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A Film Screening Focused Rural Health Hopes To Inspire Its Audience To Better The Permian Basin

Dr. Ruiz led a panel discussion on health in the Permian Basin.

By Mitch Borden 

A documentary following the lives of doctors and nurses working in rural New Mexico was recently screened by Basin PBS at the University of Texas Permian Basin. Many of those who turned out to watch the film that looked at issues surrounding communities with limited access to healthcare — were local students studying nursing.

The documentary was called The Providers and after the screening, the audience stayed to hear a panel discussion about healthcare in Ector County. Dr. Diana Ruiz led the talk and teaches Public Health at UTPB and helped organize the event.

She explained even though Ector County isn't as rural as the communities shown in the film the region faces similar issues espcially when it comes to staffing.

"We most definitely have a shortage in providers, nurses, mental health providers."

Ruiz wants the film to have inspired the audience members to get involved in improving the health of the Permian Basin. Either by going into a career in the healthcare field or by finding their own way to help out.

She said, "Go, volunteer, donate, write a grant. Be a part of a bigger movement in your community regardless if you’re interested in healthcare or not."

The Providers can be seen on Basin PBS on April 8th at 9 pm.


Mitch Borden is Permian Basin Reporter & Producer at Marfa Public Radio.