Welcome to Delicate template
Just another WordPress site

“Mike the Gun Guy” plugs PPGV

September 18th, 2016 | Posted by in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Sonya Lewis has organized an Ann Arbor concert for Concert Across America. Mike picked up on it on his blog-
Ann Arbor Is The Location Of An Important Event On September 25th. Get There if You Can.
September 18, 2016
There’s a group of physicians in Michigan who have formed an organization called Physicians for Prevention of Gun Violence (PPGV) which is sponsoring one of the September 25th Concert Across America To End Gun Violence events. Their concert, which will take place in Ann Arbor at the Genesis Center, and will feature performances by the chamber orchestra conducted by Kevin Fitzgerald, as well as solo piano works performed by a member (Emeritus) of the Ann Arbor music faculty, Louis Nagel.

ppgv Events like the Ann Arbor concert are going to take place all over the country, and while the New York and California concerts are going to get the spotlight (how could they not get the spotlight with the artists who are appearing at both venues?) we shouldn’t overlook the value and importance of the more local efforts like the Ann Arbor gig. And the reason we shouldn’t ignore such events is because to really build a national movement for anything, you need to get folks involved in the communities where they work and where they live. After all, it’s one thing to walk into a large, public event where you might or might not know anyone at all. It’s quite another to walk into a room and see other people whom you really know, then all of a sudden the event in that room takes on a special and personal meaning for you.

In the interests of full disclosure (I love that phrase) I happen to know several of the physicians who are active in the PPGV group. The organization got started after the Tucson shooting (of Gabby Giffords) in 2011 and now counts more than 350 members, including clinicians, residents and medical students in all the relevant medical disciplines. In 2014 the group was featured in a journal article published by the Michigan Academy of Family Physicians after the statewide group adopted resolutions on gun violence prevention.

Back in 2014, Detroit’s Police Chief James Craig became a poster-boy for the NRA when he called for law-abiding Detroit residents to arm themselves against crime. Of course this stance also made Craig an immediate resource for the Trump campaign, and he was, along with Dr. Ben Carson (remember him?) conspicuously present during Trump’s recent drop-in tour of the Motor City. The only problem, of course, is that armed citizens or not, Detroit still has one of the highest murder rates in the United States, and the last time I checked, Detroit is still located in Michigan, which means that the members of the PPGV group have plenty of work to do.

But along with work comes opportunity and when I think about what PPGV has accomplished in such a short time, it reminds me of another group of physicians which started advocating over a public health issue back in 1961. The group came together in someone’s apartment and formed Physicians for Social Responsibility to advocate about the health risks posed by nuclear testing and, in particular, the spread of Strontium-90 in the water, soil and air. PSR limped along for a number of years and then, in 1979, decided to give it one last try. The same week that they sent out what they thought might be their last fundraising appeal, the nuclear reactor at Three Mile Island blew. Guess what? In 1985 this group, known now as the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, shared the Nobel Peace Prize.

Am I saying that gun violence is as serious a risk to health as nuclear war? Well, if you consider that over the last five years alone more than half a million Americans have been killed or seriously injured because of guns is a number that probably surpasses what would be the human toll from the detonation of a good-sized nuclear bomb. So I applaud the work of Physicians for Prevention of Gun Violence, I know their September 25th concert will be a great success, and I only hope they and groups like them will continue to forge ahead

Concert Across America Comes to Ann Arbor

September 17th, 2016 | Posted by in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Physicians for the Prevention of Gun Violence (PPGV) presents Concert Across America in Ann Arbor to raise awareness about the epidemic of gun violence in America at Genesis Synagogue on Sept. 25 from 3-5pm.

Concert Across America is a series of live concerts across the nation – all taking place on the same day with the mission of ending gun violence.

Our program will feature a solo performance by internationally known concert pianist and recently retired University of Michigan piano professor, Louis Nagel.

It will also feature a performance of Beethoven’s Seventh Symphony, performed by a chamber orchestra comprised of local musicians and conducted by Kevin Fitzgerald, the current music director of ÆPEX Contemporary Performance. He is a recent graduate of the University of Michigan’s School of Music. Kevin co-organized and conducted the phenomenal “Requiem for Orlando” that took place at Hill Auditorium this past June in the wake of the Orlando massacre.

We look forward to bringing awareness to the preventable epidemic of gun violence through the transformative power of music.

Concert Across America to End Gun Violence

September 17th, 2016 | Posted by admin in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)


PPGV Outreach to Michigan Physicians

July 31st, 2016 | Posted by admin in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Presentations by PPGV members to Michigan physicians, 2012-2016

Nov. 14, 2012 U of Mich. Dept Fam Med ( JW, JP )

Sept. 15, 2015 Washtenaw Co Med Soc’y ( JW, AZ, JP, SL )

Sept. 17, 2015 Flint Hurley Hosp Int Med ( JW, JP, BW )

Sept. 25, 2015 Marquette Hosp, Fam Med ( BW, JW )

Sept. 29, 2015 Traverse City Munson Hosp Fam Med ( BW, JP )

Nov. 9, 2015     Midland Hosp Fam Med ( BW, JP, JW )

Dec. 3, 2015     MSU Sparrow Hosp  Peds ( BW, JP )

Jan. 2, 2016     U of Mich Ob/Gyn Dept ( JW, SL )

Jan. 12, 2016   MSU Sparrow Hosp Int Med

May 17, 2016   Grand Rapids DeVos Child Hosp Peds ( BW, JP, WMW )

May 17, 2016   Grand Rapids St Mary’s Hosp Fam Med   ( BW, JP, WMW )

April 16, 2016   Chicago, Nat’l Cncl Gun Violence ( SL, AZ )

June 15, 2016   U of Mich Int Med ( JW, JP, SL )

