2013 Annual Report
Chicago PSR has spent the past year advocating for a healthier Chicago. We’d like to share our accomplishments with you as we begin 2014!
Chicago PSR has made lots of progress on the effort to help create and sustain green Hospitals and Clinics. This year we will launch a pilot project with the Lake County Health Department. We will work together to put sustainable activities in place at the North Chicago clinic with a focus on energy efficiency and recycling in the medical work place.
Speaking Out on Climate Change and Health
On August 3, Executive Director Dr. Sarah Lovinger joined forces with EPA’s Region V head, Susan Hedman, to speak out on climate change and health at a summer Climate and Health Rally. More than 50 people attended the rally, which took place at the Apostolic Church of God on the city’s south side, to learn more about asthma, allergies, and other common health problems linked to climate change.
On October 10, Chicago PSR collaborated with the Environmental Law and Policy Center (ELPC) and the Respiratory Health Association (RHA) to hold a climate change and health panel discussion at ELPC. More than 60 people attended the discussion, which featured physician experts Dr. Jonathan Patz of the University of Wisconsin and Dr. Sam Dorevitch of the University of Illinois School of Public Health, and the city of Chicago’s Chief Sustainability Officer, Karen Weigert.
Climate Adaptation Planning
We were recently awarded a grant from the Kresge Foundation to work with the Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy and the Little Village Environmental Justice Organization to develop a two-year climate adaptation and health plan for low-income communities of color. We will be delighted to provide updates along the way.
Engaging Medical Students
Chicago PSR continues to build a local medical student movement around environmental health issues. In the past year, we strengthened our existing chapters at the UIC School of Medicine and Feinberg School of Medicine and Rosalind Franklin University Medical School. This past year, each chapter not only sponsored lectures, but also engaged in an environmental health project. Both are initiatives that we hope to continue in the future. Lectures this year have included:
- Ann Alexander, senior attorney at the Natural Resources Defense Council, lectured to Feinberg medical students “Killer Killowatts: How Our Energy Policy is Making Us Sick” in April.
- Dr. Susan Buchanan, Director of the Great Lakes Center for Children's Environmental Health, and a member of the Chicago PSR board, gave a student lecture on 'Environmental Health Basics' in October at the Feinberg School of Medicine.
- Dr. Buchanan and Dr. Lovinger gave a Leadership Lecture at the University of Illinois College of Medicine on 'Environmental Health Basics' in October. The lecture taught students about environmental health and also debuted our toxics handout for families, giving students from all of the UIC health professional schools the tools to take on a leadership role.
- Dr. Peter Orris presented on environmental considerations in medical practice to students at Rosalind Franklin University Medical School in December.
Additionally, our annual student dinner, known as our “Soul of Medicine” dinner in March was so popular (55+ attendees), that we added a summer get-together as well. Both dinners hosted a plethora of interesting conversations on the topics of environmental health and student awareness.
Supporting Nuclear Disarmament Efforts
Former national PSR president and current IPPNW board member Dr. Ira Helfand held two events on nuclear disarmament in Chicago this year.
Dr. Helfand held a dinner meeting with Feinberg medical students to discuss how medical professionals can work on nuclear disarmament. The next day, Dr. Helfand led a breakfast meeting at the Chicago Council on Global Affairs attended by about 20 local leaders. He discussed his report on nuclear famine and the essential nature of preventing nuclear conflict.
Chicago PSR is honored to have collaborate with the following organizations:
- Center for Earth Energy and Democracy
- Chicago Clean Power Coalition
- Environmental & Law Policy Center
- Healthcare Without Harm
- Illinois Environmental Council
- Little Village Environmental Justice Organization
- Natural Resources Defense Council
- Pew Charitable Trust
- Respiratory Health Association
Chicago PSR received funding from these organizations in 2013:
- The Kresge Foundation
- National PSR
- The Sisyphus Family Foundation