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Sonya Lewis’s Article on Two Crises.

November 29th, 2018 | Posted by in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Sonya Lewis’s Article on Two Crises.)

PPGV’s Sonya Lewis, psychiatrist and passionate public health protagonist reminds us in
this excellent piece why we are working to change our crazy world of senseless gun deaths.
Here is her essay.https://medium.com/@sonya.a.lewis/a-tale-of-two-crises-6c656957f58f

Countering Violence

November 5th, 2018 | Posted by in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Countering Violence)

In response to the recent violence in our country PPGV Executive Committee (EC) has 3 actions you need to know. The pipe bombs targeting Democratic leaders and the killings in the Squirrel Hill synagogue are actions being fueled by a rhetoric that is foreign to anything in memory. But, we have found some counter actions.
1. Giving. The EC in your name is giving generous checks ($500 each) to the Parkland Fl. and Chicago youth groups who have a new, strong voice opposed to gun violence. Their voice needs financial help. And we are giving another check to a group of survivors of gun violence. Generous giving lifts our spirit! Thank you.
2. Building Community. The youth groups, B.R.A.V.E and March For Our Lives are receiving the annual Wallenberg award at the UM and giving the lecture Nov 14. It promises to be inspiring! For free tickets https://www.eventbrite.com/e/2018-wallenberg-lecture-march-for-our-lives-the-brave-youth-leaders-tickets-50227758578
3. Voting. Please join us in voting for candidates with good records on gun violence. Some of them are as follows.
Debbie Stabenaw US Senate, Debbie Dingell US House of Representives Michigan 12
Gretchen Driskell US House Michigan 7,Gretchen Whitmer Governor and the Democratic Slate of officials.
The PPGV legislative list focuses on our help for Donna Lasinski, Yousef Rabhi, Julia Pulver, Sean McCann, Christine Greig, Robert Wittenberg and Jon Hoadley- all with good gv credentials.
Michigan Supreme Court. Sam Bagenstos and Megan Cavanaugh.
Yes on Proposition 2 against Gerrymandering and Yes on Proposition 3 for Voter support measures.
The Michigan Resources to find best candidates:
Vote Smart (non-partisan, national) https://votesmart.org/
League of Women Voters (non-partisan, Michigan) https://www.vote411.org/state_guide?state_id=Michigan#.W9kU99VKjm4

Finally for Democrats and also Republicans the App VoteWithMe.us will allow you to reach out to friends to vote with you. We all need each other!

2018 MSMS Presentation and the Election

October 17th, 2018 | Posted by in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on 2018 MSMS Presentation and the Election)


MAFP passes New Resolutions on Gun Violence Prevention

July 19th, 2018 | Posted by in Uncategorized - (1 Comments)

At the Annual Meeting of the Michigan Academy of Family Physicians in July, 2018 the following resolutions were passed. The PDF is found herd on pages 5 and 6 https://www.mafp.com/system/:tenant_id/ckeditor_assets/attachments/2160/original_proposed_amendments_to_mafp_bylaws_to_be_voted_on_at_2018_annual_meeting.pdf

Physician Leadership in the Prevention of Gun Violence

WHEREAS, In 2015 there was a Call to Action to halt this gun violence crisis by all the 7 major medical societies, including the American Academy of Family Physicians 4, and our own Michigan Academy of Family Physicians (MAFP) began strong advocacy in 2014 for common sense legislation to help protect the citizens in our State from the negative effects of gun violence 5, and

 WHEREAS, There are over 35,000 gun violence deaths and 70,000 injuries in the USA annually, which is approximately 20 times greater than other industrialized countries 1, creating an amount of morbidity and mortality at a level that constitutes a public health crisis according to the American Medical Association and the American Public Health Association 2,3,6, and

WHEREAS, Two nationally recognized physician experts recommended 4 common sense laws that would help to reduce the morbidity and mortality caused by firearms 7 based on data collected in other states who have enacted similar laws including:

