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One Health Leader, Veterinarian Dr. Jean Blancou Dies - November 10, 2010 - Monday, December 20, 2010

One Health Leader, Veterinarian Dr. Jean Blancou Dies

Obituary: Jean Blancou (1936-2010)

Dr. Jean Blancou, former Director General of the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) from 1991 to 2000, died in Paris on 10 Nov 2010 at the age of 74. Son of wildlife expert Lucien Blancou, Jean qualified as a veterinarian from the National Veterinary College of Toulouse, France in 1960, obtained a degree in Tropical Veterinary Medicine in Paris in 1963 and a doctoral degree in biological sciences in Nancy, France, in 1982.

Jean Blancou began his career as Advisor to the Veterinary Services in Ethiopia, where he led a campaign against rinderpest in the southern territories. This was followed by missions within the French technical cooperation services in Niger, Madagascar and Senegal, mainly in laboratories for diagnosis, vaccine production and veterinary research. He returned to France in 1977, nominated Deputy Director and subsequently Director of the National Centre for Research on Rabies and Wildlife Diseases, a WHO Collaborating Centre located in Nancy, France. He held that position until 1990, undertaking in-depth research on the diagnosis, causal agents, epidemiology and control of rabies. ………

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http://www.worldvet.org/node/7357


Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Presents Thoughts on ‘One Health’ - Thursday, December 16, 2010

Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO) Presents Thoughts on ‘One Health’

 

http://www.fao.org/ag/againfo/home/en/news_archive/2010_one-health.html

Thoughts of FAO on ‘One Health’

The number of emerging infectious diseases and pandemic threats at the animal-human interface is increasing. In recent past the world has witnessed the emergence of novel diseases such as Nipah virus in Malaysia, intercontinental spread of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS), Highly Pathogenic Avian Influenza virus H5N1 and Influenza H1N1 (2009). These disease events have heightened worldwide public awareness of the multidimensional linkages between wild animals, livestock production and global public health. Human population pressures and the enhanced mobility of people, climate change, food and agricultural dynamics, and the progressive encroachment of forest and game reserves, are among the more frequently cited global factors amplifying emerging infectious diseases events.

 A new approach has been devised to address the multiple factors influencing the emergence of infectious diseases: the ‘One Health’ approach. It can be best defined as a collaborative, international, cross-sectoral, multidisciplinary mechanism to address threats and reduce risks of detrimental infectious diseases at the animal-human-ecosystem interface. It strategically builds on the lessons learned from, and achievements of, the responses to H5N1 HPAI and H1N1 epizootics. This approach is acknowledged a feasible and viable model to address the multidimensional challenges that are rapidly evolving in a changing world. Disease emergence can no longer be seen in isolation but must now be viewed alongside a continuum of climatic changes, natural resource management, agricultural intensification, land utilisation patterns, trade globalization, and shifting farming, food distribution and marketing systems.

 The current approach to disease prevention and control emphasizes transmission disruption; with early warning, early detection and early response mechanisms targeting also the new pathogens emerging. Whilst critically important, this approach in itself does not address the root causes of disease emergence. The only option to effectively deal with the latter is to tackle the drivers of new disease emergence. Changing the emerging disease dynamics at the driver level with the aim to counter the progressive flare-ups of diseases at the human-animal-environment interface requires reassessment of the global health security strategy, along with renovation of multiple aspects at the technical, social and institutional levels.

 First, at the technical level, we confront three sets of drivers corresponding broadly with three sets of disease (re-)emergence. One, globalization, land use and/or climate change are mostly implicated when diseases invade a novel territory or geographic area, often with identical host ecology and involving relatively minor changes in pathogen characteristics. Two, disease emergence is facilitated by the mass rearing of animals as seen during intensification of animal agriculture. The high numbers of animals per farms and per units, and the geographic clustering of industrial production plants provide fertile grounds for pathogens to turn more host-aggressive. In densely populated areas with both commercial pig and poultry production, and traditional smallholder systems, there is often a dynamic transmission of pathogens, enhancing both disease spread and persistence. Three, emergence associated with interspecies jumps of pathogens with pandemic potential. This often concerns wildlife, resulting from human and livestock encroachment of forests and game reserves, exploitation of wildlife for food and recreation, and degradation of rich ecosystems.

