28 March 2013. 7 pm at the Lincoln Theatre – Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare
We’ll begin the evening with a panel discussion involving Dr Jeanne Crump, DO, from Skagit Valley Hospital, Peter Browning, Director of Skagit County Public Health, Emma Zavala-Suarez, MCN Board member, State Board of Pharmacy, Gates Foundation, attorney, pre-med, and child of farmworkers from this area, and Jill Richards, Middle Way Acupuncture Institute intern with a career in the Navy.
We’ll follow the panel with a short break and the film screening of Escape Fire.
ESCAPE FIRE: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare tackles one of the most pressing issues of our time: how can we save our badly broken healthcare system?
American healthcare costs are rising so rapidly that they could reach $4.2 trillion annually, roughly 20% of our gross domestic product, within ten years. We spend $300 billion a year on pharmaceutical drugs––almost as much as the rest of the world combined. We pay more, yet our health outcomes are worse. About 65% of Americans are overweight and almost 75% of healthcare costs are spent on preventable diseases that are the major causes of disability and death in our society.
WE PAY MORE, YET OUR HEALTH OUTCOMES ARE WORSE.
It’s not surprising that healthcare tops many Americans’ concerns and is at the center of a political firestorm in our nation’s Capitol. But the current battle over cost and access does not ultimately address the root of the problem: we have a disease-care system, not a healthcare system.
ESCAPE FIRE examines the powerful forces maintaining the status quo, a medical industry designed for quick fixes rather than prevention, for profit-driven care rather than patient-driven care. After decades of resistance, a movement to bring innovative high-touch, low-cost methods of prevention and healing into our high-tech, costly system is finally gaining ground. This film follows dramatic human stories as well as leaders fighting to transform healthcare at the highest levels of medicine, industry, government, and even the US military. ESCAPE FIRE is about finding a way out. It’s about saving the health of a nation.
es•cape ﬁre: noun, \is-’kap\fīuhr\
1. A swath of grassland or forest intentionally ignited in order to provide shelter from an
oncoming blaze. 2. An improvised, effective solution to a crisis that cannot be solved using
In the research phase for ESCAPE FIRE, directors Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke came across an influential speech delivered by Dr. Don Berwick years before he took office as the head of Medicare and Medicaid. The speech was published as a healthcare manifesto called Escape Fire: Lessons for the Future of Healthcare.
Dr. Berwick draws a parallel between the broken healthcare system and a forest fire that ignited in Mann Gulch, Montana in 1949. Just as the healthcare system lies perilously on the brink of combustion, the forest fire which seemed harmless at first was waiting to
explode. A team of fifteen smokejumpers parachuted in to contain the fire, but soon they were running for their lives, racing to the top of a steep ridge. Their foreman, Wag Dodge, recognized that they would not make it.
With the fire barely two hundred yards behind him, he did a strange and marvelous thing. He invented a solution. His crew must have thought he had gone crazy as he took some matches out of his pocket, bent down, and set fire to the grass directly in front of him. The
fire spread quickly uphill, and he stepped into the middle of the newly burnt area, calling for his crew to join him.
But nobody followed Wag Dodge. They ignored him, clinging to what they had been taught, and they ran right by the answer. The fire raged past Wag Dodge and overtook the crew, killing thirteen men and burning 3,200 acres. Dodge survived, nearly unharmed.
Dodge had invented what is now called an “escape fire,” and soon after it became standard practice. As Berwick says in the film, “We’re in Mann Gulch. Healthcare, it’s in really bad trouble. The answer is among us. Can we please stop and think and make sense of the
situation and get our way out of it?”
Emma’s full bio: Here’s Emma’s Bio: Emma Zavala-Suarez, JD is an attorney currently working as a consultant for the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation where she supports the contracts team in their global health and financial services for the poor work. She is also the chair of the Board of a nonprofit called Community to Community (C2C), a women-led influential grass-roots organization that raises funds and awareness for farm worker women and their families and the immigrant community in Whatcom County. C2C seeks to empower under-represented peoples to have an equal voice in decision-making processes. Emma is also a long-time member and current chair of the Laurel Rubin Farm Worker Justice Project (LRFWJP), a subcommittee of LAW Fund, the preeminent Washington legal aid foundation. LRFWJP raises funds to financially support law students to engage in legal advocacy work on behalf of farm workers throughout the state of Washington. Emma was recently appointed by Governor Gregoire to the Washington State Board of Pharmacy where she serves as a public member, giving a voice to the public health interests of the under-served residents of Washington. Emma has completed her premed requirements for medical school and plans to apply for fall 2013 entrance. Emma was born in Mexico City and immigrated to the U.S. as a young child. She has seven brothers and sisters, and her parents still work in the fields and are seen at Sea Mar Community Health Centers in the Bellingham area.