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FOR Patricia Salber, MD, and Ellen Taliaferro, MD, a decisive moment came at last spring's annual meeting of the Society for Academic Emergency Medicine.
The pair, both California emergency medicine specialists, ran a booth promoting their brainchild: Physicians for a Violence-Free Society (PVFS), a multispecialty coalition dedicated to caring for survivors of violence and preventing its root causes in American society.
"Physicians would walk by, and I could see them think. I could see it in their eyes," says Taliaferro. "One of them sent us a thank-you note and a check for $1000. That's when I said, `I know the need for this group exists.'"
The idea for such a coalition struck Salber, the group's president, and Taliaferro, its executive director, a few years earlier when each had a fellowship with the Pew Health Policy Program at the Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California at San
Voelker R. Physicians Try Creating a Violence-Free Society. JAMA. 1994;271(10):732. doi:10.1001/jama.1994.03510340018007