While Americans debate who is entitled to health care coverage and who isn't, Dr. Rick Hodes has been in Ethiopia quietly providing it to anyone in need. An observant Jew, Dr. Hodes left behind his comfortable Long Island life nearly twenty years ago for, quite literally, the streets of Addis Ababa where he daily saves the lives of just about anyone who turns up on the doorstep where he provides care through the American Jewish Joint Distribution Committee and the Mother Teresa Mission.
Many of his patients are stricken with a spine disease that creates massive, life threatening humps on their backs. Working with a limited budget, and often digging into his own pockets, Dr. Hodes provides the medical care himself or, when not possible, arranges for complex overseas surgeries for his patients abroad. And as if that's not enough, Dr. Hodes has fostered and adopted over 20 children.
As a filmmaker, I choose subjects that show the passions of the human heart. It's my hope that my documentary "Making the Crooked Straight" (debuting on Wednesday, April 14 at 8:00 pm ET/PT on HBO2) will help viewers realize how much we can do to help others in small ways and motivate them to lend a hand in whatever way they can. I also hope this film inspires doctors, policymakers, and the public in general to recognize that we can save lives without breaking the bank.
HBO2 promo clip for "Making the Crooked Straight":