To See A Full Schedule of The Peace Caucus Program at APHA Click HERE


Included in this edition:

  • Vengeance is Not a Strategy: Health Care and Public Health Professionals Call to Immediate Action to Address the Violence in Israel and Gaza and Its Health Consequences
  • The Peace Caucus Program at APHA
  • Health Professionals Call for a Ceasefire in Ukraine
  • Editors of more than 150 Health Journals Call for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons
  • Moving Back from the Brink
  • How Does Congress Allocate our Tax Dollars for Public Health and Foreign Wars?
  • Visit the Peace Caucus at Booth #527 in the Exposition Hall
  • Congratulations to the recipient of 2023 Sidel-Levy Award for Peace!
  • APHA Scientific Sessions Endorsed by the Peace Caucus
  • New Publications and Resources
  • Looking for Housing at APHA?
  • What is the Peace Caucus?

Vengeance is Not a Strategy

The Peace Caucus has initiated a sign-on for health care and public health professionals and related organizations with the goal of creating a unified health professionals’ voice urging an immediate end to the violence that has already killed and injured many civilians and may escalate into a regional conflict, in turn raising the risk of a nuclear war. Please sign the Call to action here. A snapshot of the violence as of day 20 summarized by the United Nations reports over 7,000 Palestinians have been killed, the vast majority of whom are women and children, with significant damage inflicted upon critical infrastructure and essential services in Gaza, “impacting the population's ability to maintain their dignity and basic living standards.” The war has devastated Gaza’s health infrastructure and its capacity to provide care, and Israel’s denial of electricity and fuel and adequate water to Gaza has been characterized as collective punishment by human rights experts. Approximately 1400 Israeli’s have been killed, with over 200 hostages still being held by Hamas.


Consistent with recent statements by the World Health Organization and other global organizations, we believe that an immediate cease-fire is essential for, as the Call states, “building sustainable peace by ensuring human rights and justice for all.”

The Peace Caucus’s statement calls on all parties directly and indirectly involved in the violence in Israel and Gaza and its consequences to immediately:

  1. End the violence against all civilians and ensure their security;
  2. Free all hostages;
  3. Protect all health care workers and health care facilities;
  4. Ensure that humanitarian assistance is promptly provided; and
  5. Begin to build sustainable peace by ensuring human rights and justice for all.

We also call on health care and public health professionals, as well as their employers and professional organizations, to promote and support these actions. Please add your name to the Peace Caucus call to action here.

The Peace Caucus and the International Health Section have also endorsed a proposed late breaking policy,  LB1End Attacks on Health and Human Rights in Palestine  initiated by the International Health Section’s Palestinian Health Justice Working Group.

In addition to signing and widely disseminating the Call to Action, there are opportunities to engage and organize on this issue in-person at the Annual meeting including:

Prime beneficiaries of the violence in Israel and Gaza are the arms dealers who are seeing record profit amidst this latest human catastrophe atop the ongoing carnage in Ukraine. In 2022 worldwide military spending hit $2.2 trillion, the highest level in inflation-adjusted dollars since at least the end of the Cold War, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

Moreover, even such staunch supporters of Israel and U.S. foreign policy as the New York Times’ Thomas Friedman have recognized that the escalating violence can spin out of control into a regional war and that Israel’s invasion of Gaza “could damage Israel irreparably, damage U.S. interests irreparably, damage Palestinians irreparably, threaten Jews everywhere and destabilize the whole world.”

As poignantly expressed by Yonatan Zeigen, whose mother, Vivian Silver, is believed to be a hostage in Gaza, “Vengeance is not something to build foundations on. It is not a strategy. How many dead Palestinians will be enough for us to feel safe? I don’t think there’s any number. And it’s just the wrong thing to do.”

Zeigen’s and other Israeli’ voices for peace reverberate with an informative historical review of the context of the current catastrophe, Vengeful Pathologies, authored by Adam Schatz in the London Review of Books. Schatz states, "The inescapable truth is that Israel cannot extinguish Palestinian resistance by violence, … The only thing that can save the people of Israel and Palestine, and prevent another Nakba – a real possibility … – is a political solution that recognises both as equal citizens, and allows them to live in peace and freedom, whether in a single democratic state, two states, or a federation. So long as this solution is avoided, a continuing degradation, and an even greater catastrophe, are all but guaranteed.”

