FEBRUARY 23, 2021
NEWS, COMMITTEE UPDATES, POLICY WATCH, EVENTS
Well, our new year is off to a tumultuous start! An insurrection against our most fundamental liberties followed by the inauguration of our duly-elected President. The momentous entry-into-force of the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons, and the welcome extension of the New Start Nuclear Weapons Treaty with Russia have suddenly lifted the nuclear shadows a bit. The Environmental Protection Agency has been liberated from direction by corporate flacks, and can now be refocused on protecting populations made vulnerable from environmental toxics and structural racism. And with President Biden signing an expansive executive order to tackle climate change with a just transition to a green economy, we can finally rejoin the world community in confronting our perilous future as a species.
All while we try to restore the unity we need to surmount our dread COVID-19 pandemic and overcome the loss of over half million of our loved ones in the US alone, our unrelenting stress of isolation, the uncertainties that persist from variant viral strains, and inadequate vaccine supplies and plans that leave too many around the world in danger. More than ever, we need connection and solidarity with our global communities to heal our planet.
Toward this end, we in SF Bay PSR humbly offer our 2021 programmatic “roadmap” — some ways we can deepen our knowledge, stay informed, and optimally engage with our community of health professionals and activists toward common policy goals.
EVENTS: We are thrilled to offer our 2021 Events series that will focus primarily on deepening our understanding of the connections between climate change, systemic racism, and health inequities. On February 24 we will be hosting a California Legislature Review to learn more about how to advocate for the state policy changes we need, register here. Other topics include the promise and challenges of electrifying buildings and cars; how to build and strengthen our health voice in movements aiming to divest from fossil-fuel funds; the impacts of policing and other expressions of domestic militarism on health and racial-social justice; the intersectional impacts of climate change and war on global health and refugees; and so much more.
Our monthly Events email includes not only our “own” events, but also those hosted by other PSR chapters, as well as events presented and/or organized by SF Bay PSR members via their universities and other organizations we work with. It’s a great resource!
RACIAL EQUITY READING GROUP: Our Racial Equity Reading Group has expanded efforts to educate our members and the public, incorporate the lens of racial justice throughout SF Bay PSR’s work, and partner with local community organizations such as Bayview Hunters Point Community Advocates, whose members have resiliently fought for the clean-up of the toxic and radioactive Superfund site at the former navy shipyard for decades. Join our reading group to expand your understanding of the intersectionality of health, systemic racism, and environmental injustice. Non-health professionals are welcome! To join please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
EDUCATION: SF Bay PSR members have a longstanding dedication to medical school and public education with a focus on how the climate crisis, environmental degradation, and racial and social injustices are affecting our health and what we can do about it. Most recent efforts include the Stanford-based NorCal Symposium on Climate and Pandemic Resilience in Health Care and UCSF’s Mini Medical School. The third Mini Med School in the climate and health series, Environmental Justice and Human Health: Creating Systemic Solutions, will take place on Tuesday evenings, February 23 – March 30. REGISTER HERE.
SOCIAL MEDIA CAMPAIGN: Follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and soon on LinkedIn and Instagram! Visit our NEW YouTube channel! We post weekly, and every month we will feature articles on how global warming is being addressed in a different medical specialty as well as provide alerts about our events, newsletters, policy actions, and breaking news.
ENVIRONMENTAL HEALTH COMMITTEE TASK FORCES: Our Environmental Health Committee is actively working on numerous projects. We recently formed two new task forces, see below. You are invited to join our committees—non-health professionals are welcome! To join a committee please email email@example.com.
DIVESTMENT/INVESTMENT TASK FORCE: We at SF Bay PSR believe that Divestment/Investment is a powerful tool to help expedite a shift toward green, renewable energy development. Our projects include actively supporting Fossil Free California’s (FFCA) effort to build a coalition over the next year that will work toward legislation to be introduced in 2022, and offering support and a proposal template to those who would like to advocate for their institution to divest funds from fossil fuels. READ MORE.
