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The Education of Dee Dee Ricks (TV)

Original title
The Education of Dee Dee Ricks (TV)
Running time
71 min.
United States United States
Perri Peltz
Michael Bacon
Tom Mason
Documentary, Self:
Documentary | Half-length Film. Medical
Synopsis / Plot
THE EDUCATION OF DEE DEE RICKS is the intimate story of one woman's mission to defeat cancer and help others do the same. After being diagnosed with breast cancer and undergoing a double mastectomy, Dee Dee Ricks traded a hedge-fund career for philanthropy, raising money for a Harlem cancer clinic that treats underserved and uninsured patients. The film follows Ricks over a three-year period as she battles her disease, struggles to raise $2.5 million for the clinic and reevaluates her purpose in life.

From Patient to Activist. As a cancer survivor, Dee Dee Ricks knows firsthand the pain, the trauma and the daily stress a patient endures. Now she’s helping others navigate their way through that maze. Dee Dee Ricks is an entrepreneur, public health advocate, and expert on patient navigation. She is the founder of RICKS Consulting Group, Inc., which serves and advises hedge funds on talent acquisition that maximizes portfolio optimization. Dee Dee began the company 20 years ago at the age of 24. She is now a sought after inspirational speaker on mending the gap in access to quality healthcare, patient navigation, and entrepreneurship. Since diagnosis with breast cancer and the debut of her HBO documentary, The Education of Dee Dee Ricks, Dee Dee has given over 100 keynote addresses to Fortune 50 companies, foundations, and non-profit organizations, both domestically and internationally.

The Education of Dee Dee Ricks documents Dee Dee’s journey from diagnosis to survivorship and the many challenges and hardships she endured along the way, including learning about low health literacy in underserved communities; becoming deeply passionate to end injustice in healthcare accessibility; and the drive to make Patient Navigation a household name. Dee Dee views health as a human right and has committed her life to making people aware of the healthcare resources to which they are entitled.

She often says that cancer is the worst and the best thing that ever happened to her. It was cancer that allowed her to develop a relationship with long-time advocacy partner, Dr. Harold P. Freeman. Together with Dr. Freeman, Dee Dee founded the Harold P. Freeman Patient Navigation Institute (PNI). PNI supports patient navigation training and aims to provide information about chronic disease prevention and eliminate barriers to timely diagnosis, prevention and care. As Board Chair, Dee Dee has successfully lobbied Congress to reenact the Patient Navigation Act as part of sweeping health care reform policy. She is a champion, alongside Dr. Freeman, of Congressman Israel’s Patient Navigation Assistance Act of 2012. With Dee Dee’s help, Rep. Israel Co-Chair of the House Cancer Caucas has been working on legislation to address the problem of cancer navigation assistance for Medicaid recipients.
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