We invite you to sign the Peace Caucus’ Health Care and Public Health Professionals’ Call to Immediate Action to Address the Violence in Israel and Gaza and Its Health Consequences which we hope to use to advance broader efforts to cease the violence and begin to build peace and justice for all people in the region.


The Peace Caucus Program at APHA

Complete details of our program are here.

Sunday, November 12

9:30 am-10:30AM  221.0 GWCC, A305
Peace Caucus Business Meeting Everyone Welcome!

4:30 pm-6:00PM  2179.0 GWCC, A307
Public Health Impacts of War and Conflict and the Role of Health Professionals in Prevention

5:30 PM – 8:30PM 2023 Health Activist Dinner
Join us for a delightful evening at the Health Activist Dinner! This in-person event will be held at Paschal's Restaurant & Bar in Atlanta. Indulge in a scrumptious feast while connecting with fellow public health activists engaged in the promotion of health, peace, and social change.
Paschal's Restaurant & Bar 180 Northside Drive Southwest Atlanta, GA
Tickets $100 (students $75) Tickets and more information are here.

Monday, November 13

8:30 am-10:00AM 3048.0 GWCC, A405
Mental Health and Intergenerational Health Consequences of War and Racial Violence

2:30 pm-4:00PM 3282.0 GWCC, A305
Peace, Human Rights and Public Health: A Collaborative Session with the Human Rights Forum

Tuesday, November 14

8:30 am-10:00AM 4051.0 GWCC, A412
Peace, Security, and Economic Priorities Roundtable

10:30 am-12:00PM 4131 Omni Hotel M2 – Int. Ballroom B
Panel Discussion featuring Representative Nikema Williams (D-GA-05):
How Does Congress Allocate our Tax Dollars for Public Health and Foreign Wars. A collaborative session organized by the Peace Caucus and Medical Care section


Health Professionals Around the Globe Call for A Ceasefire in Ukraine

The toll on civilian morbidity and mortality since Russia attacked Ukraine in 2022 has been devastating. Between February 22, 2022 and September 10, 2023 the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has recorded 27,149 civilian casualties in the country: 9,614 killed and 17,535 injured, including 554 children. The true number of casualties is believed to be considerably higher, due to delays in reporting and corroboration in areas of intense hostilities.

The health harms of the war in Ukraine extend well beyond civilian deaths and injuries. The UN has characterized the Russian invasion of Ukraine and full-scale war as “the world’s fastest-growing displacement crisis since the Second World War.” The UN reports that in 2022 nearly one third of Ukrainians were forced to flee their homes, an estimated 5.9 million people were internally displaced, and nearly 5.7 million refugees and asylum-seekers from Ukraine were recorded across Europe.

The war has also led to many other adverse health consequences including but not limited to: malnutrition and hunger both within and beyond the war zone due to disruptions in the global food supply; attacks on health care workers and facilities; mental health impacts; and environmental degradation, including worsening our climate crisis.

At the same time, the war in Ukraine has brought nuclear armed states into conflict with a real and accelerating risk of nuclear confrontation for as long as the war persists. Russia and the US possess over 3,700 deployable nuclear weapons that pose an ongoing threat to initiating a regional and global nuclear war.  Even a limited nuclear exchange could lead to nuclear winter and mass starvation, leaving large parts of the planet uninhabitable. The Ukraine war has also demonstrated the vulnerability of nuclear power plants in the midst of war as a clear and present danger to global health.


In recognition of the health harms of the war, including the risk of nuclear catastrophe, in May 2023 the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) issued a call for a ceasefire in Ukraine and negotiations for a peaceful solution to the war, as well as other critical steps to protect the health of the people in Ukraine and ensure planetary survival. Read the full call at: IPPNW’s Mombasa Appeal for Peace and the Prevention of Nuclear War.

We invite you to learn more about the nature and extent of these public health consequences for the people of Ukraine and globally at several Peace Caucus sessions at APHA’s Annual Meeting including:

We hope you can join us in Atlanta.


Editors of More than 150 Health Journals Call for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons

Wars raging in the Middle East and Ukraine, and other growing tensions between nuclear armed states, have perched much of life on earth at the edge of an abyss. A 2022 report issued by Nobel Peace Prize recipient International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War (IPPNW) indicated that a nuclear war between the U.S. and Russia could lead to over 5 billion human deaths. Meanwhile, a recent report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute documented that all nine nuclear-armed states are modernizing their nuclear arsenals and several have deployed new nuclear-armed or nuclear-capable weapon systems.