 Second, at the social level, different stakeholders have different concerns regarding food safety, health, security and wellbeing. Poor people in developing countries are primarily concerned with existing disease burdens, which are considered far more important than pandemic risks. Disease impacts are complex and vary between stakeholders, including disruptions to financial, human, natural, physical and social assets. All of these affect achievement of the UN Millennium Development Goals.

 Third, at the institutional level, broadening health management and the creation of safer, more disease-resilient landscapes goes beyond the remit of veterinary and medical services. The extension of efforts towards sustainable agriculture and rural development, environmental stewardship, gender inclusion and socio-economic progress entails involvement of many professionals, requiring a major shift in terms of fostering alliances, partnerships and communication schemes.

 The ‘One Health’ approach aims to restore social and ecological resilience in global health security. It is well known that prevention is better than cure, both in the fight against existing and new emerging diseases. Redressing the current disease burden in humans and attaining global health security is pivotal to achieve sustained economic growth, food security and poverty alleviation. Animal and human diseases represent tremendous economic and social burdens to governments, households and individuals alike. Regrettably, the current global investments to confront these challenges are imbalanced and not proportional to the tectonic weight of the economic and social burdens confronted, with negligible amounts being allocated to better understand disease emergence of animal origin.

 We believe that to reverse this trend it is necessary focus on a set of 5 principles: 

  • Impact Assessment: the multidimensional impacts of both old and new human and animal diseases require adequate measurement in terms of costs, globally, and ranked by how these diseases withhold global health security;
  • Drivers: the core factors influencing disease emergence and pandemic risks await clarification in order to be able to restore responsible, sustainable and safer animal agriculture and associated feed and food supplies;
  • Wildlife: The emergence of wildlife pathogens as hazards and threats to food safety and public health in general has to be confronted and redressed, at the ecosystem level, as a component of natural resource management;
  • Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points (HACCP): These critical control points need to be established to enhance hygiene and biosecurity routines and practices in food value chains and agro-ecological landscape levels;
  • Partnerships: Alliances and associated communication efforts are to be pursued, adequate to a broadening of the set of global health security measures, with strengthened collaborations between medical, veterinary and environmental agencies with the concept of ‘One Health’ as a shared international public good that directly involves and engages the public at large.

 The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) based in Rome, Italy, is teaming up with the World Health Organization (WHO) and the World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) to jointly pursue the ‘One Health’ approach. Whilst FAO plays a critical role in raising the levels of nutrition, improving agricultural productivity, bettering the lives of rural populations and contributing to the growth of the world economy, there is increasingly recognition that global health and food security form twin objectives.


American Nurses Association Supports and Endorses One Health - Monday, December 13, 2010

American Nurses Association Supports and Endorses One Health

 

 

The One Health Initiative website team was notified on December 9, 2010 that the president of the American Nurses Association www.nursingworld.org, Karen A. Daley, PhD, MPH, RN, FAAN supports the One Health concept.  The following is President Daley’s endorsement statement:

 

“Nurses recognize all forms of life on Earth are interconnected and interdependent.  The One Health Initiative epitomizes this fundamental concept.  The American Nurses Association is proud to be a supporter of this ground-breaking initiative.  Working together, we will enhance and improve the health of humans, animals and the environment.”

 


“One Health” Session Scheduled for the North American Veterinary Conference (NAVC), in Orlando, Florida (USA) Monday, January 17, 2011 - Tuesday, December 07, 2010

A fourth good reason to attend the …

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

By scrolling down, you can read about the first three good reasons to attend.  These were described and prepared by Dr. Kate Hodgson (posted November, 29, 2010); Dr. Kirsten Gilardi (posted August 26, 2010); and Dr. Paul P. Calle (posted August 13, 2011).  You may see the entire NAVC One Health program scheduled by scrolling down to the posted News item of Saturday, July 10, 2010.

