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King University Social Work Dept. to Host Free Screening of Film “Portraits of Professional CAREgivers: Their Passion, Their Pain” at SVHEC Oct. 5

BRISTOL, Tenn., Sept. 14, 2017 – King University will host the documentary film, “Portraits of Professional CAREgivers: Their Passion, Their Pain,” by alumnus John Victor “Vic” Compher (’67) at the Southwest Virginia Higher Education Center (SVWHE) located at One Partnership Circle in Abingdon, Va. The FREE event will take place on Thursday, Oct. 5 from 6-8 p.m. After the screening, an expert panel will open the floor for a Q&A. The film presentation is sponsored by King University’s Department of Social Work.

“We are proud to have King alumnus and fellow social worker, Vic Compher share his important documentary work with not only the King community, but all first responders in our region,” said Jodi Helbert, Ph.D., assistant professor of Social Work at King. “We hope students planning to enter fields of Social Work, Security and Intelligence Studies, Criminal Justice, Psychology, Nursing, and ministerial fields to name a few, will take advantage of this screening. This film opens the mind and opens the door to awareness of emotional burnout and the trauma that we often experience vicariously.”

Vic Compher, who received his bachelor’s degree in History from King College in 1967, spent 30 years as a clinical social worker and educator working in child and family services, geriatric counseling, and hospice services in Philadelphia, Penn. For the past 12 years, he has turned his focus to film production. Compher says he has seen first-hand how “caring too much” can manifest in the emotional suffering of professional caregivers. “Empathy can indeed be an occupational hazard. We hope, however, to bring public attention to these issues in the film, and to work with professional organizations to broaden their knowledge and to help them organize programs of support for professional caregivers.”

Through dramatic personal stories, the documentary “Portraits of Professional CAREgivers: Their Passion, Their Pain” probes the emotionally risky aspects of professional care providers. The filmmakers ask the question: How are the care providers – the nurses, social workers, clinical psychologists, doctors, teachers, firefighters, and first responders – affected emotionally and physically, and who helps our helpers? Through poignant stories of professionals, the film shows how engaged empathic caregiving can be an occupational hazard. The filmmakers explore the painful and human sides of these professions and provide helpful responses to compassion fatigue or secondary trauma.

CAREgivers is directed by Compher and co-produced by Compher and Rodney Wittenberg. Wittenberg, owner of Melodyvision, is an Emmy award-winning musical composer and performer, and a highly recognized producer of music and film.

Former Secretary of the Pennsylvania Department of Aging Brian M. Duke said of CAREgivers, “Our journey of caring for the vulnerable people in our communities also needs to include gratitude for professional caregivers as demonstrated by how we care for them on their journey.”

Jim Sporleder, retired principal of Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, Wash., featured in the documentary, “Paper Tigers,” said, “After viewing ‘Portraits of Professional CAREgivers,’ I was overwhelmed with an emotional awareness that I had been taking on the pain of my students, without acknowledging the pain that I was experiencing deeply in my soul.”

Watch the trailer at For more information, contact Dr. Jodi Helbert at 423.652.4714 or


King University is a Presbyterian-affiliated, doctoral-level comprehensive university. Founded in 1867 as King College, the University offers more than 90 majors, minors, pre-professional degrees and concentrations in fields such as business, nursing, law, medical and health sciences, pharmacy, education, and humanities. Graduate programs are offered in business administration, education, and nursing. A number of research, off-campus learning opportunities, and travel destinations are also available. King University is a NCAA Division II and a Conference Carolinas member with 25 varsity sports. For more information about King University, visit King University does not discriminate against academically qualified students of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, sex, age, or disability. King University is certified by SCHEV to operate locations in Virginia. For more information on SCHEV certification, contact the King University office at Southwest Virginia Community College, 309 College Road, Richlands, VA 24641.