Breaking News: Muhlenberg College Hosts Talk Session With ‘5B’ Filmmakers


Muhlenberg College hosts a discussion session with “5B” filmmakers

The February 25 event is part of the Center for Ethics’ spring program “Pandemic: Response, Resilience, Reflection”

By: Kristine Yahna Todaro
Thursday, February 17, 2022 9:31 AM

In the early 1980s, developing AIDS was a literal death sentence. The award-winning documentary feature 5B highlights the first AIDS service unit in the United States.

The film tells the inspiring stories of everyday heroes, nurses and caregivers who took extraordinary steps to comfort, protect and care for their patients.

Muhlenberg is hosting a virtual chat session, featuring filmmakers and some of the nurses who helped create the world’s first special care unit for people living with HIV/AIDS on Friday, February 25, from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. . The Zoom link is available here.

Powerful and deeply moving, 5B is told through the first-person testimony of the nurses and caregivers who built the 5B ward in 1983 at San Francisco General Hospital, their patients, loved ones, and staff who volunteered to create practices of humanity-based care and holistic wellness during a time of great uncertainty.

The result is an uplifting yet frank and bittersweet monument to a pivotal moment in American history and a celebration of silent heroes worthy of renewed recognition.

Ahead of the discussion with the filmmakers, the film is available on a number of streaming platforms including for free on

5B was commissioned by Johnson & Johnson of UM Studios, Highway 61 Films and Saville Productions, with the filmmakers given full editorial control over the documentary. Co-directed by Oscar nominee Dan Krauss and Oscar winner Paul Haggis, 5B won the Entertainment Lions Grand Prize and is now part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.

Muhlenberg event presenters include:

Cliff Morrison 5BCliff Morrison, RN, BSN, MSM, MSN, ACRN, FAAN
Morrison developed the role of clinical AIDS coordinator and, with support from the hospital administration, the San Francisco Department of Public Health and the University of California, San Francisco, created the world’s first special care unit (the SCU), for people living with HIV/AIDS. AIDS, Ward 5B. 5B became globally recognized and studied, eventually becoming the standard of care adopted worldwide.

Alison Moed 5BAlison Moëd, RN, BSN, MSN
Moëd was the nurse manager of the first nationwide AIDS Special Care Unit at San Francisco General Hospital Medical Center (SFGHMC) from 1983 to 1990. She supervised a fully professional staff to provide care in the early days of the epidemic and helped develop a prototype AIDS nursing plan to meet their care needs, informed by input from patients and loved ones.

Lynda Benton 5BLynda Benton, Senior Director, Global Community Impact, Johnson & Johnson
Benton leads Johnson & Johnson Nursing, representing the company’s 125-year commitment to supporting and championing the nursing profession. She believes that to improve healthcare, nurses must be championed and supported for their impact, empowered to have their voices heard and implement their ideas, and valued as innovative leaders helping to shape the future of healthcare. health.

Brendan Gaul 5BBrendan Gaul, Global Chief Content Officer, Mediabrands / TRAVERSE32 Co-Founder and Global President
One of 5B’s producers, Gaul is responsible for networking and consolidating Mediabrands suite of creative and media capabilities around the world. His role includes overseeing the launch of a global content division as well as managing original short and long-form, brand, performance and campaign content opportunities across Mediabrands internationally. Gaul is also Global President of TRAVERSE32, Mediabrands’ new development and production studio, where he leads the development, acquisitions and distribution of original narrative and unscripted content.

The 2021-2022 program of the Ethics Center “Pandemic: Response, Resilience, Reflection continues until April.

This year’s theme explores some of the ethical questions that arise when we pause to reflect on the current global pandemic, including: What lessons can be learned from scientific collaboration on COVID-19 treatments and vaccines? From vaccination to wearing a mask, how has the pandemic exposed the limits and obligations of individual and collective ethical behavior? How should we respond to the ways the pandemic has had disparate impacts based on race and class? How to think about the rationing of care when health systems are overwhelmed?

The 2021-2022 program directors are Chrysan Cronin, associate professor of public health, and Lindsey Nagy, associate professor of economics. The director of the Ethics Center is Brian Mello, professor of political science.


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