  • Requiring all purchasers of firearms to obtain in-person permits at local law enforcement agencies, which is current law in 10 states and in Washington DC for handgun purchases, and has been shown to reduce the risk of guns being diverted to criminals by 68% and are also considered to be more effective as a crime deterrent than point of sale background checks[i]
  • Ban individuals convicted of any violent crime from gun purchases, which has been law in California since 1991, with subsequent analysis showing that convicts who were allowed to buy guns were nearly 30 percent more likely to be arrested later for a gun crime or other violent crime compared to those who were unable to purchase guns after the law was passed[ii]
  • Compel all serious domestic violence offenders to surrender their firearms until such persons prove competency in safe firearm ownership, which is in line with evidence showing that states that have enacted these provisions, so called ‘relinquishment’ laws, have reduced intimate partner violence by nearly 50 percent compared to those without such laws.[iii]
  • Limit firearm possession by those who recklessly use substances, such as alcohol, through advocating a restriction in gun possession permits for those who have committed 2 DUIs in a period of 5 years, and/or until such person proves competency to drive and can prove a safe return to firearm possession, based on data showing those with DUIs are four to five times as likely as people with no criminal record to be arrested for a violent crime in the future[iv]

now,therefore, be it RESOLVED, that the MAFP actively advocate to require all purchasers of firearms to obtain in-person permits at local law enforcement, and be it further

RESOLVED, that the MAFP actively advocate to ban individuals convicted of any violent crime from gun purchases, and be it further

RESOLVED, that the MAFP actively advocate that all serious domestic violence offenders be compelled to surrender their firearms until such persons prove competency in safe firearm ownership, and be it further

RESOLVED, that the MAFP actively advocate to limit firearm possession by those who recklessly use substances, such as alcohol, through advocating a restriction in gun possession permits for those who have committed 2 DUIs in a period of 5 years, and/or until such person proves competency to drive and can prove a safe return to firearm possession.


Richardson, Hemenway, Homicide, Suicide, and Unintentional Firearm Fatality: Comparing the US with other high-income countries, 2003.pdfhigh-income countries, 2003.pdf03.pdf

2 https://www.ama-assn.org/ama- calls-gun- violence-public- health-crisis

3 https://www.apha.org/topics-and- issues/gun-violence

4 http://annals.org/aim/fullarticle/2151828/firearm-related- injury-death- united-states- call-action- from-8

5 http://ppgv.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/MAFP.pdf

6 http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMe1713355

7 https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/4-laws- that-could- stem-the- rising-threat- of-mass- shootings/

Webster DW
Vernick JSBulzacchelli MT2009. Effects of state-level firearm seller accountability policies on firearms trafficking. J. Urban Health 86:525–37

[ii] Wintemute GJWright MADrake CBeaumont JJ2001. Subsequent criminal activity among violent misdemeanants who seek to purchase handguns. JAMA 285:1019–26

[iii] Ann Intern Med. 2017 Oct 17;167(8):536-543. doi: 10.7326/M16-2849. Epub 2017 Sep 19.

State Intimate Partner Violence-Related Firearm Laws and Intimate Partner Homicide Rates in the United States, 1991 to 2015.

Díez C1Kurland RP1Rothman EF1Bair-Merritt M1Fleegler E1Xuan Z1Galea S1Ross CS1Kalesan B1Goss KA1Siegel M1.

[iv] https://www.thetrace.org/2017/02/gun-owners-alcohol-abuse-crime/

Webster DW
Vernick JSBulzacchelli MT2009. Effects of state-level firearm seller accountability policies on firearms trafficking. J. Urban Health 86:525–37

[1] Wintemute GJWright MADrake CBeaumont JJ2001. Subsequent criminal activity among violent misdemeanants who seek to purchase handguns. JAMA 285:1019–26

[1] Ann Intern Med. 2017 Oct 17;167(8):536-543. doi: 10.7326/M16-2849. Epub 2017 Sep 19.

State Intimate Partner Violence-Related Firearm Laws and Intimate Partner Homicide Rates in the United States, 1991 to 2015.

