November 1, 2011

Leaves Keep Falling at MTM11

The TEM crew is proud to announce that our film "The Leaves Keep Falling" received the Human Rights Award at this year's Media That Matters Film Festival. Leaves showcased at MTM11 on Thursday, October 27th in NYC, along with the festival's other 12 films.

We want to thank MTM11 for the recognition and for allowing us to be a part of such an inspiring festival. We hope our film will raise awareness about the effects of Agent Orange, highlight solutions, and inspire people to get involved and take action to help heal wounds from a war that won't seem to end.

Visit to view this year's collection of MTM films, and to
"Screen. Act. Impact."

September 22, 2011

FIRESTORM screening at IAEMSC summit

On October 30th, FIRESTORM will screen at this year's IAEMSC Annual EMS Leadership Summit in Washington, DC. A lively conversation will follow discussing the overuse of the 9-1-1 system and the impact of hospital closures on EMS.

The Summit will also include updates on other leading policy issues impacting EMS administration and systems, such as the White Paper calling for a federal EMS agency.

To learn more about the EMS White Paper and to endorse its petition, click here. Support TEM, the International Association of EMS Chiefs, and the National EMS Labor Alliance in urging the designation of a lead federal agency for EMS within the Department of Homeland Security.

September 6, 2011

The Leaves Keep Falling Wins Artivist Award

We're proud to announce that our latest short film, The Leaves Keep Falling, won the Environmental Preservation Award at the 8th Annual Artivist Film Festival. This outstanding festival draws attention to films that raise awareness for international human rights, children's advocacy, environmental preservation, and animal protection. The awards were announced at a screening in Los Angeles in August, and the films will travel to six cities across the U.S., including: Seattle, Sedona, Austin, Atlanta, Washington, DC and Chicago.

May 10, 2011

Hospitals left with $49 billion in unpaid tabs

A new study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) shows that even higher income uninsured families are struggling to meet the high costs of health care.

According to the government report released May 10, 2011 (titled "The Value of Health Insurance: Few of the Uninsured Have Adequate Resources to Pay Potential Hospital Bills"), uninsured Americans (including those with incomes well above the poverty line) leave hospitals with unpaid tabs of up to $49 billion a year. The report states that every year, nearly 2 million uninsured Americans are hospitalized. With 58% of these hospital stays resulting in bills of more than $10,000, most uninsured people are unable to afford potential hospital bills. even the top 10% of uninsured families with the most assets are estimated to be able to pay the full bill for only half of potential hospital stays.

In the HHS press release, the HHS assistant secretary for planning and evaluation says "No family should bear the burden of being one illness or accident away from bankruptcy."

To read the HHS Press Release:

To read the full HHS Study:

To read the USA Today article about the study:

May 5, 2011

FIRESTORM nominated for Emmy!

Talking Eyes Media is thrilled to announce that FIRESTORM has been nominated for the 2010-2011 Northern California Emmy Awards! We are honored to be included in the "Documentary" category along with the films OUT. The Glenn Burke Story and The Next Frontier-Engineering the Golden Age of Green.

April 29, 2011

ER Visits Up and Climbing

A new report from the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) shows that ER visits are climbing. But that's not the whole story. What's revealing is that 97% of the ER doctors surveyed said they were treating patients on a daily basis who were either on Medicaid or they were sent by their primary care doctors.

That means the rise ER usage is not tied to lack of insurance, but rather proof of the fact that Medicaid patients don't have access to primary care doctors and that primary care doctors are not serving insured patients for the services and at the time of day they require.

What does that mean in the Big Picture? Unfortunately, it means the new health care law, the Affordable Care Act, could exacerbate rather than alleviate the problem. If Massachusetts is any indication, we're in for a rough ride.

April 18, 2011

"DENIED" selected as Webby Official Honoree

We are proud to announce that Talking Eyes Media's short film DENIED has been selected as an Official Honoree of the 15th Annual Webby Awards in the "Public Service and Activism" category. DENIED captures Sheila Wessenberg's fight to win her battle against breast cancer while struggling to save her family from medical bankruptcy. The film reveals the reality behind America's dysfunctional healthcare system and what it means when access to care is denied.

