Braddock Hospital had been in the community for more than 100 years when it closed in 2010. It had been bought by UPMC in 1996, but declining admissions and the resulting revenue loss took its toll. Braddock independent filmmaker Tony Buba was at the closing announcement and said he got consumed in the effort to save the hospital, during which he shot a lot of footage. He put together a film about the saga, but said it’s about much more.
“It’s really a call for people that even though you know you’re going to lose the battle, you have to get out there and fight and your voices have to be heard for any change to ever be made,” said Buba.
That fight, he added, continues.
“It’s not a downer, saying ‘well the hospital closed, you lost the fight,’ I mean it picks up at the end you have people from Occupy [Pittsburgh] protesting health care, SEIU is trying to organize UPMC workers for better pay and better benefits, so it’s really a cry showing the problems with our health care system.”
The film, We Are Alive! The Fight to Save Braddock Hospital will be screened Friday evening at the Regent Square Theater, with a feedback session afterward. The information gathered will be used in the final edit of the film. Buba is also screening the film for feedback at Harvard. He said the film will likely be finished in January, and he’ll then look to distribute it.