In August, cognizant of this enduring nuclear specter, the editors of the New England Journal of Medicine, the Lancet, and over 150 other health and medical journals worldwide simultaneously published an editorial Reducing the risks of nuclear war: the role of health professionals, outlining the existential threat posed by the approximately 12,500 nuclear weapons in existence today.

The editors called on health professionals to “alert the public and our leaders to this major danger to public health and the essential life support systems of the planet—and urge action to prevent it.”

The editorial specifies that health professionals should “inform their members worldwide about the threat to human survival and to join with the IPPNW to support efforts to reduce the near-term risks of nuclear war, … and to work for a definitive end to the nuclear threat by supporting the urgent commencement of negotiations among the nuclear-armed states for a verifiable, timebound agreement to eliminate their nuclear weapons in accordance with commitments in the NPT [Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty], opening the way for all nations to join the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. The Treaty was adopted at the UN in July 2017 and bans the use, possession, testing, and transfer of nuclear weapons under international law.

In short, the editorial published by more than 150 health journals implores us that, "The danger is great and growing. The nuclear armed states must eliminate their nuclear arsenals before they eliminate us."


Moving Back from the Brink

For U.S. based health professionals, a pathway to responding to this call is a growing multi-organizational Back from the Brink (BftB) campaign working towards a variety of imperative disarmament steps, including ending the U.S. government’s plan to modernize and increase the lethality of our nuclear weapons that is encouraging nations around the world to initiate or modernize their own nuclear arsenals. The core goal of the BftB Campaign is to get rid of nuclear weapons. All of them. This goal is shared by scores of countries and millions of people around the world. 

The planks of BftB are supported in the "Toward a World Free of Nuclear Weapons" policy adopted by the American Public Health Association in 2020, which also calls for all nuclear weapons states to join the majority of the world's nations in supporting the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons. To date, 93 countries have signed the treaty and 69 have ratified it.


The Treaty is also supported by the U.S. Conference of Mayors, numerous U.S. municipalities, and constitutes the heart of HR 77 recently introduced by Reps. McGovern (D-MA) and Blumenauer (D-OR). The Biden administration (as all nuclear weapons states) actively opposes the Treaty. 

Currently, the Back From the Brink campaign is working to get local, county and state elected officials to sign this BftB-organized letter to President Biden. This includes mayors, governors, city councilors, county commissioners, state senators and state representatives. The letter calls on President Biden to (1) send an observer delegation to the 2nd Meeting of States Parties to the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons (TPNW) to be held in New York City in late November AND (2) to initiate negotiations with all nuclear weapons states toward a verifiable, timebound agreement to eliminate all nuclear weapons from the planet. 

Work to get your local, county, and state officials to sign this letter to President Biden.

Share this "one click” action with folks in your network. The action is customized to each state and allows anyone to easily deliver this important ask to elected officials who represent them at the municipal, county or state level by entering some personal basic information.

Share Back From the Brink’s Fall 2023 Advocacy page with activists, donors and partners in your community. The page includes helpful tools including sample emails, phone scripts, and resources for finding contact information for elected officials.

Promote Back from the Brink and the action alert on your social media channels. The campaign has created a one-pager with sample social media posts for you to use and suggests you don’t hesitate to directly tag your mayors, city councilors or state legislators who you are trying to get to sign the letter.

Please visit the PEACE CAUCUS BOOTH # 527 IN THE EXHIBITION HALL to learn more about the Back from the Brink Campaign and how you can heed the call to abolish nuclear weapons.


The Peace Caucus also has several other opportunities to become engaged in efforts to advance nuclear abolition at the Annual Meeting.

On Sunday at 4:30 PM session 2179.0 Peace Caucus Chair Robert Gould, MD will present, Oppenheimer: If you liked the movie come learn what you missed.

As Dr. Gould described in a recent article in San Francisco Marin Medicine, while the gripping film focuses on the dramatic events surrounding the detonation of the first atomic bomb during the Trinity test in the New Mexico desert in July 1945, it unfortunately provides only a cursory view of the profoundly destructive impacts of this and subsequent nuclear weapons detonations to local and distant communities subject to nuclear testing.

