2012 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 gear up for 2013.
This year, Chicago PSR made significant progress in working with physicians to green their medical practices. We reached out to many offices, received positive feedback on our presentation and successfully helped several physicians take our “Green Pledge,” a pledge promising to move toward more sustainable efforts. Among them, the Fenix Clinic and Kids First Pediatrics were receptive to our “Green Tea” visit, and will be featured on our website in the near future as our two preliminary practices on board with our green initiatives.
To help us accomplish these goals, we put together a folder of materials to take on the “Green Tea,” visits, with resources like a brochure and certificate, among others. On the visits, we presented these materials along with the video produced in 2011 to show physicians how easy, yet vital it is to green their outpatient practice. Finally, while improving our methods to green clinics, Chicago PSR was featured in the Illinois Academy of Pediatrics newsletter, found here. We are pleased with the overall progress of the outpatient greening initiative and are looking forward to continuing the movement in 2013.
Standing Up to Big Coal
Chicago PSR was very proud to work with the Chicago Clean Power Coalition to finally shut down Chicago’s coal-fired power plants, Fisk and Crawford, an environmental victory that received national recognition. In early 2012, Chicago PSR board members participated in a City Hall press conference, stressing the public health impact of the coal plants on Chicago’s residents. A short time later, with pressure from the Clean Power Coalition and Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel, the operator of the plants decided to close them in 2012. PSR was very proud to receive recognition along with other Clean Power Coalition members at the annual Illinois Environmental Council dinner that included EPA head Lisa Jackson.
Climate Adaptation Planning
In an effort to publicize the dramatic effects that climate change can have on populated areas, Chicago PSR worked with engineering students from Northwestern's McCormick School of Engineering to write a climate and public health adaptation plan for the city of Chicago. The students and Chicago PSR collaborated with the Chicago Department of Public Health and Environmental Department of Public Health in order to write the report. In an effort to publicize our findings, we launched the Climate Change Adaptation Plan at the Environmental Law and Protection Agency in June with an introductory speech given by Region V Surgeon General, Dr. James Galloway. For more information about the launch and climate change report, please click here.
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 added a third chapter at Rosalind Franklin University Medical School. In this past year, each chapter not only sponsored lectures, but also engaged in an environmental health project, which are two initiatives that we hope to continue in the future. Lectures this year have included:
- Dr. Susan Buchanan of the University of Illinois School of Public Health, who talked about environmental health
- Dr. Sarah Lovinger, who talked about climate change and public health
- Dr. Peter Orris of the University of Illinois School of Public Health, who discussed the green hospital movement
Our annual student dinner, known as our “Soul of Medicine” dinner in March was so popular (55+ attendees), that we added a fall get-together as well. Both dinners hosted a plethora of interesting conversations on the topics of environmental health and student awareness. In 2012, we also created a medical student position on our board, welcoming Jonathon Li of UIC to our team. Finally, after our success with welcoming student chapters to our network, Chicago PSR collaborated with National PSR to help strengthen the medical student movement across the greater network. We look forward to expanding the PSR model into other chapters across the nation in the years to come.
Supporting Nuclear Disarmament Efforts
Several Chicago PSR student members had the unique opportunity to hear more than one dozen Noble Peace Prize winners speak on the same stage at the World Summit of Nobel Laureates. This event, purposefully organized to precede NATO meetings, took place in Chicago in April, the first time this event was held in North America. Chicago PSR student members heard speeches by luminaries such as Jimmy Carter, Mikhail Gorbachev, Rajendra Kumar Pachauri of the IPCC, and of course, Dr. Ira Helfand of PSR and IPPNW. Chicago PSR students and staff were very moved to be among the crowds at this event.