Primary Concern Premieres on GPB


Sonny Han
Phone: 719-310-4229


"From the Georgia perspective, maybe perhaps more so at the federal level, we've got to educate. We've got to help make this a priority and a front burner kind of issue."
                                                                          - Hon. Cecil Staton, Georgia State Senator

GAINESVILLE, GA – March 22, 2013 – Livingston+McKay’s latest documentary Primary Concern is a film that provides a deeper understanding of the challenges impacting our nation’s healthcare system due to the looming shortage of primary care physicians in the United States. Through an intimate look into the lives of physicians and their communities in rural Georgia, the issues surrounding this dire situation become personal, sparking concern and action to address this major national problem. As the film details the precarious health care precipice in America in all its complexities, it also shares the profound stories of doctors who are on the front lines serving their communities with compassion and perseverance against enormous odds.

As the film chronicles the lives of these incredible physicians, viewers also receive a rare glimpse into the distinct culture and values of these small rural communities located throughout Georgia. Dr. Jean Sumner resides in Sandersville and has a practice in her hometown as well as in Wrightsville. Dr. Jim Hotz is from Albany and practices in Newton in addition to leading a clinic in Baker County. Dr. Katie Naymick is from Calhoun and Dr. Fred Gaton has a practice in Roberta but resides in Macon. Dr. Ashley Mooney, who was a third year medical student at Mercer University Medical School during filming, is from Fitzgerald Georgia. Dr. Jean Sumner was also a member of Mercer University’s inaugural graduating class.

Why focus on Georgia? A microcosm of what's happening all across America, Georgia has a critical physician shortage. It is the 9th most populous state and the 5th fastest growing state in the nation. Yet, without changes in the state's medical education system, Georgia will rank last in the United States in physicians per capita by 2020. Without immediate statewide cooperation in expanding medical education and residency programs, the state may never again have an adequate supply of physicians.

The prognosis worsens for shortages in primary care for Georgia and throughout the U.S. There are more patients waiting to see fewer and fewer doctors. The Association of American Medical Colleges projects that by 2015, in just two years, the U.S. will be 63,000 doctors short of the number we need. And that number could double by 2025. 

Adding more concern to the issue, a dangerous demographic shift is occurring where baby boomers and the health care workforce are aging simultaneously. This influx of an additional 30 million people seeking access to care who will be covered by the Affordable Care Act, and very few medical students going into primary care and not enough residencies for those who actually do will cause an enormous strain on the overall healthcare system. Primary care doctors in rural and underserved areas in Georgia are already stretched thin as the first responders. How much longer can they hold back the impending storm?

Broadcast dates and times for Primary Concern are set in April on Georgia Public Broadcasting:

- Wednesday, April 3rd at 7:00 PM

- Thursday, April 4th at Midnight

- Saturday, April 6th at 3:00 AM

- Sunday, April 21st at 3:00 PM

- Wednesday, April 24th at 10:00 PM

The trailer can also be viewed with this link

For more information on the individuals featured in the film and press requests, please contact Sonny Han


Renée McKay and Joani Livingston of Livingston+McKay are EMMY® award-winning producers and directors with over 36 years combined experience in the broadcasting industry, their credit list is long and varied – from commercials to corporate videos to music videos; documentaries to entertainment programs to national live events. They are known for creative excellence in storytelling, winning numerous awards and recognition for production and content creation.

Both Livingston and McKay are driven by a passion to communicate well-crafted stories, which inspire and connect with a broad worldwide audience. They have an unshakeable belief in the power that great stories wield to shine a light on tough subjects, to raise awareness about the world and human condition, and to promote changes for the better. In addition to being active members in their regional chapters (Southeast and Lone Star, respectively) of the National Academy of Television Arts & Sciences (NATAS), they are also frequent speakers at national conferences and university campuses on the power of great stories to effect change.

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