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‘In the trenches’: Documentary features health care providers in rural northern New Mexico

Laura Green and Anna Moot-Levin are both children of health care providers.

Anna Moot-Levin, left, and Laura Green, directors of “The Providers.” (Courtesy of Gabriela Hasbun)

That’s partly what inspired the filmmakers to make a documentary on rural health care.

“We were shocked that there wasn’t a film on rural health care,” Green says. “We felt very personally compelled to create this conversation.”

The duo spent months calling health care workers across the country. Eventually, they found their story in New Mexico.

Their documentary, “The Providers,” will air at 9 p.m. Monday, April 8, on New Mexico PBS. It is airing under the Independent Lens series.

“The Providers” follows three health care professionals in northern New Mexico at El Centro, a group of clinics that offer care to anyone who walks through the doors.

Amid personal struggles that reflect those of their patients, the journeys of the providers unfold as they work to reach those who would otherwise be left out of the health care system.

With intimate access, the film shows the transformative power of providers’ relationships with marginalized patients.

“We kind of talked to between 50 and 60 rural health practitioners, and wanted to represent the issue and personal stories,” she says. “We got on the phone with Matt Probst from El Centro. His passion and his vision were what drew us to him. He’s an ‘in the trenches’ guy. He uses his position as a much bigger fight and he’s the person that brought the story to life.”

The pair would travel from California to New Mexico about one week out of every six.

“We made several trips, and it added up to 120 shooting days,” she says. “The entire filming period was over 2½ years.”

Finding Probst was a blessing for the filmmakers.

“The fact that Matt was from the community and came back to be a provider is huge,” she says.

As the national premiere approaches, Green hopes that it will start a conversation about the uphill battle rural health care faces.

She is also looking forward to hearing reactions.

“Our goal is to get the film into classes in the rural communities,” she says. “We want to be able to get children interested in the health care field and then return to their community.”

SEND ME YOUR TIPS: If you know of a movie filming in the state, or are curious about one, email Follow me on Twitter @agomezART.



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