TEM congratulates all of this year's Webby Honorees, Nominees and Winners, including our friends at MediaStorm for their film UNDESIRED.


View the list of Webby Winners: 15th Annual Webby Award Nominees

March 10, 2011

Screening of FIRESTORM at EMS Today

Filmmaker Julie Winokur and I traveled to Baltimore last week to present FIRESTORM at this year's EMS Today conference. Although we were only there from Thursday to Friday, our schedules were jammed pack. From attending a few educational sessions and exploring the exhibition floor to meeting up with old EMS friends and networking with new ones, EMS Today was a great success as well as a blast!

Julie was interviewed by GenMed host Natalie Queubedeaux and we also met up with EMS bloggers Chris Kaiser (Life Under The Lights) and Scott Kier (EMS in the New Decade), podcaster Jamie Davis (the Podmedic), and Ted Setla, Justin Schorr, and Sam Bradley of Chronicles of EMS. We also met paramedics from other countries including Switzerland and Germany. It was amazing to hear their thoughts after watching FIRESTORM and to compare notes about each of our country's EMS and health care system.

With a turnout of about 80-100 people, Julie and I couldn't have been more pleased with the screening of FIRESTORM. The more EMS professionals we show the film to, the greater the reach of our outreach campaign. And the greater the outreach campaign, the greater the chance of successfully reducing overcrowding in our nation's EDs.

So many EMTs tell us "ER overcrowding, wall delays, ambulance diversion -- all of this is currently happening in my community too!" Unfortunately, it's the public at large who remain unaware and uneducated about our nation's EMS crisis. Communities across the US (both urban and rural) are facing the same ER problems as seen in Los Angeles, and (as many of us discussed at the conference) 'If these problems exist on a day-to-day basis across the country, then how can EMS be prepared for and adequately respond to a disaster situation?' Americans have no idea that our EMS systems are overwhelmed and facing dire circumstances. That's why opportunities such as screening at EMS Today is so important to our film and campaign's success....We need more EMS members to learn about FIRESTORM so they can then use the film as a tool for advocacy and awareness in their communities.

Thank you to EMS Today for giving us this opportunity and to all our EMS friends for supporting our film and helping us spread the word. Our nation's EMS system is made up of such dedicated, skilled, intelligent, and humble men and women. It was such a privilege to be welcomed into their tight knit community with open arms.

P.S. Thank you to our Swiss fans (Elmar, Helge, and Ra) for sharing your pictures with us!

February 23, 2011

Health Care Reform Is Here....But Still Far Away

The Affordable Care Act, the comprehensive health care reform legislation signed into law by President Obama in March 2010, will enable many uninsured Americans to receive health coverage. These changes, however, will not take full effect until 2014 - three years away. Until then, thousands of Americans continue to live without any insurance while many more continue to lose their coverage as a result of the recent recession and state budget cuts.

In two recent stories, NPR captures this unfortunate reality. Click on the links below to listen to the stories.

January 18, 2011

Who's Killing What?

Thank you Rep. Frank Pallone and Rep. Henry Waxman for giving us a nuts and bolts analysis of the real costs of repealing the health care reform law. If you want to know exactly who would be penalized by a repeal take a look here:

In NJ, where we're located, that translates to as many as 300,000 individuals who could be denied coverage and tens of thousands of small businesses that won't get an health insurance tax credits.

True to their word, congressional republicans have initiated their "Repealing the Job-Killing Health Care Law Act.” What's totally unclear is who would benefit by this 'killing'? The Government Accounting Office estimates that repealing the law would cost $230 billion over a decade.

While the Affordable Care Act is short of perfect, and insurance premiums continue to rise in the double-digits, at least we're moving in the right direction in getting every American covered and facilitating small businesses in solution.