Archive for the 'Health Activism' Category

2015 Left Forum in NYC: The Health Track & Something to celebrate

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Timeline Cover Photo 851 X 315


The 2015 Left Forum will take place on the weekend of May 29-May 31, 2015 at John Jay College in the Bronx.  Readers of the Social Medicine Portal readers may be interested in the Health Track.  (LF 2015 Health Track Flyer). We have a special reason to celebrate as the New York Assembly has just voted in favor of a Single Payer plan for New York State.  This is a small but significant victory.

Please come to our session on Faultlines in the Medical Industrial Complex on Saturday at noon.

Matt Anderson, MD

SocMed Uganda – Health Worker Campaign

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We’ve just returned to Minneapolis after an invigorating month in Gulu, Uganda together with medical and nursing students from Uganda, Rwanda, Zimbabwe, Argentina, Lebanon, and the U.S. As part of our SocMed curriculum, we shared an intensive month together studying the social determinants of health and developing strategies to constructively address these factors. It was a transformational month for all of us.

In a remarkable and hopeful demonstration of the power of a committed group of passionate individuals to effect change in the world, our students rapidly (in 7 days) developed a campaign to address the current health worker shortage in Uganda called ‘Focus 15 For Health.” They wrote an open letter to President Museveni of Uganda, which will be delivered to his office this week by our Ugandan medical students and they put together a video to accompany their letter.

They have requested that we spread the word far and wide to highlight the issues they are addressing. Please see the Facebook link for more details (and “like” it if you feel inclined). You can also learn more by visiting:

Many thanks,
Mike Westerhaus and Amy Finnegan
Co-Directors, SocMed

2014 Einstein Student Run Social Medicine Course

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The Social Medicine Course at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine was founded by a group of 8 students in 1998 and is now in its 17th year. It remains entirely student-run. Course schedules going back to 2007 can be accessed at this page on the Portal.  The talks run from 5:30 to 6:30PM and take place on the 5th floor Forchheimer Lecture Room. They are open to the public.


Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Dr. Robert E. Fullilove
Health and Racial Disparities in New York City

Wednesday, January 15, 2014
Dr. Sunil Kumar Aggarwa
Compassionate Care: Medical Marijuana In New York

Wednesday, January 22, 2014
Dr. Marji Gold
Reproductive Rights and Abortion Care

Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Dr. Oliver Fein
Direct Action: Lessons from the Young Lords Occupation of Lincoln Hospital

Wednesday, February 5, 2014
Mychal Johnson South Bronx Unite:
FreshDirect and its Health and Social Costs in the South Bronx

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Wednesday, February 19, 2014
Dr. Maria Caban
Harm Reduction and Syringe-Exchange in the South Bronx

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Wednesday, March 5, 2014
Dr. Mark Heath
Bioethics of Lethal Injection

Wednesday, March 12, 2014
Dr. Rosy Chhabra
Community Based Participatory Research

Wednesday, March 19, 2014
Dr. Danny Lugassy
Healthcare Reform in 2014: Why do we still need Single Payer?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014
Dr. Neil Calman
Segregated Health Care in the South Bronx

Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Dr Aaron Fox
Prison Medicine

Wednesday, April 9, 2014
Dr. Nancy Berlinger
Access to Healthcare for Undocumented Immigrants

Wednesday, April 30, 2014
Dr. Alan Blum
Ending The World Tobacco Pandemic

posted by Matt Anderson, MD

Pegasus Conference: Peace, Global Health and Sustainability (Toronto, May 2-4, 2014)

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A colleague, Neal Arya a family physician at McMaster University, shared with us information about a conference on Peace, Global Health and Sustainability to be held in Toronto from May 2 to May 4, 2014. The conference seeks to bring together individuals from multiple disciplines to address the problem of poor health in the world.

The conference is being organized by Canadian Physicians for Research and Education in Peace (C-PREP), an organization created in 2012.  It is associated with Physicians for Global Survival (PGS), the Canadian wing of the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize winning International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW).

Global health is one of three core themes addressed by the organizers of the conference; the others are Peace, Global Health and Sustainabilty (hence Pegasus).  A previous conference – Transcending Borders – was held in 2012.

The conference program is available at this link:

Posted by Matt Anderson





Health/PAC Bulletin Archives available online: A new resource for health activists

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Health/PAC (the Health Policy Advisory Center) has recently posted PDF versions of all their Bulletins at:  The Bulletin was published from 1968 to 1994 and documented the work and analysis of progressive health activists from around the country.  The introduction to the collection provides a history of the organization and the Bulletin. Health/PAC’s organizational archives are housed at the Temple University Library:

Health/PAC was also responsible for the publication of three books:

  • The American Health Empire (1971): Chapter 1 is available at this link.
  • Prognosis Negative (1976): You can read a review from Science and Society
  • Beyond Crisis: Confronting Health Care in the United States (1994)

Health/PAC developed the concepts of “medical empire” and “medical-industrial complex.”  With time we have seen the increasing relevance of these terms for the analysis of a economic sector that makes up nearly 1/5 of our economy.  This is an invaluable collection for the critical analysis of health and health activism.

Los Angeles IPHU Applications Now Available: Deadline April 15, 2013

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Participants in the 2011 IPHU held in New York.

Participants in the 2011 IPHU held in New York.

Applications for the IPHU in Los Angeles, California, USA are open now. The deadline for these applications is April 15, 2013.

Submit your application using the online form at

For questions about this IPHU contact Carrie Saetermoe: With questions about PHM-USA contact learn more about PHM, PHM-USA and IPHU visit

Fundraising Party to Celebrate First Anniversary of Mekong, Bronx’s Southeast Asian Community Organization

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Join Mekong's First Anniversary Celebration on Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Download a copy of the invitation

IPHU – International People’s Health University – to be held in Los Angeles 7/20 to 7/28/2013

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With questions about this IPHU contact  Carrie Saetermoe:
With questions about PHM-USA contact
To learn more about PHM, PHM-USA and IPHU visit


Stop the closing of Long Island College Hospital: Town Hall Meeting on 2/14/2013 @ 6PM

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Our colleagues in the New York State Nursing Association (NYSNA) and the Committee of Interns and Residents (CIR) have alerted us to action on 2/14/2013 to stop the closing of Long Island College Hospital. This is part of a much larger struggle to stop the privatization of hospitals in Brooklyn.

save lich

The rally will start at 6PM at the Kane Street Synagogue, 236 Kane St., Brooklyn. And here is the text of their call:

Nurses, patients, & neighbors.  Unite to Save LICH!

Hundreds of caregivers, neighbors,and elected officials are building a powerful mass movement to save LICH!

The SUNY Board of Trustees took an illegal and improper vote to close LICH. The good news: We were there in force — chanting, singing, and telling our stories. They snuck out the back door of their own meeting — without adjourning. Since they abandoned their official duties, we took matters into our own hands — and voted unanimously to rescind their decision! Our patients needs this hospital. We save lives every day. Even the SUNY Board was forced to admit that the story that we are “underutilized” is a lie! Our hospital is a lifeline for patients across Brooklyn. Just look at the lives we saved during Hurricane Sandy. We can and will save LICH! Governor Cuomo and the Health Dept. can step in any time to save LICH.

We’re building the movement to make them. Join us! For more information and to get involved, talk to your union delegate or Eliza Carboni at 347-213-0737 or


Peña del Bronx celebrates 25 years of struggle Saturday September 15th

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The 25th birthday party of La Peña del Bronx is a great chance to celebrate, dance and hear some great music!