Physicians for Prevention of Gun Violence, (PPGV) our Mission Statement:
Michigan physicians, Educated and Empowered to Advocate for the Prevention of Gun Violence. PPGV is a Michigan physician organization dedicated to fostering a physician voice for reducing the epidemic of gun violence in this country.
Guns are lethal. PPGV seeks to make them as safe as possible for our children and society using a public health approach.
In the United States more than 30,000 men, women and children are killed per year by firearms, and another 70,000 with nonfatal gunshot wounds are treated in our critically overburdened hospital emergency rooms, and an annual cost of over $200 billion.
As health care professionals we have seen the horrific damage that bullets can do to the human body and have been involved in the long term care of permanently injured gunshot wound victims.
Considering the root causes of gun violence and the disappointing results of efforts to control it through the criminal justice system, we are impressed by the potential of addressing gun violence as a consumer safety and public health problem. We therefore are committed to fostering a public health approach to gun violence, one which emphasizes prevention over punishment.
- We intend to focus on:
-Criminal access to firearms
– Gun storage practices
– Systematic surveillance of firearm deaths and injuries
– Suicide awareness; removing guns to another’s home while a family is in psychic distress
– First amendment rights of physicians to speak candidly to their patients.
– Education of physicians, government officials, and the public.
- The elimination of Assault Weapons from Civilian Use.
- The maintenance of traditional gun-free zones in schools, college campuses, hospitals, bars, etc.
An executive committee coordinates the efforts of Physicians for the Prevention of Gun Violence consisting of the two founders and a group of physicians described below:
Jerry S. Walden, M.D.
Dr Walden is a family physician and Fellow of the American College of Family Physicians. He co-founded PPGV in 2011. A graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School, he founded and was the medical director of Packard Community Clinic (now Packard Health) a 501c3 nonprofit agency with a mission to provide high quality health care regardless of financial circumstance. He also served as a volunteer doctor in Chiapas, Mexico, in New Orleans post-Katrina, and at the Hope Clinic in Ypsilanti. He was the chief medical officer at the US penitentiary Terre Haute, Indiana in the late 1960s and has served as a medical expert in prison related health cases.
Andrew J. Zweifler, M.D.
Dr. Zweifler is an internist and Fellow of the American College of Physicians. He was Director of the Hypertension Clinic at the University Hospital in Ann Arbor, Michigan from 1974 to 1997. He is Emeritus Professor of Internal Medicine and recipient of a number of teaching awards from the Medical School including the Senior Medical Student Award for Excellence in Clinical Skills which was established in his name. He has been active in promoting social justice issues in the community as well, and received the University of Michigan Medical School Community Service Award in 2002.
Stuart Dombey, MD
Dr. Dombey is a British trained physician who has spent his career in drug development in the pharmaceutical industry both in the UK and USA. Much of this work has consisted of judgements on risks and benefits of new therapies which has a clear parallel to the safe use of guns. The other parallel is understanding the regulatory framework of drug development and usage in countries around the world. It is quite consistent to have a detailed regulatory framework with appropriate use allowed. He is now retired but consults and teaches about drug development.
Cheryl Farmer, MD
Dr. Farmer holds degrees in Education, Environmental Science, Industrial Hygiene and Medicine, and is a proud graduate of both U of M and MSU. She recently retired after 30 years in the private practice of General Internal Medicine in Ann Arbor. She is a past President of Washtenaw County Medical Society and a member of the Michigan State Medical Society Committees on Bioethics and Legislation.
Dr. Farmer served on two Ypsilanti City Charter Commissions, and was Mayor of Ypsilanti from 1995-2006. During her tenure the city enacted a new City Charter with ethics provisions, repaved all their local streets, replaced all the city water mains under those streets, passed a Human Rights Ordinance adding equal rights protections for gays and lesbians and successfully defended that Ordinance twice at the polls.
Other interests of Dr. Farmer’s include historic preservation, gardening, sailing and fast cars. She lives in Ypsilanti’s Historic District in a house built in 1855.
Sonya Lewis, MD, MPH
Dr. Lewis is a board certified psychiatrist who attended medical school at Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University and completed her post-graduate medical training at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center. In 2015 she was awarded an M.P.H. in Health Behavior and Health Education from the University of Michigan. Dr. Lewis believes that a physician’s leadership role expands beyond the workplace setting, and must also involve active participation in one’s greater community. She proudly serves as an executive committee member of Physicians for the Prevention of Gun Violence (PPGV) and has given numerous presentations about the crisis of gun violence in America and what can be done to address it. Dr. Lewis is currently employed by the VA Ann Arbor Health Care System where she provides integrated mental health services in the Emergency Department.
