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A One Health Challenge - An Innovative Approach to Graduate Public Health Education - Tuesday, September 14, 2010

A One Health Challenge

An Innovative Approach to Graduate Public Health Education

The Master of Public Health (MPH) Program at Kansas State University in Manhattan, Kansas (USA) is not what one would normally expect from graduate public health education.  While a few other Master of Public Health programs in the United States are aligned with a College of Veterinary Medicine, K-State’s program is housed in one.  And, four other colleges on the campus are partners to make it truly interdisciplinary. 

Started in the fall semester of 2003, the Kansas State MPH Program was initiated as a collaboration of the Graduate School and the Colleges of Agriculture, Arts & Sciences, Human Ecology, and Veterinary Medicine, with the first interim director from Human Ecology.  This innovative approach was both cost effective and efficient with its use of existing infrastructure, faculty and courses.  Today, the college partners are still the same, and the program has its first full-time Director, Mike Cates, DVM, MPH, also a Professor in the College of Veterinary Medicine.  Dr. Cates is the former Chief of the Army Veterinary Corps and the first veterinarian to serve as the Commanding General of the Army’s main public health organization, the Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine as well as the Surgeon General’s primary senior executive on Preventive Medicine and Public Health. 

The partnership, crossing traditional college boundaries at Kansas State University, has a definite advantage for students.   There are over 55 different faculty members affiliated with the MPH Program, from 8 departments in the 4 participating academic colleges.  This variety of disciplines and research interests opens a wealth of possibilities for students, who, despite the newness of the program and the relatively small size, can choose between four distinct areas of emphasis—Infectious Diseases and Zoonoses; Food Safety and Biosecurity; Public Health Nutrition; and Public Health Physical Activity.  Dr. Cates noted “The faculty members here are extraordinary experts in many different areas which impact on animal, human and/or environmental health.  You will probably not find such a unique blend anywhere else.”

That uniqueness and breadth has led to significant growth in enrollment.  When Dr. Cates arrived in January 2009, the program had an enrollment of 26 students; today, there are 75.  One noticeable trait of the program is the high interest level of veterinarians, veterinary students and even pre-professional students to pursue the MPH degree or the Graduate Certificate in Public Health Core Concepts.  Right now, over half of the MPH students fit into one of those veterinary-related categories.  Overall, the program has attracted outstanding domestic and international students from over 15 disciplines, including medicine, nursing, dentistry, human nutrition, kinesiology, animal science, food science and several others, from 17 states and 11 different countries.

The future looks bright for even more opportunities for students and graduates of this program, with the arrival of two major federal laboratories—the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility and the Arthropod Borne Animal Disease Research Unit—a continuing and growing culture of teamwork across the state.  The program is exploring ways to collaborate with the University of Kansas’ more traditional program, and the two universities already play active roles in the state’s Public Health Systems Group, involving local and state governmental agencies along with foundations and other health-related stakeholders, and the Public Health Workforce Development Group.  In another example, Kansas State MPH faculty and students help in public health outreach, education and research with the university’s One Health Kansas and Pathways to Public Health initiatives, aiming to raise awareness and interest in public health, starting with children in kindergarten, and ultimately to improve the numbers and quality of educated professionals in the public health workforce. 

A crucial component of the tremendous growth of the K-State MPH Program is the interest, advocacy and support from the university’s administrative leadership, particularly the college deans and the past and present university provosts and presidents.  “Without the consistent and adequate support of the university and the college leaders, such an innovative interdisciplinary approach to education would not succeed,” Dr. Cates noted.  “We are very fortunate here to have visionaries who are willing to fund non-traditional approaches in a field where multidisciplinary methods really make the most sense. Prevention is the best way to health, and collaboration is key.  Together, we must set a ‘one health’ example among all stakeholders, for improved community health throughout our state and beyond.” 

Dr. Carol Ann Holcomb, first Interim Director of MPH Program, receiving Excellence in Public Health Award from Dr. Mike Cates.

Mike Cates, DVM, MPH, current Director, MPH Program

New MPH and Public Health Graduate Certificate Students for Fall 2010

Picture from campus

One Health Poster Representation at Farm Foundation Symposium by Two Department of Homeland Security Centers of Excellence - Thursday, September 09, 2010

One Health Poster Representation at Farm Foundation Symposium by Two Department of Homeland Security Centers of Excellence


Titled: “One Health – One Medicine – One Environment”


Two outstanding Department of Homeland Security Centers of Excellence—the Center of Excellence for Emerging and Zoonotic Animal Diseases (CEEZAD), Kansas State University and National Center for Foreign Animal and Zoonotic Disease Defense (FAZD), Texas A & M University, will jointly present One Health posters at the Farm Foundation Symposium in Washington,  D.C. on September 23rd and 24th, 2010.  They will be titled “One Health-One Medicine-One Environment” to help reflect the interdisciplinary, all inclusive approach offered by One Health principles for health and health care problem solving.


