University of Vermont

College of Medicine

Office of Medical Communications

College Hosts Screening of “Hungry Heart” Documentary on Prescription Drug Addiction in Vermont

The Hungry Heart Film

There’s a crisis in Vermont that’s threatening the health and safety of our population: opiate addiction and drug-related crime. Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin, who focused his recent State of the State Address on the issue, calls this crisis “complicated, controversial, and difficult to talk about.” On Thursday, January 23, 2014, roughly 260 members of the University of Vermont community had an opportunity to learn more about this growing threat at an evening screening of Vermont filmmaker Bess O’Brien’s documentary “The Hungry Heart,” held in Carpenter Auditorium in the Given Building.

Sponsored by the UVM College of Medicine, Office of Primary Care and Area Health Education Centers Program, Office of Medical Student Education and Department of Family Medicine, the event featured the film, which delves into the world of prescription drug addiction from the perspective of Frederick Holmes, M.D., UVM clinical assistant professor of pediatrics and a pediatrician at Mousetraps Pediatrics in St. Albans, Vt., who works with patients struggling with this disease.

Director/producer Bess O’Brien is co-founder of Kingdom County Productions with her husband and filmmaker Jay Craven. In addition to “The Hungry Heart,” she has served as director/producer on several other documentaries, including “Ask Us Who We Are,” “Journey into Courage,” “Where is Stephanie,” and “Here Today,” as well as served as co-producer of the films “Where the Rivers Flow North” and “A Stranger in the Kingdom.”

A discussion with O'Brien, Holmes and addiction patients followed the screening of the film.