The long and short of it: GE premiers Heroines of Health documentary in bite-size form

The healthcare company released the documentary in minute-long snippets over a month, then debuted the full film this week.

Photo of Mercy Owuor, provided by GE Healthcare
Photo of Mercy Owuor, provided by GE Healthcare

GE Healthcare got the best of both the short-form and long-form content worlds with the bite-sized debut of its documentary, Heroines of Health.

The 30-minute film was released one minute per day on Instagram over the past month, and by day 24, the clips had accumulated more than 600,000 views in total. On Tuesday, GE Healthcare premiered the full film on Facebook after the final one-minute clip posted.

"It was an experiment," said Sarah Wills, chief communications officer at GE Healthcare. "People consume content on mobile, on demand, and in snackable, short-form content. We felt like distributing the film in this way initially is a way for folks to consume the content in a better way, where they are."

The film follows three women who work in healthcare for one day: Mercy Owuor in Kenya; Dr. Sharmila Anand in India; and Rohani Daeng Tene in Indonesia. GE Healthcare’s goal was to shine more recognition on the work of women, who make up three-quarters of the global healthcare workforce, in the healthcare ecosystem.

GE Healthcare and its partners also named 13 women around the world, three of whom are in the film, as "heroines of health."

The GE unit operates in more than 100 countries, providing education, medical services, and technologies such as ultrasound or imaging devices or patient monitoring tools to healthcare providers.

Terri Bresenham, president of GE Healthcare’s Sustainable Healthcare Solutions, came up with the idea for the film as she traveled through Africa, India, and Southeast Asia and was moved by the hard work and stories of the women she met. When Bresenham returned to the U.S., she took the stories to her communications team, which worked with director Lisa Russell on the film and with Olson Engage on the Instagram release.

"Instagram was a such an ideal platform for this one-minute-a-day [strategy] because viewers can consume the content in a linear way every day or in a non-linear way and it's just as meaningful, being able to step into the lives of these women for a minute," Wills said.

GE Healthcare’s campaign primarily targeted people who live in the three regions featured in the film, health organizations that operate there, and global health NGOs. Its ultimate goal is to encourage people who live and work in those areas to strengthen healthcare systems and provide opportunities in healthcare to women and girls, Wills said.

"We wanted to bring recognition to that work, a lot of which is unrecognized," she explained. "Our belief is that if our partners prioritize skilling up women and girls, it will strengthen the health systems and there will be more recognition for this work."

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