The two-day interdisciplinary symposium’s topic is “Zoonoses: Understanding the Animal Agriculture and Human Health Connection.” The program is targeted at a broad cross-section of people, including public health officials, veterinarians, physicians, virologists, agricultural producers, public policy makers and media representatives. For the conference program and registration details see: 


Both FAZD Center (, headquartered at Texas A&M University, and CEEZAD (, headquartered at Kansas State University, seek to perform research and develop products that will defend the nation against high-consequence foreign animal and emerging/zoonotic diseases. Since at least 60 percent of all human pathogens originate in animals, the link between human medicine, veterinary medicine and our ecosystem is crucial for human health. There is also increasing awareness that in order to meet the One Health goal of uniting human and veterinary medicine, the impact of the environment is very important.  Therefore, both Centers will develop a theme of “One Health-One Medicine-One Environment” in their Conference poster displays.


For further information please contact: Karinne Cortes at CEEZAD: email address  telephone: 1-785-532-4614   or Lori Olivarez at FAZD: email address; telephone: 1-979-845-2855.


Note: The One Health Initiative website team strongly supports and applauds this collaborative approach for promoting the One Health concept.


Two Important One Health Tuberculosis Articles – Published by “The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease” - Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Two Important One Health Tuberculosis Articles – Published by “The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease

The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease publishes articles on all aspects of lung health, including public health-related issues such as training programmes, cost-benefit analysis, legislation, epidemiology, intervention studies and health systems research. The IJTLD is dedicated to the continuing education of physicians and health personnel and the dissemination of information on tuberculosis and lung health world-wide.

Thoen C O, LoBue P A, de Kantor I. Why has zoonotic tuberculosis not received much attention? [Editorial] or directly to the pdf:                  


LoBue P A, Enarson D A, Thoen CO. Tuberculosis in humans and animals: an overview [Serialised article. Tuberculosis: a re-emerging disease in animals and humans. Number 1 in the series] or directly to the pdf


Website posting approval granted:  September 8, 2010

American Medical Association (USA) President Reaffirms Strong Support of One Health - Monday, August 30, 2010

American Medical Association (USA) President Reaffirms Strong Support of One Health



"The AMA strongly supports the One Health Initiative, the collaborative effort of multiple disciplines to attain optimal health for humans, animals, and our environment. More than 60 percent of human infectious diseases and the preponderance of emerging infectious diseases have an animal vector. Better collaboration is needed between human and veterinary medicine to protect the public health. The One Health Initiative is playing an important role in achieving this goal."


Cecil B. Wilson, MD, President,

American Medical Association


Message for posting on the One Health Initiative website received August 30, 2010

A second good reason to attend the … “One Health” Session Scheduled for the North American Veterinary Conference (NAVC), in Orlando, Florida (USA) Monday, January 17, 2011 - Thursday, August 26, 2010

A second good reason to attend the …

“One Health” Session Scheduled for the North American Veterinary Conference (NAVC), in Orlando, Florida (USA) Monday, January 17,  2011

Remember the first good reason to attend was described about and by Dr. Paul P. Calle.   It was posted on August 13, 2011 (scroll down).

Here is a second outstanding featured speaker, an activist wildlife veterinarian:


Kirsten Gilardi, DVM, DACZM

Assistant Director, UC Davis Wildlife Health Center
School of Veterinary Medicine
University of California, Davis, CA (USA)
One Shields Avenue
Davis, CA 95616-8739


Dr. Gilardi says she has directed her veterinary career towards One Health efforts, “whether that be providing clinical care to wildlife species endangered due to human-related activities, researching the health status of wildlife species as indicators of the health of their ecosystems, directing the One Health-focused Envirovet Summer Institute, or now administering the Mountain Gorilla One Health Program.  As a wildlife veterinarian, a One Health framework for my endeavors is the most effective and only meaningful approach.”  Dr. Gilardi said, “it is highly rewarding on a professional and personal level.”


