Michael Fine

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Michael Fine, MD, is a writer, community organizer, and family physician. He is the chief health strategist for the City of Central Falls, RI, and Senior Clinical and Population Health Services Officer for Blackstone Valley Community Health Care, Inc., and recipient of the Barbara Starfield Award, the John Cunningham Award, and the Austin T. Levy Award. He was director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, 2011–2015.

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Author: Michael Fine
Publisher: PM Press/ Spectacular Fiction
ISBN: 978-1-62963-644-3
Published: 04/01/2019
Format: Paperback
Size: 5x8
Page count: 348
Subjects: Fiction

Julia is an American medical doctor fleeing her own privileged background to find satisfaction delivering health care to remote African communities, where her skills really make a difference. Carl is also an American, whose experiences as a black man in the United States have led him to volunteer in Africa.

The two come together as colleagues (and lovers) as Liberia is gripped in a brutal civil war. Then Julia is kidnapped by child soldiers on a remote jungle road, and Carl is “rescued” and evacuated against his will by U.S. Marines. Back in the U.S., Carl turns to a Rhode Island doctor who has been a mentor to them both. With the help of a smuggler, they return to Africa illegally and begin the dangerous work of finding and rescuing Julia. This is an unforgettable thriller grounded in real events.

A short preface and several appendices add background on Liberia’s complex U.S.-linked history, and a glossary illuminates Liberia’s colorful Kreyol patois.

“Much like Norman Maclean’s later-in-life masterpiece, A River Runs through It, Michael Fine’s Abundance, written after a distinguished career of medical practice here in the U.S. and in Africa, is a powerful first novel, an epic stretching from the civil wars of Liberia to the streets of Rhode Island. It’s about the violence we practice on each other and the power of humanity to overcome it. A joy to read.”
—Paul J. Stekler, Emmy-winning documentary filmmaker

“Michael Fine is one of the true heroes of primary care over several decades.”
—Dr. Doug Henley, CEO and executive vice president of the American Academy of Family Physicians

“As Rhode Island’s director of health, Dr. Fine brought a vision of a humane, local, integrated health care system that focused as much on health as on disease and treatment.”
—U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

Abundance is  a riveting, suspenseful tale of love, violence, adventure, idealism, sometimes-comic cynicism, class conflict, and crime—especially war crimes. Dr. Fine expertly moves his narrative back and forth between Liberia and America (mostly New England), using his medical experience—especially in serving the poor—psychological insight, and deep knowledge of West Africa to craft a story that displays both the deep disconnect between the First and Third Worlds and our commonalities. I should add that the rescue mission that’s at the heart of the story would make one hell of a movie.”
—Robert Whitcomb, former finance editor of the International Herald Tribune and former editorial page editor of The Providence Journal

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Health Care Revolt: How to Organize, Build a Health Care System, and Resuscitate Democracy—All at the Same Time
Author: Michael Fine • Foreword: Bernard Lown and Ariel Lown Lewiton
Publisher: PM Press
ISBN: 978-1-62963-581-1
Published: 09/01/2018
Format: Paperback
Size: 5.5x8.5
Page count: 192
Subjects: Politics-Activism / Health Care

Today’s deliberations about a revamped health care system are stuck. We need a fresh analysis and a new vision. Health Care Revolt sets out to provide just that and at a most propitious time in U.S. history. Dr. Michael Fine’s manifesto frames the questions more expansively than others before him and offers an impassioned road map for a nation confused about which health care direction to travel.

The crux of Dr. Fine’s argument is that the U.S. does not have a health system. Rather we have put our faith in a so-called marketplace in which the few profit from the public’s ill-health. This ailing market has accelerated the erosion of American democracy by contributing to economic polarization. Health Care Revolt looks around the world for examples of health care systems that are effective and affordable, pictures such a system for the U.S., and creates a practical playbook for a political revolution in health care that will allow the nation to protect health while strengthening democracy.

Health Care Revolt by Dr. Michael Fine is a critical read about what we need to do for the future of our health care system in America. In Central Falls we have now experienced the benefits of a Neighborhood Health Station that has the capacity to serve the majority of the community and focus on preventive care. This model focuses on tackling health care issues from a grassroots level.”
—James A. Diossa, mayor of Central Falls, Rhode Island

“Michael Fine is one of the true heroes of primary care over several decades.”
—Dr. Doug Henley, CEO and executive vice president of the American Academy of Family Physicians

“Michael Fine has given us an extraordinary biopic on health care in America based on the authority of his 40-year career as writer, community organizer, family physician, and public health official. In Health Care Revolt, he channels the core frustration felt by so many, providing a compelling commentary for a nation confused about which health care direction to travel.” —Fitzhugh Mullan, professor of health policy in the Milken Institute School of Public Health at George Washington University

“Dr. Fine’s prose carries a clarity and sense of urgency that are motivating to an increasingly impatient profession and public. This book should inspire the nation to make a break with the same old political mess that is bankrupting Americans and undermining our democracy.”
—David H. Bor, MD, chief academic officer, Cambridge Health Alliance