Díez C1Kurland RP1Rothman EF1Bair-Merritt M1Fleegler E1Xuan Z1Galea S1Ross CS1Kalesan B1Goss KA1Siegel M1.

[1] https://www.thetrace.org/2017/02/gun-owners-alcohol-abuse-crime/http://injuryprevention.bmj.com/content/24/1/68

Chart Notes Early Summer 2018

June 27th, 2018 | Posted by in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Chart Notes Early Summer 2018)

Chart Notes Early Summer Part 2

Detroit Medical Center. Dr. Amrit Misra writes about our presentation earlier this year at the DMC-

“It went great! The residents and faculty enjoyed the presentation quite a bit! It was a great discussion and we enjoyed having Drs. Peggs and Whitehouse come speak!  It’s a very big issue in Detroit for our patients and we were glad to have a grand rounds about it.  Many thanks to your group for advocating for this issue – it’s a big problem in Detroit, we have had ~ 500  children/teenagers over the past 5 years  come in with gunshot wounds (just at Detroit Medical Center! doesn’t even include St Johns or Henry Ford), so almost one child admitted every four to five days, which is quite sad. This number doesn’t account for the emotional trauma as well that our kids go through seeing gun violence and knowing family members/friends who are shot”

Dr Misra is passionate about bringing some relief to the children of Detroit and we will work with him!

Another Grand Rounds happened on Feb. 9 at UM Internal Medicine. PPGV’s James Peggs moderated a panel of 3 experts on gun violence. Patrick Carter, MD, UM Injury Center researcher on Flint youth joined by  PPGV’s Sonya Lewis, MD, VA psychiatrist and April Zeoli, MSU PhD and Criminal Justice head. Lewis targeted suicide and Zeoli domestic abuse with important presentations. About 50 physicians including the UM Executive Vice Dean Carol Bradford of the Medical School attended.

PPGV Annual Report 2017 is out and attached. http://ppgv.org/?p=1174 We had a decent year highlighted by helping keep Michigan from passing more bad laws by testifying in Lansing and mailing the governor and legislature.

An Ohio Sister Organization. Abbie Youkilis, MD, an Ohio internist has contacted us about starting a similar physician group in Ohio. Abbie’s niece was Jaime Guttenberg and died in the Parkland Fl. School shooting. Our hearts are with her and we will give her a hand.

Volunteer. Robert Milstein has agreed to volunteer to help with our list and other technical work. Thanks, Bob! We also continue to need invitations to present at Grand Rounds. We are invited to staff a table at the Ann Arbor Art Fair. Email us at jswalden@gmail.com if you want to do a shift.

2017 Annual Report

June 24th, 2018 | Posted by in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on 2017 Annual Report)

2017            Annual Report, PPGV        550 physicians strong.

Mission Statement: Michigan Physicians, Educated and Empowered to Advocate for the Prevention of Gun Violence.

Operations. Our Executive Committee continued to meet monthly. Cochairs J. Walden and A.  Zweifler, Treasurer Zweifler and Secretary E. Arneson. Additionally, C.Farmer, S. Lewis, J. Peggs, W. Wadland, A. Weder, W. Whitehouse,  and T. Wilson composed our EC.  Marguerite (Peg) Shearer joined and Hugh Solomon, Jeffrey Tulin-Silver, and AC (Chris) Elkins stepped down.

1.Education. We made a Grand Round presentation at Muskegon Hospital and with UMMS Student AMA chapter adding new members. Additionally, Drs. Zweifler and Lewis made a special presentation in April, 2017 at the Rotary World Conference on Peace held in Ann Arbor. Presentations were made at the Rotary Club of Taylor, Michigan and the First Congregational Church of Ann Arbor. Last, Bill Wadland led in an innovative journalism class for high school students from the Grand Traverse area discussing gun violence prevention issues.

