POWER TO HEAL: Medicare and the Civil Rights Revolution

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Cinema Arts Centre - Cinema 2 Sun, Jan 20 10:00 AM


Harvard Club presents

Power to Heal: Medicare and the Civil Rights Revolution

Sunday, January 20th -  Bagels at 10:00 AM / Film at 11:00 AM

$11 Members | $16 Public

Following the film, a panel discussion will include
Harriet Washington: award-winning author of  Medical Apartheid (2006), Deadly Monopolies (2011), Infectious Madness (2015), and A Terrible Thing to Waste (2019), a fellow in ethics at Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health, a scholar at the Tuskegee National Center for Bioethics.

Dr. Donald Moore: a Brooklyn physician, trustee and past president of the Kings Medical Society, who contends with present-day disparities in care.

Phyllis Cunningham, RN:  volunteer and staff member with the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) and the Medical Committee for Human Rights (MCHR), who trained federal inspectors to find civil rights violations in hospitals.

Roosa Tikkanen, MPH, MRes:
Research Associate at The Commonwealth Fund, focused on international health policy analysis, including disparities in care. Authored a widely publicized study showing persistence of racial/ethnic segregation in the NYC hospital system today, with NYC now more segregated than elsewhere in the country. She has lectured on New York’s segregated health care system at PNHP-NYC, CUNY and Weill-Cornell Medical School. Alum of Harvard School of Public Health.

Power to Heal tells a poignant chapter in the historic struggle to secure equal and adequate access to healthcare for all Americans. Central to the story is the tale of how a new national program, Medicare, was used to mount a dramatic, coordinated effort that desegregated thousands of hospitals across the country in a matter of months.

Before Medicare, disparities in access to hospital care were dramatic. Less than half the nation's hospitals served black and white patients equally, and in the South, 1/3 of hospitals would not admit African-Americans even for emergencies. Using the carrot of Medicare dollars, the federal government virtually ended the practice of racially segregating patients, doctors, medical staffs, blood supplies and linens. POWER TO HEAL illustrates how Movement leaders and grass-roots volunteers pressed and worked with the federal government to achieve justice and fairness for African-Americans.  (USA, 2018, 56 Mins., NR, English | Dir. Charles Burnett)
"Power to Heal shows both the destructive legacy of racism in American health care and the potential for collective action to redress these wrongs. We should be inspired by Medicare's role in desegregating our nation's hospitals, and should insist on further reform - like improved Medicare for all - to address the systemic racism that plagues patients of color to this day." Dr. Claudia Fegan, National Coordinator, Physicians for a National Health Program