PO Box 470563
Brookline, Massachusetts 02447
Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility (GBPSR) is a chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR®), a national organization of over 50,000 physicians, health care professionals, and supporters. PSR, known as “the active conscience of the medical community,” was formed in 1961 to address the health consequences of nuclear and other weapons of mass destruction. It has since broadened its mission to include the health consequences of environmental pollution and degradation, and also the reduction of violence and its causes. PSR’s international federation, the International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, was awarded the 1985 Nobel Peace Prize for its efforts to translate the abstract concept of nuclear war into medical and personal terms.
GBPSR has members all over Eastern Massachusetts who individually and collectively work on a variety of issues relating to health, including environmental pollution, militarism and war, social justice and human rights.
GBPSR’s Human Health and the Environment Project (HHEP) was one of the first in the PSR organization nationally to focus on the public health consequences of environmental pollution. HHEP helped educate the medical community on the linkages between environmental exposures and health, activating members to work to protect public health, providing community groups with resources on human health and environment issues, and participating in public policy debates.
GBPSR is now a predominantly volunteer-led organization and is currently focused on two of the greatest existential threats to humanity: climate change and nuclear war.
Thanks to the members and donors who help support Physicians for Social Responsibility’s local and national programs.
Anna Linakis Baker, MPH — Executive Director
Anna came to GBPSR in 2017 after years of community organizing around efforts to protect the Boston region from the threats of Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station. She became involved in this local advocacy after the Fukushima disaster and co-founded the Pilgrim Coalition, developed as a coordinating body of 30+ organizations and hundreds of individuals who came together in concern of the Pilgrim reactor. Prior to her community organizing, Anna served as a Program Officer for The John Merck Fund, where her grant-making was focused primarily on climate and environmental health initiatives and she developed a bird’s eye view of the nonprofit landscape in the Boston area and beyond. She has also worked as a researcher and editor for Environmental Health News, ecoAmerica, and Healthy Babies Bright Futures. Anna received her undergraduate degree from Georgetown University and her Master of Public Health from Boston University. As a part-time Executive Director, Anna is currently the only staffer at GBPSR and could not achieve all she does without the support of her strong and engaged volunteer board.
John Belge, BSEE — vice-chair/secretary
John Belge is a dedicated action oriented community organizer skilled at facilitation and organizational dynamics. He is interested in working to abolish nuclear weapons and reverse the trends in global warming.
Matt Bivens, MD — chair
Dr. Bivens is an emergency physician who works at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, where he holds an academic appointment at Harvard Medical School as Instructor in Clinical Medicine, and at St. Luke’s Hospital in New Bedford, MA. He is the EMS Medical Director for several ambulance services in southern Massachusetts, and is Director of EMS for the Southcoast Hospitals Group. Prior to medical school in Washington D.C., he worked as a journalist. Among other things, he covered the war in Chechnya for the Los Angeles Times, was the editor of The Moscow Times, a daily English-language paper, and helped manage Russia’s largest publishing house, Independent Media. His journalism has been published in The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, Harper’s, The Nation, and other media.
Mirret El-Hagrassy, MD
Dr. El-Hagrassy is a licensed neurologist, board-certified in Neurology and Epilepsy. She is currently a post-doctoral research fellow at the Spaulding Neuromodulation Center, Harvard Medical School. Dr. El-Hagrassy has a special interest in epilepsy, EEG and neuromodulation, and is concerned about the devastating health impact of nuclear weapons and climate change.
Ira Helfand, MD
Dr. Helfand is a co-founder and Past President of Physicians for Social Responsibility (PSR), a co-President of International Physicians for Social Responsibility (IPPNW), and a member of the International Steering Group of the International Campaign to Abolish Nuclear Weapons (ICAN). He is the author of the PSR/IPPNW report, “Nuclear Famine: Two Billion at Risk?” and has published on the dangers of nuclear war in the New England Journal of Medicine, the BMJ, and the World Medical Journal. He has lectured on the medical consequences of nuclear war around the world and spoken for IPPNW and ICAN at the UN General Assembly, the Oslo and Nayarit Conferences on the Humanitarian Impact of Nuclear Weapons, before the US Senate Homeland Security Committee and at the French Senate, the Turkish Parliament and the Israeli Knesset. He chairs the PSR-CAN committee which oversees PSR’s national work for the abolition of nuclear weapons.
