src=”https://www.psr-la.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/09/robert_dodge.jpg” alt=”” title=”Bob Dodge” width=”225″ height=”300″ class=”alignleft size-full wp-image-7076″ />PSR-LA is proud to present Robert Dodge with the Peacemaker Award for longtime and steadfast efforts toward a more peaceful world and engaging professionals to prevent nuclear disaster.
Growing up in Denver, Colorado, Dr. Robert Dodge was influenced by his relationship with his family physician, a man who took the time to pay house visits to families, participated in the community, and later served on the Denver School Board. Impressed by this doctor’s service and given his own love for science, Dr. Dodge decided to study family medicine as it connects him to families he is privileged to care for.
Throughout his medical career, Dr. Dodge’s energy and commitment to the peace movement has been unwavering. He was active in the peace movement in college during the Vietnam war. While in residency at the Ventura County Medical Center he became concerned about the devastating effects of nuclear explosions and was inspired by leaders in the anti-nuclear movement, such as Dr. Carl Sagan, Drs. Jack Geiger, Victor Sidel and Helen Caldicott and artists like Jackson Browne who were not afraid to speak out. After the birth of his first son David, his sense of urgency to protect future generations from nuclear destruction was crystallized.
While practicing as a family physician in Ventura, CA, Dr. Dodge’s advocacy for peace and nuclear disarmament has been relentless. On every Tax Day since 1989, Dr. Dodge presents a check from Ventura County residents to demonstrate how much Ventura County taxpayers spend on nuclear weapons making the connection to the unmet needs that face each of us on a daily basis. He also heads the “Nuclear Weapons Community Cost Project” that calculates the costs of nuclear weapons for any community.
Dr. Dodge constantly seeks ways to engage both high school students and medical students in the peace movement. For five years, he organized a peace essay writing contest for high school students. Teachers at every Ventura County High School collected essays and a committee of local journalists served as judges. The winning essayists were awarded a Peace Ambassadorship visit to the Soviet Union for the summer.
Dr. Dodge is a movement leader. He has been president of the Ventura County Chapter of PSR since 1985. He serves on the international board of Beyond War and heads their nuclear weapons abolition team. In addition he is a leader with the Earth Charter movement. At the grass roots level he co-founded the organization Citizens for Peaceful Resolutions in Ventura. He gives an annual medical student “Physicians in their Community Lecture” at Ventura’s Community Memorial Hospital emphasizing the need for physicians to give back to their communities.
As we continue to face massive stockpiles of nuclear weapons and the constant threat that they represent, Dr. Dodge is comforted by the words of one of his greatest heroes, Dr. Carl Sagan: “If someday I turn to see the mushroom cloud [of nuclear explosion] behind me, I will know I have done everything I can to have prevented it from happening.”