To improve and sustain the health of a nation, the world must tap into and unleash the power of women
A film by Emmy-award winning filmmaker Lisa Russell, MPH
CHICAGO, IL - July 18, 2017 – GE Healthcare announced the world premiere of Heroines of Health, a documentary by Emmy-award winning filmmaker Lisa Russell, MPH. The film follows three heroines, from India, Kenya and Indonesia, who are overcoming steep challenges and expectations to bring better health and hope to their communities.
Women comprise 75 percent of the global healthcare workforce, yet often their work is unrecognized. Heroines of Health brings to light the stories of women on the frontlines of healthcare who are quietly and humbly saving lives.
These are their stories.
Mrs. Rohani: A volunteer midwife’s assistant from a mountain village in South Sulawesi, Indonesia, Mrs. Rohani wakes up at four a.m. daily to join her family in a morning prayer before walking expectant mothers to the nearest community health center, more than an hour walk by foot.
Mercy Owuor: A community health expert at Lwala Community Alliance, Mercy leads a team of rural health workers as they influence how one million people in Western Kenya access healthcare. Through a community-led approach, she is achieving her goal for every child to reach his or her fifth birthday.
Dr. Sharmila Anand: Dr. Sharmila was trained in the U.S., but brought her passion for empowering and educating youth and young women back home to Chennai, India, where she founded SEHPL, a social enterprise that skills students to become X-ray technicians, OT technicians, anesthesia technicians and more. The goal is to give them meaningful employment opportunities and bridge the healthcare skills gap in India. She says her vision is to create a million satisfied patient smiles by transforming healthcare delivery systems through upskilling and empowering healthcare professionals.
In 2015, GE Healthcare established Sustainable Healthcare Solutions (SHS), a business that partners with governments and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) to strengthen healthcare systems and improve the affordability and accessibility to quality healthcare in India, Africa and Southeast Asia. These regions also offer insight into the critical role women play in this effort, and that, when given the opportunity to lead in both community health and policy development, women have the ability to improve the health of millions of people.
This realization was the impetus for an effort to engage our partners, public, private, non-profit and NGOs, in a shared determination to unleash the economic and intellectual power of women to accelerate the development of sustainable healthcare systems globally. With this documentary, GE Healthcare seeks to take one step forward by recognizing three of the many women who are bringing better health to their communities.
“For the past six years, I’ve lived in India and spent time in communities here and across Southeast Asia and Africa, leading GE Healthcare’s emerging markets business. I have been deeply inspired by the passion and resiliency of the women I've met who, unofficially and despite great challenges, are on the front lines improving the health of their communities,” said Terri Bresenham, President and CEO, Sustainable Healthcare Solutions, GE Healthcare. “The heroines in this documentary are three such women. We hope that the film inspires recognition and opportunity for many more.”
As mothers, women are generally most impacted by disease and high mortality rates, yet they represent less than 25 percent of healthcare leadership roles globally. Studies show that when women are in healthcare leadership roles, neonatal mortality drops, adolescent girls receive significantly more education, and women are more likely to generate their own income. ¹
"As a filmmaker who has been telling global health stories in remote locations for nearly 15 years, I have come across many incredible, committed women working at all levels in the healthcare industry. With Heroines of Health, it truly is my honor to give viewers an inside glimpse into the personal lives of three remarkable heroines who have made incredible sacrifices to become lifesaving forces in their local communities," said filmmaker Lisa Russell, MPH.
Heroines of Health premieres July 18th at 8pm ET / 7pm CT https://www.facebook.com/events/428268137558228/?active_tab=about
Watch 1 minute each day of the film @HeroinesofHealthFilm on Instagram.
¹Increasing Women in Leadership in Global Health (2014) Academic Medicine, Dr. Jennifer A. Downs, MD, MSc, Ms. Lindsey K. Reif, MPH, Dr. Adolfine Hokororo, MD, and Dr. Daniel W. Fitzgerald, MD
About GE Healthcare
GE Healthcare provides transformational medical technologies and services to meet the demand for increased access, enhanced quality and more affordable healthcare around the world. GE Healthcare (GE) works on things that matter - great people and technologies taking on tough challenges. From medical imaging, software & IT, patient monitoring and diagnostics to drug discovery, biopharmaceutical manufacturing technologies and performance improvement solutions GE Healthcare helps medical professionals deliver great healthcare to their patients. http://www.gehealthcare.com
About Lisa Russell
Lisa Russell is an Emmy-award winning filmmaker with a Masters in Public Health. She became interested in storytelling after working as a humanitarian aid worker during the 1999 refugee crisis in Kosovo and started a career directing, producing, shooting and editing films for UN/NGO agencies on pressing global health issues such as maternal health, girls education. HIV/AIDS, impact of war on youth, climate change and others. She is a keynote speaker (TEDxJNJ, SwitchPoint, Unite for Sight) and workshop facilitator with a focus on narrative justice and responsible storytelling and aims to change the narrative of global health through her work. In 2016, she launched StoryShifter, a new entertainment for the social good, powered by machine learning and data analytics. As a teaching artist, artist advocate and curator, she works to build institutional credibility around emerging artists as cultural diplomats within the global health and development community. For more information on Lisa's work, visit www.lisarussellfilms.com.