2.Curriculum. PPGV continues an affiliation with UM Psychiatry Department making a popular presentation to UM medical students (15-30 at a time) as part of their 3rd year clerkship in psychiatry. PPGV psychiatrist Sonya Lewis has assumed primary responsibility for this effort with occasional assistance from Drs.Zweifler and Peggs. Thus, PPGV presents to every UM medical student.  Our presentation continues to evolve during our presentations depending on our audience. The presentation to the psych students focuses on suicide, domestic partner abuse and children’s accidental deaths. Homicides, mass shootings, gag laws and stand your ground laws are included in grand rounds. Our medical student opportunity, begun in 2016, is considered crucial to developing the physician voice in our struggle to prevent gun violence

3.Advocacy. PPGV also advocated for smarter gun safety legislation by attending several legislative hearings in Lansing and numerous marches and rallies in support of efforts to prevent gun violence. The Michigan House passed a bill that would have allowed any legal gun owner to carry a gun anywhere he can now with no training. https://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/politics/2017/06/07/concealed-guns-without-permits/102600024/ This bill and 30 others including allowing guns in previously off limits places like schools, hospitals, bars and day care centers caused us to visit Lansing many times giving testimony. Our testimony fell on dead ears in the Republican House and Senate. Then we wrote the legislators and finally the governor asking for his veto if the bills passed. The bills stalled fortunately.  See the website for more details.

  1. Publications and Letters to the Editor. Dr. James Peggs had a LTE in Family Medicine http://www.stfm.org/FamilyMedicine/Vol49Issue8/Peggs653  commenting on W. Wadland’s earlier article http://www.stfm.org/FamilyMedicine/Vol48Issue9/Wadland679 that it is always right to ask about guns in the home.

5.Media, Art and Celebrations. We attended the Washtenaw Co. Sheriff’s Spring Annual Gun Safety Day and Wear Orange Day, June 2.

6.Meetings. Dr. Walden attended the annual MAFP meeting to advocate for involvement in gun violence issues. Zweifler and Lewis attended the Chicago meeting (see above).

7.Partners. The Michigan Academy of Family Practice (MAFP) is planning on more cooperative work with Michigan Academy of Pediatrics on GV. Dr. Walden is a member of the MAFP Advocacy Committee. Walden became a Sandy Hook Promise leader and investigated avenues of installation of this student led program in area schools. SHP is to decrease shootings in youth by making their spaces safer.

8.Recruiting /Activism. We continue to work for a gun-free environment in our hospitals and clinics and in public spaces. With leadership from Dr. Whitehouse we were able to recruit several medical directors from St. Joseph Mercy Ann Arbor. We continue to work with leaders at other Trinity Health hospitals in southeastern Michigan as well as IHA. We continue to search for partners.

Wear Orange Day June 2 Ann Arbor

June 9th, 2018 | Posted by in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Wear Orange Day June 2 Ann Arbor)

Wear Orange Day June 2, 2018 was an impressive call to action locally. After Washtenaw County Moms Demand Action leader, Celeste Kanpurwala poignantly recounted losing her own father to self inflicted gun violence, our own PPGV member, Sonya Lewis took the stage. Lewis admitted that when asked “How to console small children about safety in schools?” she had no best answer. She spoke about the importance of leading through sustained action. Hearing her read the names, ages, and homes of the 10 Michigan children who have died this year from gun shot wounds brought home our pain in this struggle – a struggle that communities of color have known and endured since the crack epidemic of the 70s and 80s. Dr. Lewis’s remarks are attached to this message. file:///C:/Users/JSWalden/Downloads/WearOrangeRemarksSonyaLewis.pdf

Saturday’s roster included Debbie Dingell, who talked about her Red Flag bill – a piece of legislation that would enable guns to be temporarily removed from individuals who are at risk of harming themselves or others. Crafted with Republicans and modeled after an Indiana bill that VP Pence supported, Rep. Dingell hopes to gain further bipartisan support in Congress in order to pass this life saving bill. We hope you will call Rep. Dingell’s office and thank her for introducing this legislation. It is important for her to hear our supportive voices, particularly since she informed us that she has recently become a focus of the NRA, receiving hate mail and being targeted in vicious TV ads.