As Tina Cordova, co-founder of the Tularosa Basin Downwinders Consortium eloquently stated in a recent New York Times Op-Ed, “A new generation of Americans … won’t hear much about how American leaders knowingly risked and caused harm to the health of their fellow citizens in the name of war. My community and I are being left out of the narrative again.” It was only recently revealed how underestimated and widespread the radioactive contamination from the Trinity test was, reaching 46 states, Canada and Mexico.


Nearly 80 years after some of these exposures took place, some communities harmed by fallout and uranium mining still lack basic recognition of harm, as well as compensation for their impaired health. The Radiation Exposure Compensation Act  (RECA) established an administrative program which provides partial compensation relating to atmospheric nuclear testing and uranium industry employment. While a valuable program, RECA is also very flawed. It does not go far enough to support all those who were harmed, and RECA is also set to expire in June 2024.

Recently, the Senate recently passed legislation to significantly strengthen RECA by including previously excluded downwind and uranium mining populations and improving benefits. This was a huge victory for victims of US nuclear weapons testing and production and for this promise to be realized the legislation must now be supported by the House. Please lend your strong support to downwinder and uranium mining communities. The Union of Concerned Scientists’ (UCS’) RECA action alert provides a one-click action for asking your members of Congress to support RECA.


Learn more about how you can heed the call of the editors of more than 150 health journals to work towards nuclear abolition at the Peace Caucus Booth 527. And be sure to join us at session 4051.0, the Peace Caucus Roundtable on Peace, Security, and Economic Priorities on Tuesday at 8:30 AM to connect with colleagues on this and other avenues for public health activism!


How Does Congress Allocate our Tax Dollars for Public Health and Foreign Wars?

The tradeoffs between spending for health versus war are made in the federal budgetary process, yet how this process works is largely opaque to public health professionals. So you won’t want to miss session 4131.0 on Tuesday at 10:30 AM, a panel discussion featuring Representative Nikema Williams (D-GA-05), who will be discussing legislation, budgets, costs of war, and voting rights. This collaborative session, organized by the Medical Care Section and the Peace Caucus, will also describe the procedures for setting the annual Congressional budget, how the budgetary priorities impact women’s health, and ultimately, how war, preparation for war, and the associated diversion of resources cause illness, suffering, and death. This panel is core curriculum for advancing public health!



We welcome you to visit the Peace Caucus at Booth # 527 at the Exposition Hall. Stop by to meet us and to learn more about the the Peace Caucus.

In its 2009 policy statement, The Role of Public Health Practitioners, Academics, and Advocates in Relation to Armed Conflict and War the APHA stated, “War has profound public health consequences, and it is an entirely preventable source of some the world’s worst public health catastrophes.” The 2009 policy concludes, “The public health consequences of war are massive and leave few if any areas of public health practice untouched. Thus, war is 1 of the greatest obstacles to realizing APHA’s vision of “a healthy global society.” Therefore, public health practitioners, academics, and advocates have an essential role to play in preventing war.”

Visit us at Booth # 527 to learn more about the many opportunities for action within and beyond APHA.


Congratulations to Samer Jabbour, MD, MPH 2023 Recipient of the Sidel-Levy Award for Peace!

The Peace Caucus congratulates Dr. Samer Jabbour, professor of public health practice, faculty of health sciences at the American University of Beirut (outgoing) and researcher, Syrian Center for Policy Research, Beirut, Lebanon, for being awarded the 2023 Victor Sidel and Barry Levy Award for Peace “for alerting the international health care community about human rights violations in Arab countries devastated by war.” Dr. Jabbour is a founding chair of the Global Alliance on War, Conflict & Health. He was also the co-chair of The Lancet-American University of Beirut Commission on Syria: Health in Conflict. As co-chair, and one of the commission’s founders, Jabbour called on health care professionals worldwide to condemn the leveling of health care facilities in countries such as Syria and advocate for peace. This year’s APHA awards will be presented at an event on Monday, Nov. 13, 12:30-2 p.m. A ticket must be purchased to attend this event. Purchase your ticket when you register or log back into your registration add this event. Ticket sales close Nov. 6. Learn more about the Global Alliance on War, Conflict & Health at the Peace Caucus Roundtable on Peace, Security, and Economic Priorities Roundtable on Tuesday at 8:30 AM.


