Washington Physicians for Social Responsibility Programs
WPSR's strategy for achieving our mission is to educate and activate the medical and broader health community, and the public, through research, analysis, collaboration, and targeted communications, and to advocate for government and societal change at the local, state, national, and international level. WPSR focuses on eliminating toxic chemicals from our bodies and environments, stopping climate change, effectively and efficiently cleaning up the Hanford Nuclear Reservation, abolishing nuclear weapons and promoting a peaceful world.
In 2010, WPSR helped pass the Safe Baby Bottle Act, which phases out toxic chemicals in baby food and drink containers in Washington State. WPSR physician, nurse, and toxicologist members provided expert testimony at Senate and House committee hearings, gathered health professional signatures urging a strong bill, and more.
WPSR launched Washington State’s Code Black campaign to amplify the medical and public health voice within an aggressive grassroots coalition effort aimed at shuting down Washington’s only coal plant. WPSR’s contributions concerning the health effects associated with coal burning were crucial in passage of a bill in the Washington State Legislature in early 2011.
In 2010 WPSR launched the Washington Nuclear Museum and Education Center (wanmec.org
), which is a virtual museum and clearinghouse that provides a comprehensive source for information related to Washington State's involvement in nuclear weapons research, weapons production, and proliferation. The website also facilitates two other Hanford education projects: “This is My Hanford,” which is a testimonial project to collect personal stories, and “Particles on the Wall,” a Hanford traveling exhibit, which combines art, poetry, and science, and is designed to inspire the public to get engaged in the cleanup process at Hanford.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
WPSR members work to promote understanding and advocacy concerning the gravest threats to health. Guided by the tenet, “first, do no harm,” we function as the active conscience of medicine. Our efforts to address the gravest threats to health are ongoing and arduous, and we make progress daily.
In the past 12 months, WPSR has organized our third health professionals’ delegation to the Gaza Strip in order to provide treatment and training, taken “Particles on the Wall”to four locations across Washington State, and was an essential contributor to passing legislation focused on closing Washington State’s sole coal plant. Two of our largest needs are continued funding to advocate for nuclear disarmament and peace – individual giving is the primary source for this work, and funding to help us launch a new organizational website, which would allow us to better facilitate website visitors’ connection with the issues they care about and ideally, help us grow our influence and membership.
From advocacy in Olympia, to marching in the streets of Seattle, to working with students at the University of Washington, to serving with colleagues in Gaza, to our active national leadership in physician-led advocacy, member contributions are the heart of what we do. Through a dedicated and active WPSR membership and involved community members, WPSR works to create a world of hope for our children and for future generations. By working together and taking action in the face of these challenging issues, we can make a difference, create change, and look to the future with hope.