Recent Pioneer High School graduate, Marquan Kane called us to admit the role of poverty in gun violence. Sheriff Jerry Clayton, as well as several other student activists and hosts from Moms Demand Action spoke passionately about the urgency of action.

Orange was everywhere inspiring us physicians and community folk to keep the faith!

Never Again. Enough. Not One More.

Chart Notes, Spring 2018, Part One and Looking for Volunteers

May 27th, 2018 | Posted by in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Chart Notes, Spring 2018, Part One and Looking for Volunteers)


Dear Docs,

Update PPGV.  This is our update after school shootings at Parkland, Fl and now Santa Fe in Texas. As bad as it is the students have really reenergized all of us and are intent on making schools and the communities safer. Let us hope!

Stopped!?  Over 30 Michigan bills in 2017 have not been enacted and that would have made us less safe. Our legislature has decided that the time is not right- thank God! Otherwise we would have allowed more guns in previously banned places like hospitals, schools and bars.

Push- A Good Public Health Bill.  A so-called Extreme Risk Protection Order (HB 4706) is stuck in the Judiciary Committee. We need to advocate for it and find Republican legislators who will sign on. Dr. Sonya Lewis will send instructions to push for this bill.

Volunteering Anyone? We need a member who will help with our website conversion, our list conversion to include zip codes, – useful tech work.  If you know of someone with good tech skills let us know, please.  We are also looking for an assistant treasurer to work with our current treasurer and then assume that responsibility.  Email  your interest to jswalden@gmail.com.

Wear Orange Day is again celebrated on June 2.  Moms Demand Action is organizing this. Sonya Lewis is speaking and PPGV members are invited to Liberty Park at 1-4. Wear orange and wear your white coats.

Earlier this month, Dr. Lewis was a co-presenter at the 2018 Annual American Psychiatric Association meetings in New York City, collaborating with psychiatrists Captain James West of Uniformed Services University, Dr. Janee Mestrovich of Uniformed Services University, Dr. Matthew Goldenberg of Yale University, to present an interactive workshop titled, “Patients and Personal Firearms: Approaches to the Physician-Patient Conversation to Reduce Risk”. 

Dr. Lewis served as a panelist for a presentation titled, “Health Policy: Solutions for Reducing Gun Violence in the United States” organized by the Health Policy Student Association, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI.


PPGV collaborated with the Washtenaw Youth Initiative to support the “Student-Led Die-In” in Ann Arbor in response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting. Ann Arbor Mayor, Christopher Taylor and AAPS Superintendent, Dr. Jeanice Swift spoke at this event in addition to several passionate student speakers. The event was attended by the League of Women Voters who registered many students to vote.


PPGV lent financial support to the Neutral Zone to help fund a group of six high school students who traveled to Washington, D.C. to attend the March for our Lives.


National Die-In. June 12. Next for the student movement is an event in Washington, DC and everywhere else. Stay tuned.




Take Action to End Gun Violence

May 24th, 2018 | Posted by in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Take Action to End Gun Violence)

In the wake of yet another horrific school shooting, this time at Santa Fe High School in Texas, we are again shaken to our core, outraged over the ceaseless and senseless epidemic of gun violence in this country. As we have said too many times, thoughts and prayers are wholly ineffective in preventing the over 33,000 gun deaths that occur annually in the United States. We do not have to live like this, in perpetual fear and constant grief. We must continue to speak out, to act, to educate, and to vote for leaders who value human lives above their NRA sponsored political self-interests. We must not allow ourselves to succumb to despair or hopelessness. Here are two actions that we can all take immediately:

  1. Advocate forMichigan House Bill 4706/7, the Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) Bill. 

 This is a piece of legislation, introduced by Rep. Robert Wittenberg, currently sitting in the Michigan House Judiciary Committee that would prohibit the purchasing of firearms and allow for the temporary removal of guns from individuals who are at high risk of harming themselves or others. Multiple states have passed similar legislation, including Florida, whose legislature passed a similar bill following the February Parkland massacre. ERPO bills are sometimes referred to as Gun Violence Restraining Orders or Red Flag Laws.

