Working in the film industry since 2004, area native Meredith Corrado has enjoyed many unique experiences and projects while working in the industry.
She’s experienced success while working with companies like Disney, ABC, and Warner Brothers.
But while she’s enjoyed her credentials, she was still looking for a project that didn’t just build her resume. She was looking for a project in which she could make her mark in the world.
It appears she’s found what she was looking for in her Rural Surgeons Film Project.
The project is designed to “inform people about the plight of rural general surgery and how it will directly affect them and their health care.”
“I’m really proud of this,” Corrado said. “This is changing the world and making a difference.”
The idea for the project was established when she met up with her father in 2010 at a surgical conference in San Francisco, Calif. Her father is Dr. Joseph Corrado, a surgeon with an office in Mexico, Mo. who has practiced there for 30 years.
She joined him for a dinner featuring rural surgeons.
“You hear about doctor shortage and a shortage of health care professionals, nurses, (etc.),” Corrado added. “But you don’t hear anything about (a shortage of) surgeons.”
She learned how there’s a shortage of surgeons, especially at rural hospitals. She learned how surgeons are really key money makers for the rural facilities. She also learned how surgical capabilities at a facility is what helps to supplement doctors and nurses at those locations.
“In a small community, hospitals are huge employers,” Corrado said.
So while she could have taken the path with the project by focusing her video as a tribute to rural surgeons, she realized the focal point needed to be on the fact that there is a shortage of surgeons. She noted the need is increasing with the baby boomer generation retiring in their 60’s.
“When you go to rural areas, you find an older surgeon that has really a wide breath of what they do and we’re not training surgeons in the same way,” she said. “…I think it’s important to help people understand what’s going on. I just don’t think people are thinking about it and I hate to see something happen to hospitals.”
She said if a surgeon retires or something happens to one, it takes a rural hospital about one year to recruit a younger replacement who is in their 40’s.
“The problem is if something happens to a surgeon or he retires, then (hospitals) need to recruit somebody really fast and recruiting (surgeons) fast is not happening these days,” Corrado said.
She noted how there are not a lot of hard working farmers and others living in rural areas that can’t afford to take off a week to have a procedure done farther away from home in a big city.
Corrado added that people going to the bigger city for a surgical procedure are also spending money that is not directly benefiting the local area by way of the local hospital, gas, meals, and more.
Corrado started researching for the film in April 2011 and started shooting it in June 2012.
Due to the birth of her child, the project took a little longer to get off the ground as she would have liked. She filmed segments with health care professionals and surgeons for the video in Oregon, Iowa, Kansas, Montana, New York, and Maine, among other places.
“Making this movie for me is a real rollercoaster,” Corrado added. “I’ve fallen in love with what they do.”
She started a Kickstarter fundraising campaign for the project on her website to raise funds. She hit her first goal of raising $10,000, doing it in 20 days.
Corrado reached a filming budgeted goal of $40,000 but is still $9,702 from her edit and sell/total budget goal for the project.
She hopes to have the project ready for distribution in the next few months. To donate, visit www.ruralsurgeonsfilm.com and click on the “invest” tab.
“I hope we can use this movie when it’s done to use it as a local fundraiser for local hospitals,” she said. “And show it as some sort of a premiere night and make it an event for different communities.”
She added that she’s enjoyed working with her father on the project. Corrado has moved back to Mexico, Mo. from California in order to see the project become a reality.
“It’s been really fun (working with dad),” she said. “It’s kind of funny because he really doesn’t understand the film making process at all but he’s putting up with me.”
She said she showed a trailer at the American College of Surgeons and her father is now a movie star. In spite of being a past governatorial representative for surgeons in the state, he’s received more notoriety than ever before as the “guy in the video.”
More about Corrado
According to her project’s website, Corrado has been working in film and television since 2004. Her first job was in Chicago, coordinating a DVD extra for Universal Studios. From there, she assisted on a documentary feature about George Romero.
In 2005, she moved out to Hollywood and continues to work on feature films and television shows for such companies as Warner Brothers, Disney, ABC, Nickelodeon, Comedy Central, MTV, Spike, History Channel, and Starz to name a few. More importantly to this project, Meredith comes to Hollywood, Calif. by way of Mexico, Mo. (which she still calls home). Her father is a general and vascular surgeon there.