A fourth outstanding featured speaker attraction: Dr. Donald F. Smith is a Diplomate of the American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) and a prominent, highly acclaimed former Dean at the Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine (1997-2007).  Dr. Smith graduated from the Ontario Veterinary College (Canada) in 1974, then trained at the University of Pennsylvania as a large animal surgeon.  Apart from a four-year period at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he has spent the remainder of his career at Cornell University (USA) as a surgeon and professor.  While serving as the ninth dean, Cornell reclaimed the number one designation by U.S. News and World Report, a distinction that it currently holds. As student and teacher of veterinary medical history and public policy, Dr. Smith has lectured extensively on the future challenges and opportunities for the veterinary medical profession. He also currently serves as chair of Cornell’s Admission Committee.

 

 

Abstract: Our Veterinary Legacy: One Health

 

By Donald F. Smith, DVM, DACVS

Professor of Surgery and Austin O. Hooey Dean, Emeritus

Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y. 14853 (USA)

 

“Comparative medicine was an integral part of the fabric of human and animal health in the late 19th century. Several of the world’s leading physicians and veterinarians were colleagues and personal friends as they led their respective medical and veterinary colleges and research centers. Some veterinary deans held both MD and DVM degrees (or their equivalent).

 

Two overarching events—the loss of the horse to the internal combustion engine, and the growth of the land grant colleges for sustaining veterinary education—led to the closure of most of the urban-based veterinary colleges. In addition, the veterinary educational and practice culture moved from comparative medicine to the health and well-being of agricultural species. Public health issues remained important, but not as high a priority as they had been in the formative years of the profession.

 

By the 1930s, veterinary medicine had drifted apart from human medicine and agricultural- and animal-related public health became largely the provenance of veterinarians. Funding for veterinary colleges was the responsibility of agriculture, not health.

 

With the resurgence of interest in zoonotic diseases associated with such events as the outbreak of West Nile virus, Avian flu, melamine food contamination, and the increased use of raw milk, awareness of comparative medicine (though now more commonly designated as one medicine or one health) began to develop in recent years. If there ever was a déjà vu in veterinary medicine, this was it, though perhaps this one is not an allusion!”

 

This presentation provides an overview of the “Back to the Future” story of comparative medicine, and challenges us to consider two additional and far-reaching priorities that represent the foundation of future directions in one health. Practicing veterinarians will find several important and useful take-home messages from this and subsequent presentations throughout the day-long symposium.”

 

Note:  A special evening session is planned for Monday January 17th, 2011 from 6:00 -7:30 P.M. where conference attendees can meet and hear brief One Health presentations by prominent One Health advocates/supporters: veterinarians Lisa A. Conti, DVM, MPH (Director of the Florida Department of Health’s Environmental Health Division); Carina Blackmore, DVM, PhD (Florida State Public Health Veterinarian); and physician, Kevin M. Sherin, MD, MPH - Director, Orange County (Florida) Health Department (USA).  Drs. Conti, Blackmore and Sherin were recently named to the One Health Initiative website teams’ Advisory Board (Hon.) http://www.onehealthinitiative.com/advBoard.php.

Addendum:  The One Health Initiative website team has just been informed that the President of the American Medical Association, Cecil B. Wilson, MD also expects to be present at the special evening session.  Dr. Wilson recently reaffirmed his strong support of One Health with the following August 30, 2010 statement:

"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."