PPGV Executive Committee member, Dr. Mac Whitehouse has drafted a template-letter that we encourage you to send to all members of the House Judiciary Committee. In order for Michigan’s ERPO bill to progress, it must first have a hearing. In order for that to happen, we must educate the Judiciary Committee members about its importance and utility in preventing future carnage. Below is the text of Dr. Whitehouse’s letter. At the end of this email, I have included contact information for each of the Judiciary Committee members. You can cut and paste the body of this letter into an email and send it to each representative. This should not take more than fifteen minutes. Thank you for taking this important action today.

Dear Representative _____________,

      I am writing you regarding HB 4706-7. The bill would enact Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) that allow weapons to be temporarily removed from individuals who, based on “a reasonable cause to believe”, pose a danger to themselves or others; this order would also prohibit these individuals from purchasing firearms. Importantly, due process is carefully outlined in this bill to protect the individual’s rights. As you know, this bill was presented in June 2017 and has sat in your committee since then without any consideration.

     ERPO represents an important tool to protect individuals from using a gun to harm themselves or others during a period of personal strife. There are over 33,000 deaths every year due to guns in the United States. Importantly, two thirds of those deaths are suicides. Gun related suicides have increased 32% in Michigan since 1999. Attempted suicide is successful in 90% of cases as opposed to 10% when non-gun methods are used. The ability to remove access to guns from severely depressed individuals is critical in reducing gun-related suicides. A similar law was enacted in Connecticut. Researchers have estimated that one suicide has been prevented for every ten gun seizures since enactment of this law.  

     As a physician, I am often the first to identify persons at risk to committing harm to others or themselves with guns. This law will provide a vehicle by which I can help Michigan families save lives. I urge your support.


 (YOUR NAME – and feel free to mention your affiliation with Physicians for the Prevention of Gun Violence)


  1. Join us at the Wear Orange Block Party in Ann Arbor on June 2nd!

PPGV is proud to collaborate with the Washtenaw County Chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America to co-sponsor the Wear Orange Block Party on Saturday, June 2nd from 1 to 4pm at Liberty Plaza in Ann Arbor. Here is a link to the event on Facebook, which I hope you will share widely. I will be speaking at the rally, representing PPGV along with many other gun violence prevention activists. We hope to have a very large turnout to make it clear that our community has had ENOUGH gun violence and we are speaking out with a strong and unified voice. If you are in the Ann Arbor area, please join us and spread the word!

Thank you very much, as always, for your support of PPGV and your commitment to ending gun violence in our communities. We do not have to live like this, and we must not ever accept daily carnage as normal. We must be relentless in our pursuit of health, safety, and peace in a world free from the ever-present threat of gun violence. Together, we will make a difference.


Sonya Lewis, MD, MPH

Please click here to visit our Facebook page and “LIKE” PPGV.

Is Florida a Game Changer?

February 21st, 2018 | Posted by in Uncategorized - (Comments Off on Is Florida a Game Changer?)

Two events that happened in conjunction with the Parkland, Florida shooting deaths of 17 included an interview that I did for a local TV channel that compared the two sides of the gun issue

and the student outrage at a society that doesn’t keep them safe and allow them to study and learn.

Here is the Channel 5 Flint and Saginaw interview done on Feb. 16.

My opponent: http://www.wnem.com/clip/14132896/michigan-coalition-of-responsible-gun-owners

PPGV response: http://www.wnem.com/clip/14132897/physicians-for-prevention-of-gun-violence

And here is the strong speech from Emma Gonzalez, a Parkland student. We know that after this speech and amidst the burials of the 17 the students went by bus to the state capitol in Talahasie to lobby for protection from more gun violence.


And in Michigan the family physicians and pediatricians are planning  cooperative action on this crisis of violence.