Aug. 17, 2016   Flint Hurley Hosp Peds ( JW, JP, SL )

Sept. 20, 2016 WSU Fam Med ( ? JP, WMW, SL )

Oct. 14, 2016   WMU Fam Med ( ? AZ, SL, BW )

Compiled by James Peggs MD, presenter (JP). Other presenters include:

Andrew Zweifler MD (AZ), Bill Walland MD (BW), Jerry Walden MD (JW), Sonya Lewis MD (SL), and Walter M. Whitehouse MD (WMW)

When the Patient is Packing

June 30th, 2016 | Posted by in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Subject: handguns in the clinical setting


As discussed in this morning’s Risk Management presentation following the M and M reports there have been several issues related to patients carrying handguns into the exam rooms during regular doctor/patient visits. The specific case discussed involved a patient who is a federal agent who is fully authorized ( and expected) to carry her weapons at all times and therefore expects to keep them with her during medical visits. A variety of responses to such a scenario were discussed including a reasonable resolution to the initial encounter ( a substitute physician provided care to the patient that day and the clinic manager is looking into providing a lock box for safe storage behind the counter.)

Following today’s meeting I visited the Security office at the UMHS for clarity on policy. I learned the following:

Federal agents are indeed exempt from the restrictions regarding carrying of firearms into the Health System facilities. Traditional law enforcement personnel are expected to report at the front desk that they have weapons and are only allowed to carry if doing so in the performance of security enforcement. Otherwise they check their weapons in a safe location i.e. a lockbox at the hospital.


In no case are patients or their visitors/ family members allowed to carry weapons into the UMHS facilities with the exception of federal agents as described above. If you discover such a breach has occurred you are encouraged to alert Security of the presence of a weapon/s in a manner that respectfully informs the carrier of the hospital policy but hopefully does not inflame emotions.


A patient such as this federal agent should have anticipated the concern her weapons would cause and explained in advance to the staff and her physician that she can and will carry handguns with her at all times.


FYI, in my retirement I have become more active in an organization called Physicians for Prevention of Gun Violence ( PPGV ) which is locally based but whose membership rolls number over 400 physicians across the state.  We have made presentations to various groups of physicians in a Grand Rounds format at over a dozen hospitals and residency programs ( Fam Med, Peds, Int Med) with a focus on recognizing our patients who may be at greatest risk of gun violence. These include CHILDREN, DEPRESSED INDIVIDUALS, PATIENTS EXPOSED TO INTIMATE PARTNER VIOLENCE.

Our message :

  1. Ask about guns in the home and safe storage plans
  2. Provide safe storage info ( UM Injury Center has a great 2-sided handout)
  3. Consider any gun in the home of a depressed patient as dangerous and urge removal.
  4. Be alert to signs of intimate partner abuse (e.g. a set of routine risk questions in our current UMHS health maintenance q’airre) and inform of the greater risk of gun violence in this setting/ direct toward counseling.)
  5. PPGV has decals for your office/home preventing guns. $1.

Thanks, Jim Peggs



June 13th, 2016 | Posted by admin in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)

Dear PPGV Members,

As we reflect on the unspeakable events in that occurred in Orlando this past weekend, it is impossible to find words that adequately describe our sadness, anger, and horror. We extend our thoughts and prayers to the victims and their loved ones who must suddenly adjust to circumstances that are beyond comprehension.

One way in which we can be helpful in this time of grief is by encouraging individuals to donate blood to assist survivors who are currently fighting for their lives in Orlando area hospitals. Although the immediate response to calls for blood donations was overwhelming, there will be an ongoing need for blood in the days to come. If you know anyone who lives in or around Orlando, please urge them to contact OneBlood at www.oneblood.org or call 1.888.9Donate to arrange to make a donation.

As we keep the victims and their loved ones in our hearts, let us continue to speak out loudly to our local and national legislators to advocate for sensible gun legislation such as universal and comprehensive background checks and a ban on assault rifles. Let us also use our voices to teach our patients, co-workers, friends, and families about gun safety, safe storage, and prevention of access to individuals who should not have access to firearms including children, cognitively impaired adults, substance abusers, domestic abusers, and anyone in the midst of a mental health crisis.

As medical professionals and as compassionate human beings we must work together to heal our suffering society and to prevent our country from succumbing to the forces of hate, intolerance, fear, and destruction.

Thank you for your support of PPVG and for your commitment to promoting health, safety, and peace through the prevention of senseless gun violence.


Physicians for Prevention of Gun Violence Executive Committee

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.



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!


Hospital Leaders Join

April 28th, 2016 | Posted by in Uncategorized - (0 Comments)
New Leaders Join PPGV
We want to introduce some new leaders to the group- we are very happy to welcome them and to have their help.
From the University of Michigan
1. Valerie Opipari, MD, Chairman, Department of Pediatrics and Communicable Diseases.
2. Max Wicha, MD, Founding Director Emeritus of the UM Comprehensive Cancer Center and Director of the Wicha Labratory.
From St. Joseph Mercy Hospital
1. David Fugenschuh, MD, Director of Radiology
2. Jeffrey Sanfield, MD, Chairman, Department of Internal Medicine
From Beaumont Hospital.
Samuel Bauer, MD, Medical Director, Outpatient Perinatal Clinical Services, Department of Obstetrics.
From Sparrow Hospital -Lansing
Gabriel Elia, MD, Nephrology
From Tulane University in New Orleans
Jane Andrews, MD,  Internist and Coordinator of Advocacy Program
Welcome to all of you! Thanks to Drs. J.Tulin-Silver, K. Orringer, B. Lozoff, W. Whitehouse, and T. Johnson who extended invitations this special group of new members! Our hope is that hospital-wide efforts to curtail gun violence may net new and better results!