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, a board-certified family physician, 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.
Ken Silk M.D.
Dr. Silk is a a general psychiatrist specializing in personality disorders. He went to Brandeis University and then to Albert Einstein College of Medicine in the Bronx, followed by a pediatric internship at Montefiore Hospital and a residency in Psychiatry at Yale. He was at University of Michigan Department of Psychiatry from 1975 until he became a Professor Emeritus on Jan 1 2013.
Ken was an inpatient psychiatrist for 20 years, 10 at the VA Hospital in Ann Arbor, and 10 at the University Hospital; then he switched to outpatient psychiatry and administration for the last 20 years of his career. He published more than 100 articles and book chapters, co-wrote one book, and edited or co-edited 3 books including the Cambridge University Press Textbook of Effective Treatments in Psychiatry. He co-edited Personality and Mental Health, a Wiley-Blackwell journal, and served for 12 years on the Scientific Planning Committee of the American Psychiatric Association’s Annual Meeting, chairing that committee for the 2012 Annual Meeting. He also served as Secretary-Treasurer of the International Society for the Study of Personality Disorders for 8 years ending in 2013.
At the University Hospital, Ken was the second chair of the Faculty Group Practice Executive Board. In the Department of Psychiatry he was Associate Chair Clinical and Administrative Affairs for 10 years, directed the Personality Disorders Program for 30 years, and chaired the Department’s Appointments and Promotions Committee from 2003 through 2014. In 2013 he received the Dean’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in Clinical Care.
Ken lives in Ann Arbor with his wife Joan. They have 4 children between them and two grandchildren.