Press Release


Following the screening, a panel discussion will explore the question: "Can Cuba solve the Cook County health care crisis?"

CHICAGO –The Public Square at the Illinois Humanities Council (IHC) and Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba (MEDICC) will host the Chicago premiere and of the documentary film, ¡SALUD!, on Tuesday, April 24, 6:30P.M. at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago Auditorium (280 S. Columbus Drive, 2nd floor). A post-screening panel discussion will ask the question: "Can Cuba Solve the Cook County Healthcare Crisis?"

A timely film about conflicting values and the urgency of ensuring the universal right to health care, ¡SALUD!, examines the remarkable case of Cuba, a cash-strapped country that has established what the BBC calls "one of the world’s best health systems," and helps other developing countries do the same. Beautifully filmed in Cuba, South Africa, The Gambia, Honduras and Venezuela, ¡SALUD! reveals the human dimension of the world-wide health crisis, and the central role of international cooperation in addressing glaring inequalities. ¡SALUD! accompanies some of the 28,000 Cuban health professionals now serving in 68 countries. Through their personal stories, and those of an array of young medical students—now numbering 30,000—from the Americas, Africa and the Caribbean being trained by Cuba, ¡SALUD! invites us to explore new paths to making health a global birthright, wiping out the diseases of poverty.

Dr. Jocelyn Elders, former U.S. Surgeon General, exclaims: "¡SALUD! is an excellent, accurate and deeply moving portrayal of a healthcare system designed to keep people healthy rather than the ‘sickcare’ system that currently exists in the United States."

Speakers in the post-screening discussion include Dr. Peter Orris, professor and senior attending physician at John Stroger Hospital of Cook County; Dr. Mildred Williamson, social worker, program developer and social justice activist; and Debra Evenson, author of Law and Society in Contemporary Cuba

Both the screening and discussion are free. Reservations are recommended. E-mail or call 312.422.5580. Please note: this film is not rated.

This screening and discussion are part of The Public Square at the IHC’s "Civic Cinema" program, a series of films, forums, and conversations that uses the most exceptionally creative and engaging documentary films of our times as a springboard for talking about some of the most pressing and challenging social issues facing us.

Medical Education Cooperation with Cuba (MEDICC) is a non-profit organization working to enhance cooperation among the United States and Cuban and global health communities aimed at better health outcomes. Founded in 1997, MEDICC’s programs support education and development of human resources in health committed to equitable access and quality care, providing the Cuban experience to inform global debate, practice, policies and cooperation in health.

This program is co-sponsored by the Center for Latino Research at DePaul University, Health and Medicine Policy Research Group, and In These Times.

The Public Square at the Illinois Humanities Council fosters debate, dialogue, and exchange of ideas about cultural, social and political issues with an emphasis on social justice. Our programs promote participatory democracy by creating space for public conversations. For more information about the Public Square at the IHC or other programs of the Illinois Humanities Council, please call 312.422.5580 or visit

The Illinois Humanities Council is an educational organization dedicated to fostering a culture in which the humanities are a vital part of the lives of individuals and communities. Through its programs and grants, the IHC promotes greater understanding of, appreciation for, and involvement in the humanities by all Illinoisans, regardless of their economic resources, cultural background, or geographic location. Organized as a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities in 1973, the IHC is now a private nonprofit (501 [c] 3) organization that is funded by contributions from individuals, corporations, and foundations; by the Illinois General Assembly; and by the NEH.


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