PPGV Annual Report 2015
Physicians for the Prevention of Gun Violence (PPGV) is a Michigan based group with its conception in 2007 following the shooting at Virginia Tech. and its organization in 2011 after US Rep. Gabby Gifford’s shooting in Tucson. In 2015 we grew to a statewide group of 330 doctors with a Mission Statement: “Michigan physicians, educated and empowered to advocate for gun violence prevention.” We have professors and deans, journal editors, over a dozen heads of departments in our group. We are scientists directed to act in the public interest during this health crisis of over 30,000 deaths, 70,000 injuries, and costs approaching $250 billion annually.
Operations. We function with a monthly executive committee (EC). We added extensively to the EC in 2015. Among those joining were: Ellen Arneson, PA, as our official secretary, Sonya Lewis, Jeffrey Tulin-Silver, William (Bill) Wadland, and Walter (Mac) Whitehouse. Cheryl Farmer rejoined the EC. AC (Chris) Elkins and Kenneth Silk plan to return. These additions allowed us to become a more effective unit and will help us grow.
Presentations. An important PPGV focus is education. We gave presentations of grand rounds to the Washtenaw County Medical Society, UM Public Health School, St. Joseph Pediatrics, and medical students at UM. The Michigan section of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology (MIACOG) and a Washtenaw Co. womens’ professional group invited us to speak. We toured Michigan State Medical School’s sites- visiting Flint, Marquette, Traverse City, Midland, and Lansing with plans to return to Lansing and to Grand Rapids In 2016. We will present at the Snow Meeting of MiACOG in February. After these presentations with lively conversations we added 130 members- a 65% growth in membership and three new physician leaders. And we continued to add important patient and physician gun violence stories.
Advocacy. PPGV gave statements in Lansing before the legislature on two important bills. Dr. Walden presented in a losing cause before the House committee on a bill to disband local gun licensing boards. Washtenaw County lost its local board. Dr. Lewis also presented to the Mi. Senate on Bill 442 to allow guns in public places previously off limits including schools and hospitals. That bill passed the committee but is not voted out to the senate floor, partly due to our opposition. The NY Times quoted us on SB 442 http://mobile.nytimes.com/2015/11/03/us/gun-owners-concealed-carry-schools.html and the Guardian quoted us on the phasing out of local gun licensing boards. gu.com/p/4ekc4/stw
Letters and Resources. Dr. Cheryl Farmer had a letter to the editor published in the Detroit Free Press advising readers that most major medical societies are striving to prevent gun violence. Dr. Zweifler developed “Children and Guns” a PPGV handout for primary care offices.file:///C:/Users/jswalden/Documents/Downloads/Downloads/PPGV_handout_Revised%255bcompressed%255d-1-1.pdf We are also distributing “Parents Guide to Home Firearm Safety” by the UM Injury Center http://www.injurycenter.umich.edu/sites/default/files/documents/firearm_safety_flyer_final_4-30-15.pdf as well as “Advice that Could Save Lives” View & Order Today! from the National Physicians Alliance (npalliance.org).
Meetings and Demonstrations. We attended 2 national meetings; NPA and Brady Campaign in Washington. These gave us good ideas and important partners on the national scene. We also went to Detroit and Lansing to join in demonstrations, at times wearing our white coats.
UM Medical School Curriculum. Physician-patient encounters related to gun violence prevention are being developed.
Partners. In 2015 PPGV partnered with the Michigan Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, a multi- member group. We have relationships with local government, WCMS, MAFP including its Advocacy Committee, UM, MSU and WSU. Nationally, we have members in the NPA and its Gun Violence Task Force, Doctors for America, and the National Medical Council on Gun Violence.
Activism. We continue to work to ensure that our hospitals and clinics are gun-free. We want to protect our rights to speak frankly to our patients about their safety, to work for the repeal of Michigan’s “Stand Your Ground” law, and to support the policies of our state and national medical societies on gun violence. We hope to help make any needed preventive changes focusing on Michigan.
Upcoming: We look forward to bringing a national speaker in 2016. This will require significant fund raising. We hope to share this event with others in the Washtenaw County area or with Lansing or Detroit. We also look forward to visiting your hospital, clinic, or medical school campus to make a presentation. We have our work cut out in 2016.
PPGV Annual Report 2015