Louisville is featured in an upcoming documentary that reveals the relationship between health and socio-economic divides in the United States. The film is co-produced by Llew Smith, who says Louisville effectively represents the health disparities that are taking place in cities across America. Studies from the Center for Health Equity have shown that rates of cancer and other diseases, as well as premature death rates, are higher in the West End than in the rest of Louisville – and they are drastically lower in the easternmost portions of the county.
Smith says he learned a lot about the severity of the situation when he talked with Mary Porter, who lives in Portland.
“This is a remarkable intelligent woman who understands her situation precisely. She knows what she needs to do. She’s restricted by her poverty from making the choices she knows she needs to make. That really struck me that you meet people who live in poverty and they know what they need to do to be healthy. The question is: can they?,” said Smith.
Health Department Director Adewale Troutman says it’ll take major policy and perception changes to create health equity in this country. The series “Unnatural Causes” airs Thursday night on PBS and starts next week.