APHA Scientific Sessions ENDORSED by the Peace Caucus

Sunday, November 12
2141 The Ripple Effects of Violence on Health
2143 Racism, Colonialism, and White Supremacy 3.0 ... Adverse Effects on the African Diaspora
2166 Violence and Mental Health Oral Session

Monday, November 13
3004 Violence: Public Health Perspectives
3057.1 Environmental Activism and the Carceral State: Three Important Cases
3130 Incarceration and Human Rights Oral Session
3131 Violence Prevention and Control: Oral Session
3134 Health in Conflict and Displacement
3237 Violence and Trauma Among Women: Where Are We Now? What Next?

Tuesday, November 14
FFO4 Fighting for Love and Intimacy: Understanding and Addressing Sexual Health Issues Experienced By Veterans
4275 Public Health, War, and Conflict: Impact on Women’s Health

Wednesday, November 15
5042 Veterans & Military Health
5116 Seeking Women's Health Justice: Barriers to Appropriate Care




PeaceCal is a calendar of events and opportunities related to peace and health. Brought to you by the Peace Caucus and Global Alliance on War, Conflict & Health Subscribe HERE


From Hanford to the Marshall Islands: Health Damage from Nuclear Weapons

November 9, 2023
Hear from a knowledgeable panel on the Marshall Islands' experience with nuclear weapons testing. Not to be missed! Register here


Ignoring Red Lines: Violence Against Health Care in Conflict 2022

Ignoring Red Lines: Violence Against Health Care in Conflict 2022 is the tenth annual report by The Safeguarding Health in Conflict Coalition (SHCC) documenting the global incidence of attacks and threats against health workers. In 2022 SHCC documented 1,989 incidents of violence against or obstruction of health care in conflicts across 32 countries and territories; this represented a 45% increase compared to 2021 and marked the highest annual number of incidents that the SHCC has recorded since it began tracking such violence. Read it here.


Knowledge Resource Portal: Health & Armed Conflict

The Global Alliance on War, Conflict and Health (GAWCH) has launched a Knowledge Resource Portal, a "one stop shop" for information on health topics from the perspective of armed conflict. Find it here. The portal will be expanded and updated on a regular basis, and GAWCH seeks input and sharing of information. Contact GAWCH at


The Warfare State. How Funding for Militarism Compromises Our Welfare

Read it here. This report by the Institute for Policy Studies finds that the militarized portion of the U.S. discretionary budget is by far its largest single component.


Climate Change and Public Health

Peace Caucus member and Past-President of APHA, Barry Levy, MD, MPH, and Jonathan Patz, Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, have co-edited a second edition of Climate Change and Public Health, which will be published by Oxford University Press in early 2024. The book provides comprehensive coverage of the health consequences of climate change, including violence, and describes in detail measures for mitigation and adaptation. Further information will be available at


End the Insanity: For Nuclear Disarmament and Global Demilitarization

By Eileen Crist, Judith Lipton, and David Barash. The Ecological Citizen Vol 7 No 1 2024
Abstract “While the perils of climate breakdown and Artificial Intelligence garner and even monopolize attention today, humanity and its leaders neglect addressing other formidable dangers – notably, nuclear war and militarism more broadly. Not only is the existential threat of nuclear war real and pressing, but, at this historical juncture of multiple planetary crises, humanity cannot afford investing in any aspect of the military machine. Here, the authors press for the collective recognition of the imperative of nuclear disarmament and of the abolition of all war and its material and ideational infrastructures.” Read it here


Looking for Housing at APHA?

Peace Caucus member David Spence is looking to share a two-bedroom, one kitchen, one bath apartment in Atlanta, Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and Tuesday nights (November 11-14). The apartment is 1.8 miles walk one way from the APHA meeting site and located at the corner of Cooper St and Ralph David Abernathy Blvd. Please call or text David at 928-380-5690 for more details.


What is the Peace Caucus?

The Peace Caucus in affiliation with the American Public Health Association (APHA) was founded in 1985 to educate and engage the influential voice of public health professionals in efforts to promote peace. Through outreach and educational activities, we strive to illuminate that peace and social justice are key determinants of the health of individuals and communities across the globe. Learn more about the Peace Caucus, become a member, and donate at our website found here.


Chair: Robert Gould, MD, Chair

Program Co-Chairs: Patrice Sutton, MPH, Anlan Cheney, MPH, MA, and Jonathan King, PhD

Communications Chair: Anlan Cheney, MPH, MA

Newsletter: Patrice Sutton, MPH