About the film

Doctors Medical Center closed in 2015 after more than half a century of serving mostly low-income residents, and is now sorely needed and missed. It was a public hospital with a burn center, cancer center, obstetrics, neurosurgery and many more specialty care services, which all closed one by one over time until only its robust E.R. was left standing — all because it was losing money serving mostly indigent patients. Today, there is only one E.R. left in the region, and Kaiser Richmond is not built to meet this community’s needs.

 

Shedding light on an ever-increasing national trend seldom seen this intimately, The Desert follows patients, first responders and care providers as they navigate a hospital desert and adapt to the limited options, longer distances and backlogged systems of care.

About the filmmaker

Bo is a filmmaker and journalist from California. She has years of experience telling stories around criminal and environmental justice, public health, education and critical social issues, with credits as a producer, reporter and videographer. Her work on documentary projects have recently been featured on PBS Frontline, CNN Films and have screened at major film festivals around the world.

Bo earned her master’s degree from UC Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism, where she was the Marlon T. Riggs Fellow in Documentary Filmmaking. She is now working with Trilogy Films, an Emmy- and Peabody-award winning production company based in San Francisco, California.

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© BO KOVITZ