ELECTRIFICATION TASK FORCE: We are working on city, county, and state ordinances and through regulatory bodies to advocate for the electrification of buildings and transportation. Join our members in public testimony, or signing-on to comments on the negative health impacts of fossil-fuel appliances and vehicles, and the positive health impacts of electrification. READ MORE on our Advocacy Tools page.
NUCLEAR WEAPONS ABOLITION COMMITTEE: In January our committee celebrated the United Nations Treaty on the Prohibition on Nuclear Weapons entry into force, read more. With this wind in our sails, we will expand our support for the Back from the Brink campaign’s five points toward nuclear abolition, and strongly advocate for government budgets to be re-aligned toward the existential threats to our national security posed by the climate crisis. On the local front, we are trying to deepen our support for the community struggle to clean-up radioactive waste in San Francisco’s Bayview Hunter’s Point neighborhood.
STUDENT GROUPS and PARTNERSHIPS: We are expanding our student mentoring and support by reaching out to student groups at Stanford, UCSF, UC Berkeley, and UC Davis. If you are a student or member of a student organization interested in activist mentoring and/or helping to build our student PSR chapter, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEWSLETTER and ACTION ALERTS: Our monthly newsletter connects our policy advocacy projects with breaking news and initiatives, offers committee project updates, educational events, readings, resources and related opportunities for engaging your activism. Our Action Alerts make it easy for you to advocate on local, state, and federal levels. Please send this email to that friend or colleague who cares as much as you about our core public and environmental health issues and encourage them to SUBSCRIBE HERE, and contact us at email@example.com, if they’d like to be involved in our work.
BELOW you will find more details about our committees’ projects and policy watch.
We hope you will reach out and join our activist network. Together, as we’ve learned so often through the years, we can really help change the world for the better!
In peace and solidarity,
Dr. Robert Gould, SF Bay PSR Board President
PSR MEMBER NEWS
Dr. Bernard Lown, second from right, with IPPNW colleagues at the Nobel Peace Prize ceremony in 1985. Photo: IPPNW
Remembering Dr. Bernard Lown, co-founder of Physicians for Social Responsibility
We at PSR are mourning the passing of one of our founders, Dr. Bernard Lown. We extend our sincere condolences to Dr. Lown’s family and friends. Renowned as a pioneer in the research of sudden cardiac death and for developing the first effective heart defibrillator, Dr. Lown also focused on providing training and up-to-date medical information on cardiovascular care in developing countries. He was equally passionate about the threat posed by nuclear war and was part of a group of physicians who gathered in early 1961 to address the mounting risk of nuclear war between the Soviet Union and the United States. This group eventually formed Physicians for Social Responsibility, and Dr. Lown served as PSR’s first President. READ MORE at PSR National and in the New York Times.
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NEW Board Member: We are thrilled to welcome Dr. Aude Bouagnon to SF Bay PSR’s board. Aude received her PhD in neuroscience from the UCSF Biomedical Sciences Program and is currently a second-year medical student. She helped to found the REPAIR Project at UCSF and is a community organizer with White Coats for Black Lives.
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NEW Intern: Please join us in welcoming our newest intern, Daisy Valdivieso. Daisy is a pre-medical student with bachelor’s degree in Molecular Environmental Biology and a focus in Human and Environmental Health from UC Berkeley. Currently she is working as a clinical research coordinator for CHART and TrackCOVID studies at the University of California, San Francisco, Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics.
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CONGRATULATIONS to all!!
Dr. Mary Williams, SF Bay PSR board member, co-edited the International Journal of Women’s Dermatology: Special Issue on Climate Change & Dermatology. Dr. Williams and Dr. Sarah Coates, also a board member, wrote articles in this special issue.
Dr. Michael J. Martin, SF Bay PSR board member and president-elect of PSR National published in the SF Chronicle: Climate Change Threatens Our Health.
Dr. Barbara Erny, SF Bay PSR Environmental Health Committee member, is on the editorial board of the Journal of Climate Change and Health. Please be sure to check out this essential and rich source of information. Also, the journal is seeking more reviewers. If you are interested please contact Dr. Erny or email firstname.lastname@example.org and she will connect you.