Tag Archives: Heather Courtney

New Day Films Humanize Health Care

“Film is a great way to tap into the humanistic aspects of medicine,” says Dr. Monica Lypson, Professor of Internal Medicine and Medical Education and Assistant Dean for Graduate Medical Education at the University of Michigan.  Dr. Lypson, together with colleagues Dr. Paula Ross, also from the University of Michigan, and Dr. Divy Ravindranath from Stanford University, has created a special curriculum for medical students that utilizes Heather Courtney’s film, Where Soldiers Come From.

FzPIAz2q3
Where Soldiers Come From

Historically, few medical schools have used film in their classes, but this is beginning to change as health educators incorporate documentaries as tools for teaching about psychosocial issues in medicine, psychiatry, nursing and counseling courses. Dr. Ross first saw Where Soldiers Come From at the 2012 American Sociological Association conference and immediately shared the film with Dr. Lypson. “We were looking for a film we could use in a new faculty development workshop on veteran-centered care,” Dr. Lypson says. “We selected this film because it is a documentary (as opposed to a work of fiction) which offers a true depiction of the trajectory of service members—from civilian life to active duty to veteran.”  The faculty development workshop that utilizes the film, “Developing Skills in Veteran-Centered Care: Understanding Where Soldiers Really Come From,” combines the film clips with active learning exercises. Recently, Dr. Lypson announced her intent to expand the workshop to target students and faculty from other health care fields. Dr. Lypson emphasizes that health care extends beyond medicine, and she believes the course is relevant for students, residents, and practicing professionals in various disciplines, including nursing, social work and public health.

Courtney’s film challenges students with hard questions, like “What socio-economic circumstances might lead someone to join the military?” In helping the health care practitioner understand the backstory of a patient’s life, she or he comes to the medical work at hand with greater empathy and compassion. “It is a way to get learners to tap into feelings the way they can’t do listening to an impassive lecture,” Dr. Lypson explains. “You want medical students and health professionals to tap into that, because they are dealing with people.”  In Courtney’s film, it is the story of Dominic – a young artist turned soldier who uses his art to deal with his PTSC and Traumatic Brain Injury – that particularly affects students. The course is currently available online via MedPortal. Faculty are encouraged to show the entire film, in addition to the clips that are explicitly part of the curriculum.  Because of the success of this course, a larger curriculum covering a range of issues related to veteran-centered care is being planned by Dr. Lypson and her colleagues. If approved by the University this will be part of a massive online open course with a reach of upwards of 10,000 students.

FxEm8n4KJ
FIXED: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement

Regan Brashear’s film FIXED: The Science/Fiction of Human Enhancement is another New Day film that has had widespread use and feedback from the medical profession. The documentary explores the social impact of human biotechnologies, prompting audiences to rethink “disability” and “normalcy” by exploring technologies that promise to change our bodies and minds forever. Shown to a crowd of students, nurses, doctors, and medical providers at an event sponsored by the UCSF Committee on Disability Issues, the film set the stage for a lively panel discussion. Plans are currently underway for a large conference sponsored by the Mayo Clinic on neuroethics, disability ethics and technology. Brashear’s film will open the conference and then various lectures will be built out, based on the issues raised in the film.

When the documentary Heart of the Sea, a portrait of Hawaiian surfing legend and breast cancer survivor Rell Sunn came out, it was immediately used by national breast cancer organizations because it provided a positive and empowering image of a woman with breast cancer. Director Charlotte Lagarde, in association with the Independent Television Service (ITVS) and Pacific Islanders in Communications, developed an outreach campaign targeting Native Americans and Pacific Islanders all around the US. Heart of the Sea was the first film portraying a Pacific Islander and Asian American woman with breast cancer, and it enabled unprecedented dialogue among Native communities about cancer, a subject that was taboo and often brought shame to a family.

Photo by Tom Keck copy 2
Heart of the Sea

In Hawaii, the American Cancer society, the Suzan G. Komen Foundation, and many local health organizations used the film in their outreach programs to encourage Hawaiians to talk more openly about breast cancer. In Alaska, the South East Alaska Regional Health Consortium still uses it a to engage people in dialogue about cancer and healthy living.

