Gardner-Webb to Host Early Screening of Highly Esteemed Documentary

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GWU Chosen to Air ESCAPE FIRE: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare

BOILING SPRINGS, N.C. – Gardner-Webb University has been chosen along with over 50 medical schools across the country to air an advance screening of “ESCAPE FIRE: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare” on Sept. 19 from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. in Tucker Student Center. The event will be cosponsored by IHI (Institute for Healthcare Improvement), SIFE (Students in Free Enterprise), Godbold School of Business, and the Student Nurses Association.

The documentary isn’t scheduled for wide release until Oct. 5 but has received a number of praises already, including Official Selection for the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Directors Matthew Heineman and Susan Froemke seek to raise awareness about America’s healthcare system while simultaneously asking how their audience can save the broken institution.

The perverseness of our country’s healthcare system is shocking, as stated in a directors’ statement regarding the film. The system has evolved “disease-care system is designed to reward quantity over quality and high-tech over high touch.” Emphasis has been taken away from actual care.

“We’re reaching a key audience to create change,” said Heineman. The advanced screenings will be shown to thousands of current medical students who have the potential to do just that. “The way documentaries work is by getting people to spread the word,” he said. Those who are able to see the movie early are being put in a very unique and powerful situation. “We need to create a safer, more proactive system for the future,” added Heineman.

For Gardner-Webb Nursing students, as well as other students interested in medical careers, this film will be a great opportunity. It will inspire them to take the right steps in their careers. “Nurses are doing it right,” said Heineman. “They put the care in healthcare, they push for changes.”

On the filmmaking process, Heineman stated, “the film has been an amazing journey. There’s been so much fear and confusion about American Healthcare. The film’s goal is to bring sanity to a system that doesn’t want to change, but needs to.”

This event is open to the public. The cost is $5, but for non-students who bring a can of food the cost will be lowered to $4.  Gardner-Webb students who bring a canned item will need to pay $1 upon presenting their student IDs. For more information, contact Dr. E. Denise Smith at or (704)406-4382. Also check out the official Facebook page for the event by going to or follow @EscapeFire on Twitter.

Located in Boiling Springs, N.C., Gardner-Webb University seeks a higher ground in higher education—one that embraces faith and intellectual freedom, balances conviction with compassion, and inspires in its students a love of learning, service, and leadership.