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BELOW THE BELT: THE LAST HEALTH TABOO, A Captivating Documentary by Award-Winning Filmmaker Shannon Cohn and Executive Producer Hillary Rodham Clinton, Reveals the Heartbreak of Endometriosis


BELOW THE BELT premieres Wednesday, June 21 at 10 p.m. ET on PBS, PBS.org and the PBS App. (Courtesy: BELOW THE BELT)

ARLINGTON, VIRGINIA, UNITED STATES, June 6, 2023/EINPresswire.com/ -- BELOW THE BELT: THE LAST HEALTH TABOO, a film by award-winning filmmaker Shannon Cohn and executive producers Hillary Rodham Clinton, Rosario Dawson, Corinne Foxx and Mae Whitman, tells the personal and inspiring stories of four patients urgently searching for answers to mysterious symptoms and exposes widespread problems in the healthcare system that disproportionately affect women. From societal taboos and gender bias to misinformed doctors and financial barriers to care, the film shines a light on how millions are effectively silenced. Through its powerful, intimate storytelling, it is a tribute to the strength of women and a stirring message for better care. BELOW THE BELT premieres Wednesday, June 21 at 10 p.m. ET (check local listings) on PBS, PBS.org and the PBS App.

“We’re thrilled to premiere BELOW THE BELT on PBS to an audience of millions. This film shines a light on endometriosis, but just as important, it shines a light on the taboos, stigma and biases that are the hurdles to effective healthcare and that devastate countless lives,” said Cohn. “It’s our hope that in sharing these stories, we can lift the veil on the unjustness they experience, accelerate the search for better treatments; and bring a greater level of compassion, awareness, and empathy to millions of people wrestling with chronic illness and invisible disabilities. The film presents a rare opportunity not only to write a new chapter in the devastating narrative of this disease, but in all of healthcare.”

Endometriosis is a painful disease that affects millions of Americans yet is rarely discussed and underfunded. BELOW THE BELT explores the harrowing eight to 10 years it takes - on average - for women to be diagnosed with endometriosis because they are often dismissed, discounted, and disbelieved.

BELOW THE BELT follows the stories of Jenneh Rishe, a young, African-American nurse in Los Angeles who visits the emergency room seven times in two years with unexplained symptoms; Emily Hatch Manwaring, a teenage girl from an affluent family in Boston who sees the best doctors at the nation’s best hospitals and finds no answers; Laura Cone, a 30 year-old Canadian who has four unsuccessful surgeries and tries 22 different medications over 17 years with no relief; and Kyung Jeon-Miranda, a Korean American artist in Brooklyn who desperately tries to start a family with her new husband. Over a period of seven years, BELOW THE BELT captures the toll endometriosis takes on each of their lives as they search for answers and shines a light on a medical system ill-equipped to deal with marginalized, poorly understood conditions.

BELOW THE BELT brings a personal and relatable perspective to a disease that affects so many people around the world, but that still lacks key awareness and education. Through its powerful, intimate storytelling, the film calls for a future where all girls and women have equal opportunities for education, fulfilling careers, family, and healthy, vibrant lives.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, the late Sen. Orrin Hatch and artist/activist Kiran “Madame” Gandhi are also featured in the film, along with various medical experts: David Redwine, M.D., endometriosis specialist; Ken Sinervo, M.D., medical director, Center for Endometriosis Care; Heather Guidone, surgical program director, Center for Endometriosis Care; Iris Kerin Orbuch, M.D., director of the Advanced Gynecologic Laparoscopy Center; Ted Anderson, M.D., American College of OBGYNS, past president; and Barbara Levy, M.D., American College of OBGYNS, former vice president for health policy.

For more information on BELOW THE BELT: THE LAST HEALTH TABOO, please visit www.pbs.org and www.belowthebelt.film. Viewers are also encouraged to engage in online conversation about the documentary by tagging @PBS and @EndoWhat and using #BelowTheBeltPBS, #EndoWhat and #endometriosis on Facebook and Instagram.

BELOW THE BELT is a film by award-winning director and producer Shannon Cohn (Endo What?). Oscar winners Christopher Seward (Fahrenheit 9/11, Sicko) and Mary Lampson (Harlan County USA, Trouble the Water) serve as editors with Hillary Rodham Clinton, Rosario Dawson, Corrine Foxx and Mae Whitman as executive producers. Directors of photography for the film are Patricio Cohn and Zelmira Gainza. Selena Lauterer is a consulting producer. Mississippi Public Broadcasting is the Presenting Station. Margaret Ebrahim is the executive in charge for PBS.

About Endometriosis
Endometriosis (“endo”) affects millions of Americans yet, even so, it takes an average of eight doctors and 10 years to properly diagnose. A greater diagnostic delay exists for women of color who are less likely believed, diagnosed, and effectively treated. During that time, many are often told incorrectly by doctors that an array of ineffective drugs, pregnancy and hysterectomy are cures. Many are left infertile - nearly 50% of infertility cases in women are due to this disease. Endometriosis makes a tremendous global impact as well putting a burden on society of an estimated $119 billion annually in the U.S. alone in lost wages and associated medical costs. One in 6 people with endometriosis lost at least one job due to symptoms as patients lose an estimated 10 hours of productivity per week.

About PBS
PBS, with more than 330 member stations, offers all Americans the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television and digital content. Each month, PBS reaches over 42 million adults on linear primetime television, more than 15 million users on PBS-owned streaming platforms, and 56 million people view PBS content on social media, inviting them to experience the worlds of science, history, nature, and public affairs; to hear diverse viewpoints; and to take front-row seats to world-class drama and performances. PBS’s broad array of programs has been consistently honored by the industry’s most coveted award competitions. Teachers of children from pre-K through 12th grade turn to PBS LearningMedia for digital content and services that help bring classroom lessons to life. As the number one educational media brand, PBS KIDS helps children 2-8 build critical skills, enabling them to find success in school and life. Delivered through member stations, PBS KIDS offers high-quality content on TV — including a PBS KIDS channel — and streaming free on pbskids.org and the PBS KIDS Video app, games on the PBS KIDS Games app, and in communities across America. More information about PBS is available at PBS.org, one of the leading dot-org websites on the internet, Facebook, Instagram, or through our apps for mobile and connected devices. Specific program information and updates for press are available at pbs.org/pressroom or by following PBS Communications on Twitter.

– PBS –

EDITORIAL NOTE: For images and additional up-to-date information about BELOW THE BELT and other PBS programs, please visit the PBS PressRoom at pbs.org/pressroom. PBS executives and filmmaker Shannon Cohn are available for interviews upon request.

Michaé Godwin, PBS, mmgodwin@pbs.org
Brandii Toby-Leon, Bullseye Communications, brandii.leon@bullseyecomm.com
Laura Evans, Laura Evans Media, Laura@LauraEvansMedia.com

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