Dean Carpenter, a registered nurse for the local Neighborhood Service Organization, and a Wayne State medical student volunteer with Street Medicine Detroit treat William McKinney off of 8 Mile in Detroit. Photo credit: Shiraz Ahmed

Dean Carpenter, a registered nurse for the local Neighborhood Service Organization, and a Wayne State medical student volunteer with Street Medicine Detroit treat William McKinney off of 8 Mile in Detroit. Photo credit: Shiraz Ahmed

 

Here in Detroit, locals must put faith in one another when there are no other options.

“Stayin’ Alive” is a documentary and social media campaign about the network of medical professionals, free clinics, faith leaders, and everyday citizens who have risen up to keep Detroit healthy.

In a city that has suffered the trials of depopulation, recession and bankruptcy, residents are plagued by high rates of asthma, cancer, sexually-transmitted diseases, infant mortality, and drug addiction.  

Healthy, happy lives are being eroded due to lack of care. The barriers are high: Cost, transportation, stigmatization, education and violence are all factors ignored in the healthcare debate that keep Detroiters from leading productive lives.

The fragmented, volunteer-based support system that fills the gaps exists separate from but intertwined with its counterparts in the insurance, medical and pharmaceutical industries. The system is robust in its offerings, but desperately overwhelmed in attempting to solve these issues holistically and from a community standpoint. Moreover, it is buttressed by governmental support that comes in overlooked and unexpected ways.

For a country torn over how to care for the vulnerable, the story of Detroit is one of resilience and fortitude. This film will point to how we can make healthy living central to our communities and what lessons low-cost care can teach us in humanity and health.