Manganiello, longtime leader in the HIV/AIDS Movement, featured in major new documentary from National Geographic
Washington, D.C., Sept. 8 – Pyxis Partners is proud to recognize founder and CEO Michael Manganiello ahead of this week’s theatrical debut of FAUCI, a major new feature documentary about the nation’s top infectious disease expert and dedicated public servant Dr. Anthony Fauci, M.D. Produced by National Geographic Documentary Films and Magnolia Pictures, and featuring insight and commentary from Manganiello, the movie is a rare glimpse into the long-standing professional career and personal life of the ultimate public servant and healthcare leader.
“The chance to speak about my early experiences with Dr. Fauci during my time at the NIH in the early days of AIDS is the opportunity of a lifetime,” said Manganiello, a longtime leader in the AIDS and civil rights movement and a 35-year survivor of the AIDS epidemic. "It's not often that you have the opportunity to publicly thank the person who saved your life. Professionally he represents so much of what we strive to embody at Pyxis Partners — patient impact, healthcare equity, and policy leadership.”
Manganiello’s insights — featured alongside those of Bono, Bill Gates, George W. Bush, Susan Rice, Francis Collins, Tom Frieden, and Clifford Lane, among others — are focused on his experience participating in the early trials for AIDS research.
“I'll never forget the climate that Dr. Fauci and the NIH created at the then Clinical Center, Building 10,” said Manganiello. “It was free of stigma and judgement and the swirling politics that surrounded AIDS in the early days. Dr. Fauci and the NIH created a safe space that offered so many of us hope. For me, it helped shape my personal path — seeking to advance scientific research in the service of future generations and going on to work with my mentors Christopher and Dana Reeve, driving to cure spinal cord injury through their foundation.”
The film is directed by John Hoffman and Janet Tobias, who have spent their careers telling important and compelling stories in the documentary space about science and public health. Over the past 36 years, Hoffman has made a specialty of communicating to a concerned public about disease, starting with HIV prevention and then addiction, Alzheimer’s, obesity, sleep, and the role of the NIH in leading the way on medical breakthroughs. Tobias’ recent film, Unseen Enemy, sounded a warning call about the threat of pandemics, which should not have gone unheeded.
“It was critical to have Michael, one of Tony’s former patients — a man who was and is also an important AIDS and health activist — in our film,” said Tobias. Manganiello will be appearing in a post-show discussion with Tobias at the Angelika Film Center in Washington, D.C. following showings of the movie Saturday, September 11 at 7pm and Sunday, September 12 at 2pm.
Manganiello, a leader in the HIV/AIDS and civil rights movements, has lived with HIV for three and a half decades, deeply impacting his lens for medical research and patient advocacy. Through his work at Pyxis, he is on the frontlines of public health and research working with clients on advancing equitable participation in precision medicine solutions to disease, reducing stigma in the opioid crisis by advancing medication-assisted treatment, and protecting reproductive rights for all women in this country. His participation in FAUCI is an example of how he works to create nontraditional, trusted partnerships with key stakeholders to ensure that those who most need care have a voice and, like ACT UP did in the early days of AIDS, make marginalized Amercians trusted partners in the medical research paradigm to give them full and equitable access to health care services when they need them.
“This film beautifully captures the critical role patients play in advancing medical research and health policy; a sentiment Michael has instilled through all the work we do,” said Ronnie Tepp and Bobby Clark, Principals at Pyxis Partners. “It’s through passion, insights, and experiences such as these that Pyxis Partners is positioned to help the full range of organizations drive toward positive change and better health outcomes in the United States.”
FAUCI is produced by Alexandra Moss (Not Done: Women Remaking America), Jon Bardin (All In: The Fight for Democracy), and executive produced by Academy Award® winner Dan Cogan (Icarus), and two-time Academy Award® nominee Liz Garbus (What Happened, Miss Simone?, The Farm: Angola, USA). The film will debut in select theaters that have mandated proof of vaccination for entrance, with masks also strongly encouraged, on September 10, 2021. Opening cities include New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington, D.C., and New Orleans.
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Pyxis Partners works to improve health outcomes for all Americans. Pyxis is a mission-driven organization fueled by passionate leaders in advocacy, engagement, and policy development. The Pyxis team has decades of experience working to advance progressive health policy issues at the federal level. Pyxis Partners’ extensive and deep relationships with national research organizations, academic medical centers, foundations, health systems, industry, community-based and advocacy organizations, and across the federal government uniquely position us to help clients improve health equity, affordability, and accessibility in the United States.