2014 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 2015!
In January 2014, Dr. Peter Orris spoke about the green hospital movement and the single-payer movement at Feinberg School of Medicine.
Advocacy around Climate Change and Health
In February 2014 Chicago PSR’s letter to the editor, concerning federal chemical reform efforts, was published in the Chicago Tribune's Health and Family Voices section
In April 2014 Chicago PSR’s letter to the editor, concerning the accident at BP oil refinery in Whiting, In that spilled hundreds of gallons of oil into Lake Michigan, was published in the Chicago Tribune's Health and Family Voices section.
In the spring of 2014 we lead citywide efforts to testify at upcoming EPA hearings, in support of President Obama's plans to reduce fossil fuel emissions, while stressing the public health benefits.
In June 2014, we collaborated with several local environmental agencies on a Healthcare Sustainability Symposium at Respiratory Health Alliance’s Headquarters in Chicago. Topics covered included clean air, water efficiency, smart grid and community benefits.
In June, Chicago PSR joined members of the environmental community at Chicago’s Press Conference in support of the new EPA rules aimed at significantly reducing green house gas emissions by 2030.
In August 2014 Chicago PSR welcomed a new member to our Board of Directors. Ana E. Nobis, MD, MPH-a recent graduate of University of Illinois at Chicago's Occupational and Environmental Medicine residency program. Ms. Nobis brings years of experience in global occupational health, environmental medicine, and public health and has participated in field-based research in Nicaragua, focusing on the epidemic of chronic kidney disease among young sugarcane harvest workers.
In the summer of 2014, Chicago PSR board member Dr. Susan Buchanan developed the Healthy Fish Choices online CME curriculum, giving medical practitioners the information they need to confidently advise their patients on the risks and benefits of fish consumption.
Climate Adaptation Planning
At the start of 2014, Chicago PSR began working with two other non-profits, Little Village Environmental Justice Organization and the Center for Earth Energy and Democracy to create a climate change and public health adaptation plan for Chicago's Little Village neighborhood. This project involved investigating the public health needs of Little Village that are linked to climate change in the region, GIS mapping to determine multiple data points, and ultimately, conversations with local doctors and health centers on how to best prepare residents for public health threats.
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 as well as welcoming a new chapter at University of Chicago’s Pritzker School of Medicine. 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 and event this year are below. In February 2014, Ann Alexander of the Natural Resources Defense Council spoke on "Fracking and Public Health" at the UIC College of Medicine.
MEDICAL STUDENTS HONOR EARTH DAY! This past year, students from Chicago PSR's Rosalind Franklin University Medical School chapter recruited the campus community in gardening and recycling activities.
In April, 2014 we were involved in the presentation of Exit Disclaimer: Science Fiction Ahead, a dance performance followed by a panel discussion on climate change deniers featuring Chicago PSR Executive Director, Sarah Lovinger, held at Northwestern University.
On April 25th, 2014 Chicago PSR and PNHP-IL hosted our annual "Soul of Medicine" dinner, which medical students and practicing physicians attended. Our annual dinner, at which we honor a local physician who has shown dedication to social justice issues, is always a very popular event for students, faculty, and their guests. In 2014, we honored Dr. David Ansell of Stroger Hospital and had more than 80 medical students in attendance.
In September 2014, Chicago PSR and PNHP hosted a fall networking event for medical students interested in social justice.
In February 2014, we kicked off a successful membership drive inviting support for Chicago PSR at various membership levels.
Earlier in 2014, we received a $3000 matching grant from the Sisyphus Foundation agreeing to match every donation to Chicago PSR dollar for dollar. In order to meet this goal, we created a fundraising website (fundly.com), utilized our social media pages and reached out to colleagues, friends and family inviting them to support our organization. In the fall of 2014, we met (and exceeded) our goal-raising a total of 4,087 dollars.
Chicago PSR is honored to have collaborated with the following organizations:
- Chicago Clean Power Coalition
- Environmental & Law Policy Center
- Illinois Environmental Council
- Respiratory Health Association
- Physicians for a National Health Plan Illinois