Amy Hendrickson is a software consultant that programs language used for scientific typesetting. She is a peace activist and started the local peace group, Brookline PeaceWorks. She was a campaign manager for Randall Forsberg in her write-in campaign for Senator. Randy is well known as one of the originators of the nuclear freeze movement, and her campaign was a way of getting more attention for the need to abolish nuclear weapons while also protesting Senator John Kerry’s capitulation in supporting the Iraq war. Amy believes that perhaps her most satisfying action was organizing an international demonstration that included activists in 17 countries who demonstrated against the impending Iraq war in front of their local US embassy.
Joseph Hodgkin, MD
Dr. Hodgkin is a resident in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. He is involved in advocacy and peer education on nuclear weapons.
Martha Ellen Katz, MD
Dr. Katz practices general medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and is a clinical instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School where she teaches an intensive introductory “Human Body” anatomy course. Also at Harvard Medical School, Dr. Katz works with the Office of Diversity and the Arts and Humanities Initiative, which aims to foster creativity and scholarship in the arts and medical humanities and its affiliated hospitals, to support a community of faculty and students engaged and interested in the arts and humanities, and to enhance patient care through reflection and compassion.
Regina LaRocque has an MD from Duke University School of Medicine and an MPH from Harvard School of Public Health. She completed her training in internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and her fellowship in infectious diseases at Massachusetts General Hospital. She is on staff at the Massachusetts General Hospital Division of Infectious Diseases and is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. She has performed laboratory and clinical research for 15 years in the fields of travel medicine and enteric infections. She has authored more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters. She was elected to the Natural Resources Commission in Wellesley, Massachusetts in 2017. She is concerned about the impact of climate change on human health and the spread of infectious diseases.
Brita E. Lundberg, MD
Dr. Brita Lundberg is an infectious diseases physician and Board member of Green Newton, and delegate and member of the MMS Occupational and Environmental Health Committee and Charles River Executive Committee. Her primary area of interest is the effects on human health of fossil fuels and climate change. As a member of Mass Health Professionals for Clean Energy, a grassroots organization of physicians, nurses, and social workers working to advance the health of Massachusetts residents by advocating for a rapid transition to clean energy sources, she helped organize a large forum on the Health Impacts of Natural Gas Infrastructure at the BU School of Public Health in January 2018. Dr. Lundberg completed her undergraduate education at Harvard, medical school and residency at the U. Of Wisconsin-Madison, and Fellowship in Infectious Diseases at U. of Colorado. A former Assistant Professor in the Division of Infectious Diseases at Emory University, she is CEO and founder of Lundberg Health Advocates, LLC, a patient advocacy group.
Peter Moyer, MD, MPH
Dr. Moyer is Professor and Chair Emeritus at Boston University’s School of Medicine, and Emergency Medicine Medical Director of Boston EMS, Fire and Police (retired). Dr. Moyer believes that GBPSR is the most effective historic and current organization for him to be part of in confronting the threat of nuclear war and eventually ridding the world of nuclear weapons. He likes the GBPSR leadership and staff and its collaborative, talented board members.
Krupa Patel, MD
Dr. Patel is an internal medicine physician at Boston Medical Center. She’s engaged in climate change advocacy and various sustainability initiatives in her community.
Susan Racine, MD
Susan Racine, MD, practices general internal medicine as a primary care physician at Atrius Health. She is a part time lecturer at Harvard Medical School. She strongly believes that a healthy environment is vital to the health of us all and is particularly concerned about climate change. Before joining GBPSR in 2018 she was a member of Mass Health Professionals for Clean Energy, a grassroots organization of health care providers working to advance the transition from fossil fuels to renewable sources of energy in Massachusetts. She also took part in her Boston neighborhood’s campaign to prevent the construction of a high-pressure gas pipeline across the street from an actively blasting quarry. She is a leader in the ecological ministry at Bethel AME Church in Jamaica Plain. She is delighted to be joining GBPSR.
Cornelia (Kea) van der Ziel, MD — treasurer
Dr. van der Ziel is retired OBGYN. She has been active in the peace and justice movement for decades. She is a Town Meeting member in Brookline, Massachusetts and a member of the Commission for Diversity, Inclusion and Community Relations in Brookline. She is also a member of the Board of Brookline Quezalquague Sister City Project, helping to initiate and staff public health projects in that community. Recently, Dr. van der Ziel has been working mainly on the issue of nuclear weapons abolition, one of the 2 existential threats to humanity, in effort to ensure a viable future for not only her family but all of humanity.