Dr. Gilardi describes her excellent and illuminating One Health message:

 The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Emerging Pandemic Threats Program (EPT) is a recently launched international effort to detect emerging wildlife zoonoses in time to prevent human pandemics. The EPT is an excellent example of One Health in Action; in particular, its PREDICT project, is administered by the UC Davis Wildlife Health Center in partnership with Wildlife Conservation Society, Wildlife Trust, Global Viral Forecasting, Inc. and the Smithsonian Institution.  It is working on the ground on the One Health frontline, conducting wildlife zoonoses and emerging disease surveillance in more than two dozen countries at high-risk wildlife-human interfaces such as bushmeat hunting and wildlife ecotourism.”

In coming months, the One Health Initiative website will feature other topics to be discussed by individual speakers in the NAVC scheduled Orlando, Florida (USA) One Health session. 


Private practicing veterinarians, physicians and other health scientists in the U.S., Canada and worldwide are urged to consider attending.  These issues are expected to impact each of you as the One Health movement continues to exponentially expand globally.



Dr. Dunham Supports AVMA/AMA “One Health” Initiative - Monday, August 16, 2010

U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Bernadette Dunham, DVM, PhD Supports AVMA/AMA “One Health” Initiative

FDA Veterinarian Newsletter 2007 Volume XXII, No IV - Dr. Dunham Supports AVMA/AMA “One Health” Initiative

-         Last Updated Version below: 10/28/2009

Dr. Bernadette Dunham, [Current] Director of the FDA’s Center for Veterinary Medicine (USA), is a strong proponent of the initiative called “One Health,” aimed at developing more collaboration and communication between human and veterinary medicine. 

The concept behind the One Health initiative is not new (it was first articulated in the 19th Century), but it gained increased attention as the American Medical Association’s House of Delegates voted in June to approve a resolution to support it, and the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) in July at its annual convention named members to a One Health Initiative Task Force. AVMA had endorsed the concept earlier.

Dr. Roger Mahr, Immediate Past President of the AVMA, made the One Health initiative his top priority during his presidency (2006-2007). It was his recommendation to establish the task force.

According to an AVMA press release, the task force was given the job of “articulating a vision of One Health that will enhance the integration of animal, human, and environmental health for the mutual benefit of all.”

The One Health initiative addresses the significance of zoonotic diseases. The most obvious zoonotic diseases are variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, West Nile virus, avian influenza, rabies, and salmonellosis. But many other diseases can move between humans and animals. Approximately 60 percent of all infectious agents of humans are zoonotic, according to experts. In addition, 75 percent of emerging human diseases seen in the past 25 years have been zoonotic, AVMA’s Dr. Mahr stated during the group’s annual conference in July.

The leading advocates of the initiative are Dr. Laura H. Kahn, a physician on the research staff of the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Princeton University; Dr. Bruce Kaplan, a veterinarian in Sarasota, FL, and previously with the [U.S. Centers for Disease Control & Prevention and] U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Food Safety and Inspection Service; and Dr. Thomas P. Monath, a physician previously with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (Fort Collins, CO) and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (Fort Detrick, MD), and currently with the investment firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, Menlo Park, CA.

They have drafted this One Health mission statement:

“Recognizing that human and animal health are inextricably linked, One Health seeks to promote, improve, and defend the health and well-being of all species by enhancing cooperation and collaboration between physicians and veterinarians, and by promoting strengths in leadership and management to achieve these goals.”

The initiative seeks increased educational opportunities between human and veterinary medical schools, more communications, and more cross-species disease surveillance, as well as other coordination.

Dr. Kaplan is collecting statements of support for the One Health initiative. Dr. Dunham, who has had veterinary clinical experience as well as human and veterinary research experience, sent him this statement of support:

“Sir William Osler, M.D. (1849-1919) promoted the philosophy of ‘one medicine.’ How exciting to witness, in 2007, the official adoption of the ‘One Health’ initiative by both the AMA and the AVMA!! Through mutual collaborations—clinical and research experiences—veterinarians and physicians can accomplish so much more together to advance the health of humans and animals. Today, we truly live in a global village where people, animals, and microbes all travel. So, it is even more imperative that we all embrace the One Health initiative. I look forward to joining my colleagues in a multidisciplinary approach as we address the global health needs of humans, animals, and their environment.”