The changing face of medical education offers great potential for wider use of New Day’s collection of films dealing with physical and mental health, addiction, aging and gerontology, disability, psychology and social work. Visit our website to see the potential for use in your field!

Highlights from the APA Conference

By Cindy Burstein, New Day Member

Day One

Great day today at the American Psychological Association (APA) Convention! It began with screenings of Seeking Asian Female and Concrete, Steel & Paint, followed by engaging conversations at our exhibit booth with APA members, encounters with trick or treaters, and the drawing of our first raffle! Looking forward to tomorrow…

APA_Day 1Day 1 of the American Psychological Association Convention in Washington, DC. We’re ready to go at Exhibit Booth 144! Stop by and meet the filmmakers! — with Heather Courtney and Cindy Burstein.

Day 2.3Seeking Asian Female buttons peak interest from our booth visitors!

Day 2.4Meera Rastogi, APA member and Film Festival committee programmer, stops by to say hello!

Day 2.5New Day member Mike Fountain selects the first of our four raffle winners to win a free DVD!

Day 2.2A glimpse into the APA Film Festival screening room

Day 2.1Gigi, from the APA social media team, just attended two New Day Films screenings of Concrete, Steel & Paint, a film about crime, restoration and healing (by Cindy Burstein, pictured here) and Seeking Asian Female (an eccentric modern love story about an aging white man with “yellow fever” and the young Chinese bride he finds online). 

 Day Two

And the fun continues! Booth visitors are enthusiatic, I’m Just Anneke screens with LGBT shorts and packs the house and an educator tells us a story that had us in awe… he met his husband at a screening of Daddy and Papa! Wow. It’s a New Day, everyday, here at the APA.

Day 2.11New Day member Leena Jayaswal is ready for APA!

Day 2.12APA Film Festival Programmer Robert Simmermon stops by the New Day Films Exhibit Booth to welcome us and say hello!

Day 2.13I’m Just Anneke screens with LGBT Shorts at APA Film Festival to a packed house!

Day 2.4Roxy, from Modesto Junior College, made it a priority to see I’m Just Anneke at the APA Film Festival! “This short film is a valuable tool as I begin my profession as a child and family advocate and in my work as a student government leader on my college campus.”

Day 2.15Daniel has us in awe after telling us his story… that he met his husband 12 years ago at a screening of the New Day films title Daddy & Papa!

Day 2.7New Day was here

Day Three

Danny (pictured yesterday-he met his husband at a screening of Daddy and Papa) returns today to introduce us to the family… a treat, indeed! A booth visitor thanked us for our LGBT content, especially related to transgender youth. Filmmaker, Corin Wilson, and friend of Concrete, Steel & Paint stops by to lend a hand. Creativity is in the air! Hearts and minds are open at APA.

Day 3.1Danny and Steven stopped by with the whole family to say hello! They met at a screening of the New Day Film, Daddy & Papa… twelve years ago, and celebrate that date as their anniversary! Congratulations. New Day Films is sharing the love.

Day 3.2Filmmaker Corin Wilson stops by to lend a hand for New Day Films!

Day 3.3APA is building community through art-making

Day 3.4Professor Mark Cooper leads the art-making project

Day 3.5“The creative spirit is at the core of the psych.” Hmmmm… this sounds a lot like New Day Films!

 Day Four

The final day kicks off with a morning screening of Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines… POW! And one of our raffle winners, a high school principal, picks Straightlaced-How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up as his prize! It’s been a rewarding stretch in DC. 4 days, 4 screenings, and hundreds of new encounters. We look forward to continuing the connection. Thank you, APA!

Day 4.1Simone from Goddard College meets New Day Films at the screening of Wonder Women! “This film took me back to my childhood, and got me thinking across the decades!”

Day 4.29am coffee, and a screening of Wonder Women=good deal!

Day 4.3New Day Films enjoyed having 4 titles from our collection screen this year!

Day 4.4High school principal, and New Day Films raffle winner, John O’Dell, is interested in opening up the dialogue with guidance counselors, parents and students with Straightlaced–How Gender’s Got Us All Tied Up!

Day 4.5Mary Anne Dornbusch, APA Convention Manager and Film Festival Program Committee Liaison, stops by to say hello!

Day 4.6All of our candy is gone. It must really be time to go!!

Day 4.7That’s a wrap! Thank you, APA.