James Peggs, MD
Dr. Peggs attended University of Michigan ( BA, 1970 ) and Wayne State University Medical School ( M.D., 1975 ) before completing a Family Medicine Residency at Lancaster General Hospital ( Pa.) 1978 and a Geriatric Mini-Fellowship in 1986. He joined the faculty of the University of Michigan Department of Family Medicine in August, 1978 where he enjoyed a long and successful career ultimately attaining the rank of Professor. He retired in August, 2014 and continues to serve as an Active Emeritus Professor of Family Medicine.
Jim married Peg Talburtt in 1976 with whom he has raised their 2 children and now provides love to their 4 grandchildren. In addition to his passion for golf he devotes his energy to numerous volunteer activities in the community including service on the Executive Committee of Physicians for the Prevention of Gun Violence ( PPGV) and the Regional Board of Old National Bank.
William Wadland, MD
Dr. Wadland (Bill) attended Albion College, Albion, Michigan (B.A., 1969), Harvard Divinity School, Cambridge, Mass. (1970), University of Michigan Medical School (M.D., 1975), and the University Michigan School of Public Health (M.S., Research Design and Statistics, 1988). He completed his Family Medicine residency at the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, S.C. (1978), where he was chief resident. After community-based rural practice in Michigan and academic practice at the University of Vermont in Burlington, Vermont, he became Professor and Chair of Family Medicine (1992-2014) at the College of Human Medicine at Michigan State University (MSU), where he was also the Senior Associate Dean of Faculty Affairs (2004-14). After retirement from MSU as Professor Emeritus, he remains clinically active in medical missions and locum tenens support for rural practices in northwest, Michigan, and serves as the Deputy Editor-in-Chief for the American Journal of Preventive Medicine (AJPM).
Welton Craig Washington, MD
Dr. Washington is a clinical adjunct professor in the department of psychiatry at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor and is an attending psychiatrist at Washtenaw County Community Mental Health. He is an American Psychiatric Association member. He has been awarded the Nancy C.A. Roeske, M.D. award for Excellence in Medical Student Education, the Alpha Omega Alpha award for the Volunteer Clinical Faculty of the Year at the University of Michigan Medical School, and the Irma Bland, MD Certificate of Excellence in Teaching Residents. He currently serves on the executive board of the Black Psychiatrists of America. He completed his undergraduate training at Morehouse College and both his medical training and psychiatry residency at the University of Michigan
Alan Weder, MD
Dr. Weder is Emeritus Professor of Internal Medicine at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, MI. He has 30 years of clinical and teaching experience in Internal Medicine with special expertise in the diagnosis and treatment of hypertension and vascular diseases. Since retiring, he has worked as a patient advocate helping individuals navigate the medical system.
Walter (“Mac”) Whitehouse, Jr, MD
Dr. Whitehouse is a board-certified vascular surgeon who recently retired after a successful 36-year clinical career, the last 30 of which were spent at St. Joseph Mercy – Ann Arbor. A graduate of the University of Michigan Medical School, he was trained in general surgery at the University of Michigan and in vascular surgery at the University of Chicago. In addition to a successful clinical practice, he served as Chair of Surgery for two decades, Medical Director of Surgical Services for more than a decade and participated in ministry governance including serving as board chair. He was also engaged with multispecialty group development and leadership. He served on the University of Michigan clinical faculty for his entire career. Following clinical retirement, he joined the perioperative team within Trinity Health as an executive consultant, eventually serving as the Medical Director of Clinical Excellence until May, 2019.
Ellen Arneson, PA
Ellen Arneson attended Carleton College, graduated from Simmons College, and worked as a medical research assistant in Boston and Ann Arbor. She was a stay-at-home mom for twenty years, then returned to school to earn a master’s degree as a physician assistant from Univ. of Detroit-Mercy. She practiced Family Medicine at Packard Community Clinic in Ann Arbor (now Packard Health.) She has been married since 1972 to Gaard Arneson, a general surgeon. They are proud parents of Laura and Jon and doting grandparents to Penny and Eve