Media Arts and Science Faculty, Students Collaborate with School of Medicine to Create AMPATH Health Education Videos

February 18, 2014

Media Arts and Science lecturer, Thomas Lewis, a group of students, and the Indiana University School of Medicine recently teamed up to create a series of healthcare videos for AMPATH, (American Model Providing Access to Healthcare), a consortium of North American academic health institutions that provide healthcare in partnership with Kenya’s Moi University.

Lecturer Thomas Lewis on set

Lecturer Thomas Lewis on set

The videos were created to be instrumental in therapy and counseling sessions for those suffering from AIDS and HIV in western Kenya. With Dr. Rachel Vreeman, of IU’s Department of Pediatrics, Lewis developed a series of culturally appropriate videos that are being used within Dr. Vreeman’s ongoing pediatric clinical trial in Kenya. Caregivers and patients are using these videos in individual and group counseling sessions in several AMPATH clinics as patients learn of their HIV status (disclosure). The clinical trial, called HADITHI (Swahili for story), aims to evaluate the efficacy of an intensive package of patient-centered, clinic-based resources designed to support families going through the HIV disclosure process.

“The videos use narrative filmmaking therapeutically,” said Lewis.  “Patients and caregivers will watch the videos, and we hope they address many of their concerns about HIV disclosure.  I hope the videos help patients and caregivers navigate through a lot of the issues they might be facing.”

Dr. Rachel Vreeman on the set of the AMPATH videos

Dr. Rachel Vreeman on the set

The videos were made financially possible through an International Development Fund Grant.  After Lewis secured the grant and travelled to Kenya to shoot the videos with local talent and crew, Media Arts and Science students, Mike Lulgjuraj, Eric Thaddeus Andrews, Jessica Carr, were then hired to help with post-production.   Because all of the videos were created in the native Swahili language, international students, Sheila Ngetich, and Alex Migiro, were also brought on board during post-production to serve as translators.

After the videos were completed, Lewis worked closely with Lulgjuraj to develop an app for the videos. This allows the videos to be used on hundreds of Nexus tablets recently donated to AMPATH by Google.

“Being able to use my skills and experience in production and post-production, incorporating a real hands-on learning experience for students, along with the collaboration with the School of Medicine was truly a great opportunity,” said Lewis.

Media Contact

Joanne Lovrinic