Others who have sent testimonials supporting the One Health Initiative include Major General Gale S. Pollock, Acting, Surgeon General, U.S. Army; and former U.S. Senator Bill Frist, MD.  Dr. Kaplan is continuing to collect testimonials. [please see]

                                                   *     *     *     *       

Note: Jack Woodall, PhD, a renowned viral epidemiologist, became the contents manager/editor of the ProMED-mail section in the Kahn-Kaplan-Monath-Woodall One Health Initiative website in February 2009.  Dr. Woodall is visiting Professor and Director (retd.) Nucleus for the Investigation of Emerging Infectious Diseases at the Institute of Medical Biochemistry, Center for Health Sciences, Federal University of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.  He is a co-founder and associate editor of ProMED-mail, the outbreak early warning system online of the Program for Monitoring Emerging Diseases of the International Society for Infectious Diseases.

“One Health” Session Scheduled for the North American Veterinary Conference (NAVC), in Orlando, Florida (USA) Monday, January 17, 2011 - Friday, August 13, 2010

A good reason to attend the …

“One Health” Session Scheduled for the North American Veterinary Conference (NAVC), in Orlando, Florida (USA) Monday, January 17,  2011

One of the outstanding featured speakers, a noted wildlife veterinarian will be:


Paul P. Calle, VMD, Dipl ACZM
Director, Zoological Health

Global Health Program

Wildlife Conservation Society

2300 Southern Blvd.

Bronx, NY 10460-1099


Dr. Calle’s speech will explore ““One World One Health®  – A Field Veterinary Perspective”.


Dr. Calle cogently and briefly describes his One Health message as “The inextricable link between people, domestic and wild animals, and their diseases, has never been more obvious or of concern than it is today. With outbreaks of SARS, Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza, and Ebola virus capturing the public’s attention, the concept that we only have One World and share One Health is on the front pages of newspapers around the world. The need to increase the linkages between public health, the health of domestic animals, and the health and conservation of wild animals has generated discussions and collaborations unheard of only a few years ago. This talk will present an overview of the Wildlife Conservation Society’s pioneering One World One Health® activities around the world, which include international symposia and workshops on the topic held in New York City and Bangkok, Thailand in 2004; Beijing, China in 2005; and Brasilia, Brazil in 2007 as well as ongoing global field veterinary activities to investigate diseases and their relationships to people, domestic and wild animals.”


In coming months, the One Health Initiative website will feature other topics to be discussed by individual speakers in the NAVC scheduled One Health session. 


Private practicing veterinarians, physicians and other health scientists in the U.S., Canada and worldwide are urged to consider attending. 





Eco-epidemiology and control of Chagas disease in northern Argentina - Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Eco-epidemiology and control of Chagas disease in northern Argentina


A long-term One Health collaborative effort of the University of Buenos Aires (led by Ricardo Gürtler, PhD), Rockefeller and Columbia University (Joel E. Cohen, PhD) and Emory University (Uriel Kitron, PhD, MPH) on the ecology, epidemiology and suppression of Chagas disease in the Argentinean Chaco.


A strength of the project is that it addresses all facets of transmission and risk, including the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi (which causes Chagas disease), the insect vectors, the wildlife and domestic reservoir hosts, humans and the physical and biological environments. Among the major findings of the projects is the high degree of heterogeneity in all of these components of the transmission systems. Infestations are highly aggregated, with only a few premises harboring high-density bug colonies. Some peridomestic structures with particular physical attributes maintain residual bug colonies that can recover to pre-intervention numbers and propagate through the community by flight dispersal.


Among our main findings are the inter-connectedness between domestic, peridomestic and Sylva tic populations of the main vector Triatoma infestans (Hemiptera: Reduviidae), the importance of super-spreader dogs and high-risk sites, the occurrence of unanticipated sylvatic foci of Triatoma infestans, and the economically optimal role for community action in sustainable Chagas disease intervention programs.


A key finding of the study is the importance of dogs to the transmission of T. cruzi and to the surveillance of Chagas disease. Dogs are the key reservoir for T. cruzi and the major source of infection for Triatoma infestans, the main vector of Chagas disease in the Chaco, with a force of infection that is 14 times higher than that of humans. Dogs, whose average lifespan in the rural Chaco is only 3.5 years, also fulfill all the criteria for an optimal sentinel for Chagas disease. Trypanosoma cruzi infection is aggregated at the household level along the “80-20 rule”, with a small fraction of the seropositive dog, and to a lesser extent cat and human populations, showing high capacity to infect bugs. Field and experimental evidence shows that dogs are the preferred domestic bloodmeal source of T. infestans.


At the district-wide level, high domestic infestation was clustered in high human-density areas with higher land surface temperature and more degraded landscapes. Anthropogenic changes in the environment, including deforestation, introduction of cash crops and changes in land ownership patterns have had major impacts on wildlife, including suspected reservoir hosts such as opossums and skunks.


