District 2 Public Health, Brenau University to Show 'Escape Fire' Film explores America's health care system

September 5, 2013

Originally published April 1, 2013


District 2 Public Health and Brenau University are teaming up to show the film "ESCAPE FIRE: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare" in the Thurmond-McRae auditorium on Brenau's campus at 4 p.m. on April 2 as part of National Public Health Week.


The film, which won multiple awards at the Sundance Film Festival and has aired on television, focuses on the need to transition from a system that deals with diseases (many of which are preventable) to a system of prevention and wellness. According to the film's website:


"'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 percent of our gross domestic product, within 10 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 percent of Americans are overweight and almost 75 percent of healthcare costs are spent on preventable diseases that are the major causes of disability and death in our society."


"[The film] 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."


A panel discussion with David Westfall, M.D., district health director for District 2 Public Health, and David Miller, Ph.D, associate professor of health care management at Brenau University, will follow.


"This is not a film about political controversy or partisan posturing. It is about creating a true health care system, not a disease-care system," Westfall said. "It's about saving the health of a nation. But first we need to change the conversation."

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