“Michael Fine is angry. His frustration with the U.S. Health Care System runs deep and so does his prescription for reform. That prescription means understanding how poorly we are served by our non-system. It means understanding how money drives our non-system. And it means understanding how its reform depends on all of us working together locally and nationally, motivated by a new vision of health. All that and more is in this passionate, fierce book.”
—Christopher F. Koller, President, Milbank Memorial Fund

"As Rhode Island’s Director of Health, Dr. Fine brought a vision of a humane, local, integrated health care system that focused as much on health as on disease and treatment. Dr. Fine is proposing a new, smart approach to how we think about health care and the connection between burdensome medical costs and the well-being of our democracy.”
—U.S. Senator Sheldon Whitehouse

Health Care Revolt is amazing.  I hope this will be the guide for changing the health care system. It hits the nail right on the head. Dr. Michael Fine explains the problem, gives the evidence and than real solutions. As I am another disgruntled Family Doc on the road to burnout this book has inspired me. I want to be part of  the Healthcare Revolt and am ready to join the Movement for Healthcare in America.”
—Alan R. Roth, DO, FAAFP, FAAHPM,  Jamaica Hospital Medical Center

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What Others are Saying

healthDr. Michael Fine Goes on a Health Care Revolt
By Tanya Feke
Diagnosis Life

September 19th, 2018

"Health Care Revolt is not only a rant about what is wrong, it also finds hope in what is right. Dr. Fine looks at public health programs, past and present, and points out policies that were able to make impactful changes. He also uses a critical eye to show why some of those programs fizzled out and what it would take to keep the momentum building."

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healthFor Dr. Michael Fine, healthcare is necessary for a stronger democracy
By Michael Monasky
November 5th, 2018

"If Dr. Michael Fine had his way, he would see and care for everyone free of charge: no cost for maternal care and newborn deliveries, vaccinations, all doctor visits; free or nearly free medications, treatments, and necessary special medical care.

State-licensed doctors, nurses, therapists, healthcare workers, and other ancillary workers would all be paid pretty much what they make now. University-level health education would be without charge to students. Every place would have a clinic, open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day for delivering care as needed by people in their community."

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healthWhy One Physician Is Calling For a 'Health Care Revolt'
By Deborah Becker and Chris Citorik
October 23rd, 2018

"Dr. Michael Fine believes that the for-profit model has completely corrupted our health care system and that addressing these concerns could be the most important issue facing our country.

He joins us to discuss how we got here, the obstacles preventing true reform, and how he believes we can still create a health care system that serves everyone."

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healthFormer R.I. health director Michael Fine issues clarion call for health care reform
By G. Wayne Miller
Providence Journal
September 6th, 2018

"Whether you work in health care or just want good health, and that covers pretty much everyone, “Health Care Revolt” is a must-read. We deserve better than the expensive and ineffective mess we have now."

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healthHealth Care Revolt: A Review
Publishers Weekly
August 2018

In this trenchant and accessible diagnosis of the ills plaguing American healthcare, Fine, a family physician and former director of the Rhode Island Department of Health, argues that America has “a healthcare market, not a healthcare system”—and everyone is worse off because of it. Fine persuasively demonstrates that the profit motive built into the patchwork of federal, state, and local programs that pass for healthcare in the U.S. leads to ballooning costs, gross inefficiency, and treatment for the privileged few instead of cost-effective prevention for the many. He cites community healthcare programs in places like Mound Bayou, Miss., and Huntingdon County, N.J., as examples of how health systems designed to address the needs of the small areas in which they are situated, as identified by members of those communities, can improve health outcomes just as much, if not more, than advances in medicine. Indeed, the book touts the importance of education, healthy food, and primary care centers embedded in dense community networks over specialized medical care, mounting a sustained critique of pharmaceutical companies who shill for drugs that people don’t need. America isn’t Finland, Fine admits, but the Finnish province of North Karelia had a mortality rate similar to that of the U.S. until changes were made in its healthcare system, after which heart disease rates fell by 80% and life expectancy grew by six years. This book is an informative, insightful introduction to a complex topic.

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healthDr. Michael Fine: Crony Capitalism Is Bad For Your Health
By Ariel Lewiton
October 5th, 2017

"Dr. Fine’s vision of health and healthcare is localized, community-based, and integrative: not just avoiding or managing illness, but supporting education, affordable housing, public transportation, and sustainable resources—elements that link to health in surprising ways. The cornerstone of Fine’s own healthcare strategy is the neighborhood health station, a facility that aims to provide almost all the care that patients need, in one place. Last fall, he and his team broke ground on the Central Falls Neighborhood Health Station, the first of its kind in the nation.

In a series of conversations in person and over the phone, I spoke with Dr. Fine about the current crisis of American healthcare, the inspiration behind his work, and what healthcare workers and ordinary citizens can do to create the healthcare system we need."

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