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MSU Tour Ends, Important New Members

May 27th, 2016 | Posted by admin in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Three members of PPGV, Bill Wadland, “Mac” Whitehouse, and Jim Peggs made the PPGV presentation “ Gun Violence and Firearm Safety: The Physician’s Role”  to two separate audiences in Grand Rapids last Tuesday, May 17. The first was at 8 AM Grand Rounds in DeVos Children’s Hospital to the Pediatrics residents and faculty. The second at 10 AM was to the Family Medicine faculty and residents at St. Mary’s Mercy hospital. Both audiences were attentive and receptive to our message about how to intervene in the clinical setting to prevent gun violence and how to join and speak out as a profession to change the grim statistics of gun deaths and injuries.

We enjoyed exceptional hospitality from Dr. Keith English, Chairman, Dept of Pediatrics, MSU. We also were successful in signing up 40 new members to lend their support to PPGV.

The MSU Tour lasted almost 1 year. Grand rounds were given at  MSU sites from Flint, Marquette, Traverse City, Midland, Alma (remotely), Grand Rapids and, of course, Lansing. Thanks to Dr. William Wadland for the MSU Tour- a great success for PPGV!

James Peggs

St. Joseph Mercy Hospital, Ann Arbor is on its way to becoming perhaps the first Michigan hospital physician council to commit to gun violence reduction with the latest leaders joining PPGV.  Drs. David Steinberg, Chief of Staff, and Bryan Popp, Department Head of OB-Gyn have joined us.  St. Joe now has more leaders than the UM where a similar campaign to align with medical chiefs is in progress. It’s a “race” to see which hospital will be first.

Jerry Walden

National Medical Council on Gun Violence Presentation Summary

May 10th, 2016 | Posted by admin in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Dear PPGV Members,

Last month Andrew Zweifler and I were pleased to participate in the National Medical Council on Gun Violence conference in Chicago.  This was a CME conference devoted to exploring how the medical community can make a meaningful impact in addressing the epidemic of gun violence in America.  Our talk, titled “Let’s Talk About Guns: Strategies for Successful Clinical Conversations” was well received and generated lively discussion.  In our presentation, we examined the many barriers that complicate physicians’ ability to talk with patients about guns, ranging from legal barriers such as “gag laws”  (otherwise known as the “Docs vs. Glocks” law in Florida) to general mistrust and fear that can directly impact the doctor/patient relationship.  Using the example of a “well child” visit as the context for illustrating successful strategies for discussing this topic, we emphasized the importance of building warm, genuine relationships with patients and also highlighted the physician’s role as an educator in providing common sense anticipatory guidance. Just as physicians routinely advise patients about the necessity of bicycle helmets, car seats, and smoke alarms, so must we educate our patients about the importance of safe gun storage and restricting access to people who should not have them such as children, substance abusers, domestic abusers, cognitively impaired adults, and anyone in the midst of a mental health crisis.

There were many incredible and nationally known speakers at this conference including Deb Azrael from the Harvard School of Public Health, Injury Control Research Center who spoke about the epidemiology of gun violence; Liza Gold – forensic psychiatrist from the Georgetown University School of Medicine and editor of the recently published book, Gun Violence and Mental Illness; surgeon Michael Hirsch of the University of Massachusetts Memorial Medical Center who spoke about an exciting and successful gun buyback program that he has developed in his community, and psychiatrist Elspeth Ritchie, professor of psychiatry at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences who spoke about the unique difficulties related to gun violence with military service men and women. All of the presentations were outstanding. I am hopeful that the entirety of the conference will be made available online so that everyone can learn from the material that was presented. Here is a link to the conference brochure that lists all of the speakers.  We are especially grateful to Mike Weisser for organizing this event and gathering together this passionate and determined group of clinicians, researchers, and advocates.

One of the most exciting outcomes of the conference was a common desire amongst participants to incorporate gun violence prevention into medical training. Dr. Zweifler and I have joined a work group that is collaborating to put together educational materials geared for medical students, resident physicians, and physicians in practice. This is an exciting opportunity, and we welcome the involvement of anyone who is interested in collaborating. Please contact Dr. Zweifler (zweifler@umich.edu) or myself if you would like more information. We are only getting started now, but hope that we will be able to harness the momentum and passion generated in Chicago to make an important and necessary impact in the world of medical education.

It was an honor and a pleasure representing PPGV at this conference, and we look forward to continuing our work together to reduce preventable injuries and deaths due to gun violence in our communities.

 

Sincerely,

Sonya Lewis, MD, MPH

Andrew Zweifler, MD

 

Ken Silk Remembrance

May 8th, 2016 | Posted by in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Doctors- Kenneth Silk’s Memorial Service was held yesterday May 7 at the League on the UM campus. It was a wonderful tribute to a superb man. So many stories about Ken’s generous spirit and gifted life were shared by the many attending. There will be a Kenneth R. Silk, MD Lectureship in Psychiatry. To contribute to that on line go to victors.us/kensilk or write the UMHS office of Development. I have sent the following tribute to his family.

Kenneth R. Silk, MD                                                      Spring, 2016

Physicians for the Prevention of Gun Violence (PPGV) lost a strong partner in the fight to prevent gun violence with the recent passing of Kenneth R. Silk. Ken was a psychiatrist known and beloved in many circles – the Michigan gun violence circle is rather new and small. Ken joined us in the last 2 years and became important at once. His assets were a good sense of himself and his worth, a wonderful sense of humor, a keen intelligence and thoughtfulness. He was an academic, an administrator, a good writer and an editor. His career focused on borderline personality disorder, an entity thought untreatable for many years- a tribute to his willingness to work on a very tough problem.  He helped PPGV with our planning, thinking, and writing. With Ken we were working on a new gun violence curriculum for the University of Michigan. Gun violence is another tough problem and Ken was vital to PPGV.

Many of us in the medical community flinched when we first heard his diagnosis. His bone marrow disorder called for a complex response. Ken seemed centered. His family found him grateful and happy with the life he had led. He pushed on. He received a bone marrow transplant. The subsequent marrow failure dealt another blow and our fear returned. But, Ken seemingly had all he needed. He made plans. He volunteered for a PPGV medical talk in June.

His obituary mentions his mischievous streak as well as his ethical pursuits. We came to love these two parts of Ken. He was fun loving and he was serious about making the world a better place. He showed us how to live and then he showed us how to die. We are better for knowing him and will celebrate him and grieve his death. Thank-you Kenneth R. Silk!