Florida filmmaker to return to A.L. this week

Published 10:06 pm Monday, July 16, 2018

A Florida filmmaker plans to return to Albert Lea late this week to speak to local residents as he produces a documentary relating to the increasing market shares of hospitals.

David Pace

David Pace, a filmmaker for south Florida-based documentary production company Cora Media, and film producer Ben Murphy are expected to be in Albert Lea from Friday to July 25.

Pace said they want to interview members of Save our Healthcare, the organization seeking to bring back health care services lost in Mayo Clinic Health System’s decision to transition most inpatient services from Albert Lea to Austin, along with Mayo Clinic officials and other residents.

Email newsletter signup

Pace said the company expects to return to Albert Lea at a later date.

Pace first visited the city in April, 10 months after the transition was announced.

He said he was drawn to visit the community after Dan Diamond of Politico wrote an article about local perceptions of Mayo Clinic, along with work done on the issue by veteran business journalist Casey Ross of health and medicine reporting firm STAT.

Pace said after visiting, he thought the community had a story to tell, which he figures he can  do by interviewing local residents and speaking to people face-to-face.

“There was always the hope of returning,” Pace said. “I think I came with the thought that that was possible.”

Pace said they plan to document how the community has handled the transition over the past 13 months, noting material gleaned from his next visit is not guaranteed to be in the documentary.

“It’s a story I think has parallels throughout the country,” he said of the situation the community has faced regarding health care.

Murphy said the area’s experience regarding Mayo Clinic Health System is “certainly a story worth telling.”

Pace said filmmakers are also reaching out to communities in California, New England and possibly in Cleveland and Pittsburgh.

The documentary is expected to not be complete until next year.

Anyone looking to share stories is advised to email UntitledMedicalDoc@gmail.com.

About Sam Wilmes

Sam Wilmes covers crime, courts and government for the Albert Lea Tribune.

email author More by Sam