The Right to Heal Film Premiere

"The Right to Heal", a film about essential surgery, made its United States Premiere at the Inaugural Bay Area Global Health Film Festival at Public Works in San Francisco, California on July 12, 2013. The first year festival was co-organized by Amber Caldwell, Director of Development at Institute for Global Orthopaedics and Traumatology (IGOT), Jaymie Ang Henry, M.D., M.P.H., Founder & Executive Board Member, International Collaboration for Essential Surgery (ICES), and Zak Armitage, Marketing Manager at LIM Innovations. The festival attracted an audience of over 300.

Amber Caldwell kicked off the event with a warm welcome and introduction to guest speaker, Dr. Thomas Weiser from the Department of Trauma Surgery & Surgical Critical Care at Stanford University, who delivered a global health message focused on a new paradigm in bringing surgery to the world stage.  Dr. Jaymie Ang Henry spoke of how the film 'The Right to Heal' aims to shed light on the neglected issues in surgical care globally and the need for concerned individuals and organizations to unite in bringing international attention to issues in providing essential surgery to poorly-served areas of the world.

'The Right to Heal' gave us an intimate look at the lives of individuals in need of essential surgery and their incredibly inspiring and innovative providers who are looking for solutions and change in global surgical care.

Dr. Jaymie Ang Henry, co-producer and Director, along with James Carroll and Alemberg Ang, brought us compelling storytelling and beautiful images of people affected by disabilities that are easily treatable, such as cleft lip and clubfoot, and women affected by the consequences of not having timely, safe, and appropriate cesarean section resulting in fistulas, the appalling life they are submitted to, physically and socially, and those who are disabled for life as a result of little or no access to essential surgical care.

Filmed thus far in developing rural areas in the Philippines, Tanzania, Kenya, Malawi, and Bangladesh, they will grow their film by adding stories from their upcoming filming in Ecuador, Cambodia and Mongolia.

Brought to us by San Francisco filmmaker, director and writer Mike Seely, “The Most Distant Places” follows Dr. Edgar Rodas and his team to the far reaches of Ecuador, interweaving intimate portrayals of the challenges of providing health care for impoverished people located far from adequate medical facilities.

Also screened at the event was "Losing a LIMb-Life without your Own 2 Feet" by Ray and Andy Burson.  The filmmakers are brothers and surgeons whose mission is to empower, educate, and train communities about prevention, management, and the consequences of diabetes and amputation.

Global Health Organizations partnered for the event were:  IGOT Institute for Global Orthopaedics and Traumatology, ICES International Collaboration for Essential Surgery, Own2Feet, A little4alot, LIM Innovations, UCSF Global Health Sciences, Samahope, ReSurge, and LifeBox.  To connect please visit:


The event created exposure for 'The Right to Heal' to the surgical and global health care community and highlighted the need for global essential surgery which has resulted in invitations for screenings at festivals and organizations throughout the US and abroad in the coming weeks and months which will serve to promote the filmmakers message to increase awareness. Please visit the film's website at for upcoming events/screenings.