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Doctor Completes Cross-Country Bike Ride Alerting Americans to Health Effects of Climate Change

October 29, 2013

CONTACT: Catherine Thomasson, M.D. 503-819-1170; CThomasson@psr.org

Washington, DC. --

Wendy Ring M.D., a doctor and member of Physicians for Social Responsibility, pedals into Washington, DC today, successfully completing her four-month cross-country bicycle tour to raise awareness of the health impacts of climate change.

Biking across 14 states and speaking to local audiences ranging from universities and Rotary Clubs to campers in local campgrounds, Dr. Ring has been hailed as "Paul Revere on a bicycle."

A rural family physician from California trained in both medicine and public health, Dr. Ring has been driving home the message that climate change has profound health implications, saying "Climate change is about health, not politics.  We need action now."

Health effects already being felt

Health effects of climate change are already being felt in the United States, resulting in thousands of emergency room visits, hospitalizations and deaths from respiratory, cardiovascular and infectious impacts due to heat waves, flooding, drought, and extreme weather.  Physicians for Social Responsibility advocates transitioning to replace fossil fuels with clean, renewable energy.

Biking with her husband across the nation, Dr. Ring has spoken to such audiences as medical students, environmental groups and ordinary citizens, providing information on local health threats of climate change. In Richmond, Virginia, Dr. Ring spoke to undergraduates and medical students at Virginia Commonwealth University, observing that Richmond holds the dubious distinction of being the capital of asthma in the United States, with a 30 percent prevalence among adults and high rates of emergency room visits and asthma-related mortality.

Her presentations have fanned enthusiasm and motivation among communities across the country to speak out and take action regarding the effects of climate change.

Dr. Ring has been recognized by the US Congress, the California State Legislature, and the California and American Medical Associations for her innovative work. She was also named one of America’s Five Best Doctors and the Nation's Best Healer by Reader’s Digest. She has dedicated the latter part of her career to climate change issues.

Physicians for Social Responsibility is the largest physician-led organization in the U.S. working to prevent nuclear war and proliferation and to slow, stop and reverse global warming and toxic degradation of the environment. For more information on PSR, please visit www.psr.org.

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