The panelists included Jorge Riopedre, BA, Dawn Davis, MD, Chaplain Lawrence Olatunde, MDiv, Vinaya Mulkareddy, MD, and Hidaia Salem, BA. The panel discussed challenges that immigrants, refugees, and clinicians face in St. Louis, and community approaches towards alleviating barriers to receiving quality healthcare. Attendees reported to have already begun researching volunteer opportunities during the event.

The second portion of the event included films provided by The Pulitzer Center: The Role of Video Journalism in Global Health; Refugee Resettlement: One Boy’s Story From Africa to America; Somalian Refugees Flee Fighting, Famine in Ethiopian Camps; Between Borders: American Migrant Crisis; and, in honor of World AIDS Day: How Rwanda, Once Torn by Genocide, Became a Global Anti-AIDS Leader.

Dr. Powderly and Yu Xia, BA, moderated the discussion on health challenges that immigrants and refugees face globally. The panelists for this discussion included Parul Bakhshi, PhD, DEA, Christopher Prater, MD, David Clifford, MD, Isabel Izek, BS, and Rachel Bick, BA. They discussed topics including the responsibilities of global health journalism, the challenges, progress, and potential solutions of working towards alleviating healthcare disparities and building capacity, and the political roles and responsibilities of healthcare professionals.

Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy, School of Medicine
David B. Clifford headshot
Melba and Forest Seay Professor of Clinical Neuropharmacology in Neurology, School of Medicine

The feedback from attendees was enormously positive, and the event successfully engaged students, staff, faculty, and the public audience across the Midwest to increase awareness and discussion of the healthcare disparities of immigrants and refugees.

View the event’s Facebook photo album.

Students interested in getting involved with the Global Health Student Advisory Committee should contact ghsac@wustl.edu.