In addition to over forty scientific papers that resulted from the project, there is a strong training component for undergraduate and graduate students, post-docs and veterinarians, and the project is based on and committed to community participation and sustainable improvement in public health.


Links to free access key papers (all accessible through PubMed):


Ceballos 2009 -

Gurtler, PNAS -

Vazquez-Prokopec, PLOS NTD -

Gurtler, Parasitology -

Cecere, EID -

Cardinal 2009


Uriel Kitron, PhD, MPH

Department of Environmental Studies

400 Dowman Drive

Math and Science Center, Suite E511

Emory University

Atlanta, GA  30322

Tel: (404) 727-4253; fax: (404) 727-4448;                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 


Ricardo Gürtler, PhD

CONICET Scientific Investigator

Professor and Head

Laboratory of Eco-Epidemiology

Faculty of Natural and Exact Sciences

University of Buenos Aires



Dr. Kitron graciously provided this article to the One Health Initiative website. This was requested following the previous July 28, 2010 OHI website Publications page (scroll down) posting of a news item on NEWKERALA.COM.  Prepared by Drs. Kitron and Gürtler, it is expected to be re-printed in the One Health Newsletter’s Fall issue

Cancer clue found in animal diseases - Friday, August 06, 2010


Science News


Cancer clue found in animal diseases

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, July 26 (UPI) -- Canadian researchers say an unexpected connection between an animal disease and human cancers could lead to effective cancer therapies. … Read more:

One Health or… some health? - Tuesday, August 03, 2010



One Health or… some health?


"When the eagles are silent, parrots begin to jabber." - Winston Churchill


 Bruce Kaplan, DVM


The international One Health movement has expanded during the early 21st century.  It even sports the name “One Health” in most circles instead of “One Medicine”, the phrase promoted by the late Dr. Calvin Schwabe, the renowned public health veterinarian and parasitologist.  Actually, the two are essentially synonymous unless you want to split hairs.  One Health has been adopted by most to primarily designate a wider collaborative interdisciplinary inclusion.


I met and spent part of a morning and lunch with Dr. Schwabe at the home of his close friends, the family of the late noted public health figure,  Oscar Sussman, DVM, MPH, LL.B in Princeton, New Jersey (USA) in the early 1960s.  Schwabe was a brilliant, gentle, unpretentious person.  He called the concept “One Medicine” and was himself more oriented towards the public health (epidemiological) applicability.  Nonetheless, I am confident that if asked today, he would say something like, “whatever you call it, it needs to be implemented across the board in public health and clinical medicine for the benefit of human [and animal] health.”


While implementation still remains sometime in the future, the One Health movement has become and is becoming widely accepted worldwide, particularly in public health communities.  Regrettably, although One Health principles apply exceptionally well to protecting nations’ public health, it also applies equally well to clinical medical and surgical research (comparative medicine) and hence in private practice, i.e. in the fields of cancer, cardiovascular disease, orthopedic conditions, obesity, and many others.  By perusing the One Health Initiative website and the online quarterly One Health Newsletter, one can find numerous examples of One Health advances for both disciplines, viz. public health and clinical health care.


Much more One Health activity is evident in public health academic communities than among clinical health academic circles.  It is practically non-existent and for the most part unheard of within the practicing veterinary medical and human medical communities.  Specifically, practicing veterinarians and physicians in private practices generally do not know about One Health and those that hear of it ask the legitimate question, “So, what is in it for us?”


If One Health activists continue to only stress public health to the exclusion of clinical medical/surgical research and neglect indoctrinating our practitioner colleagues into “What’s in it for all of us”… we will travel the path of “some health” and not ONE HEALTH.  Protecting and saving untold millions of lives requires recognition and implementation of, by and for both disciplines.



Dr. Bruce Kaplan is a member of the One Health Initiative website team along with Laura H. Kahn, MD, MPH, MPP, Thomas P. Monath, MD, and Jack Woodall, PhD.  He also serves on the editorial board of the One Health Newsletter and has been a co-author contributor to One Health articles with One Health Newsletter editor Mary Echols, DVM, MPH.  Dr. Echols was the first to appreciate and express the practical, bottom line phrase “so, what’s in it for us” relative to when many initially consider supporting the One Health concept.



Comments about this Opinion piece are welcomed.   Opinions and comments about One Health are encouraged.  Selected appropriate messages will be posted upon receipt of permission from author(s).  Please send to c/o Contents Manager.


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