Posted on May 24, 2023

Step into the riveting story of Libby, Montana, a community that faced an unprecedented public health emergency due to asbestos. Join us as the Center for Asbestos Related Disease (CARD) delves into the lives of individuals and families affected by asbestos-related diseases in this powerful documentary. Witness the challenges they faced and the triumphs they achieved as the community united to overcome adversity. Explore their resilience and the remarkable efforts led by Dr. Brad Black, who spearheaded the establishment of the Center. Tonight, we extend an invitation to a special screening of “Healing a Community” in Missoula, with a subsequent showing in Bozeman. Brace yourself for an eye-opening experience.

The Asbestos Crisis in Libby:

For over seventy years, a vermiculite mine operated in Libby, leaving an indelible mark on the community. The vermiculite ore, processed and sold as insulation, contained a dangerous form of asbestos known as Libby Amphibole. The consequences of mining vermiculite have proven devastating, exposing workers, their families, and local residents to this hazardous substance. The insidious effects of asbestos-related diseases are only just beginning to surface, as it often takes several decades for them to manifest. Today, even old homes and buildings across the country still harbor this lethal toxin.

The documentary “Healing a Community” narrates the gripping tale of Libby’s struggle with the asbestos public health emergency. Through the perspectives of those directly affected and the unwavering dedication of Dr. Brad Black, viewers witness a harrowing fight for justice and healing. This 45-minute educational film was funded through a grant from the Center for Disease Control (CDC) and offers a unique insight into asbestos-related diseases and their impact on individuals, families, the community, and the future. “Healing a Community” provides a deeply personal perspective on the suffering caused by asbestos exposure and calls for action to end its importation and use. Watch the trailer here.

Screening Details:

Tonight, the Roxy Theater in Missoula will host the first showing of “Healing a Community” at 4 pm and 6 pm. Attend this immersive cinematic experience that will leave you inspired and informed. Dr. Brad Black, the former Medical Director of CARD, will be present for a Q&A session between the showings, offering deeper insights into the challenges faced and the progress made in combating asbestos-related diseases. Following the Missoula screening, the documentary will travel to the Emerson Center for the Arts & Culture Crawford Theater in Bozeman on May 26th at 7 pm. Dr. Black will be joined by Dr. Jean Pfau, an esteemed MSU Research Professor, for another engaging Q&A session. This presents an invaluable opportunity for the audience to gain firsthand knowledge and engage with the experts.

This is a rare chance to witness the power of community resilience and recognize the critical importance of healthcare, treatment, and research. Admission to both screenings is free, so encourage your friends, family, and neighbors to join you in experiencing this momentous occasion.

Not All Heroes Wear Capes:

The Libby asbestos public health emergency has left an indelible mark on the community, but through resilience and determination, healing has begun. Dr. Brad Black, the driving force behind CARD, has devoted his life to healthcare advocacy and research for those affected by asbestos. Although retired, his unwavering commitment continues to shape the fight against asbestos-related diseases. Alongside Dr. Black, numerous individuals in Libby, such as Gayla Benefield and the CARD team, have stood on the frontline for justice and change, providing patients with the medical treatment and care they need and deserve while building a resilient community.

We commend the efforts of Andrew Schneider and David McCumber, the two brave journalists who wrote “An Air That Kills: How the Asbestos Poisoning of Libby, Montana, Uncovered a National Scandal.” Their work exposed the decades-long poisoning of the small Montana town, revealing the long-term implications of asbestos exposure, the repeated negligence of government and industry in addressing the dangers, and the determined efforts of a few individuals to uncover the truth.

Lastly, we express our heartfelt gratitude to Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines for their unwavering commitment to protecting their constituents and our nation from the dangers of asbestos exposure. Together, we can raise awareness, promote early detection, and support the ongoing fight against asbestos-related diseases.

Together, let us be the agents of change.

Linda Reinstein

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