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KIPCOR to show critically acclaimed film on health-care access

September 11th, 2017

NORTH NEWTON, KAN. – The final documentary in the KIPCOR 2015–16 Film Series at Bethel College takes a behind-the-scenes look at an inner-city emergency room and the needs of mostly uninsured patients.

The Waiting Room will screen in Krehbiel Auditorium in Luyken Fine Arts Center May 1 at 3 p.m.

Dr. Ted Cook, medical director of the emergency department at Newton Medical Center, will lead the post-film talk-back portion of the event.

Director Peter Nicks shot The Waiting Room over five months at Highland Hospital, a safety-net hospital in Oakland, California. The crew followed doctors, patients and staff in the ER and especially in the waiting room outside, then edited the footage as a composite 24-hour day.

The 81-minute film gives a glimpse into what life is like in an American public hospital caring for a community of largely uninsured patients.

“This film [should] dovetail with the ongoing debate and discussion re: our country’s health-care system and the need for health-care reform,” said Dan Wassink of KIPCOR, who organizes the annual film series.

Both the Washington Post and the San Francisco Chronicle put The Waiting Room on their 10 Best lists for 2012, with the Post’s Ann Hornaday placing it at #3.

“This subtle, compassionate tableau lifts the veil on a world often described in terms of squalor and despair, finding the inherent dignity and perseverance therein,” Hornaday wrote. “If I could choose one film to play in the White House screening room this year, it would be The Waiting Room.”

The Bethel screening of The Waiting Room is free and open to the public, with a freewill offering taken to support the film series and the work of the Kansas Institute for Peace and Conflict Resolution (KIPCOR).

Bethel College is the only private, liberal arts college in Kansas listed in the 2015–16 analysis of top colleges and universities in the United States, and is the highest-ranked Kansas college in the Washington Monthly annual college guide for 2015–16. The four-year liberal arts college is affiliated with Mennonite Church USA. For more information, see

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About Bethel

As the first Mennonite college founded in North America, Bethel College celebrates a tradition of progressive Christian liberal arts education, diversity within community, and lifelong learning.