 

 


Annual Conference of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA), April 11 – 14, 2011 - Saturday, December 04, 2010

Annual Conference of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA), April 11 – 14, 2011

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                                                      Contact: Teres Lambert

December 1, 2010                                                                                847-838-2966

tlambert@animalagriculture.org

 

 

National Conference to Identify Consumers as Stakeholders

in Today’s Food Production

 

COLORADO SPRINGS, CO – By most estimates, food production must double by 2050 to feed the world’s rapidly growing population.  While agriculture will evolve to fulfill such a mandate, limited resources make it increasingly important that the industry emphasize responsible and sustainable production that meets consumer expectations while providing for food security.

 

The 2011 Annual Conference of the National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA), April 11 – 14, will explore the growing necessity of involving consumers as stakeholders in food production.    Areas to be explored will include the food supply; food security; food safety; animal agriculture’s importance in the ecosystem; and effective ways to communicate with consumer stakeholders.  The conference will be held at the Omni San Antonio Hotel in San Antonio, Texas.

 

“Given the nearly overwhelming challenge of doubling the food supply in the next forty years, producers in animal agriculture will be faced with the task of finding ways to meet growing production demands with continued integrity,” said Dr. Nevil Speer, chairman of the Annual Conference’s planning committee. 

 

Consumers are increasingly demanding more input and desire to have accurate and complete information on the many issues surrounding meat, milk and fiber production practices. Consumers will necessarily need to be involved as stakeholders in order to ensure efficient, responsible, and resource-conserving methods are understood and used in food production.”

 

The NIAA Annual Conference brings together leaders in animal agriculture and agribusiness who provide cutting edge information and work collectively to develop consensus on key issues.  This year’s conference will feature two plenary sessions in which experts will lay the foundation for the elements of a stable food supply, with conference participants then helping to develop a direction for needed research, information, development, and production methods to meet the food production challenge. 

 

NIAA’s several species committees and issues councils will also meet during the conference to address specific animal agriculture topics and to help drive NIAA’s policy process. 

 

“NIAA’s Annual Conference has been recognized for decades as being the place where animal agriculture comes together,” said Dr. Robert Fourdraine, NIAA’s board chairman.  “The organization represents all livestock species and industry segments, as well as animal health practitioners and regulators. 

 

“The conference allows for a forum unlike any other.  It promotes interaction and consensus-building for the betterment of animal agriculture.”

 

A schedule of events for NIAA’s 2011 Annual Conference, registration information, and hotel information is available at the NIAA website: www.animalagriculture.org. Individuals are also welcome to call NIAA at (719) 538-8843 for additional information.

 

The National Institute for Animal Agriculture (NIAA) is a non-profit, membership-driven organization that unites and advances animal agriculture—the beef, dairy, equine, goat, poultry, sheep and swine industries. NIAA is dedicated to programs that work toward the eradication of diseases that pose risk to the health of animals, wildlife and humans; promote a safe and wholesome food supply for our nation and abroad; and promote best practices in environmental stewardship, animal health and animal well-being.  Members of NIAA include livestock producers, producer organizations, veterinarians, scientists, state and federal officials, and agribusiness executives.

 

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One Health Initiative website team establishes Honorary Advisory Board - December 1, 2010 - Thursday, December 02, 2010

One Health Initiative website team establishes Honorary Advisory Board

 

The following outstanding One Health supporters/advocates have graciously agreed to participate on the One Health Initiative website’s honorary advisory board. 

 

 

One Health Initiative Website Advisory Board (Hon.)

 

Established: December 1, 2010

 

 

Larry R. Anderson, DVM, MD - Sumner County Family Care Center, PA, Wellington, Kansas (USA)

 

Steven W. Atwood, VMD, MRCVS, MD – Animal Health Care Associates, West Tisbury, MA (USA)

 

B. Sonny Bal, MD, JD, MBA -  Associate Professor, Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Missouri School of Medicine (USA)

 

Donald S. Burke, MD - Dean, Graduate School of Public Health, University of Pittsburgh (USA)

 

Carina Blackmore, DVM, PhD – State Public Health Veterinarian, Florida Department of Health (USA)

 

Craig N. Carter, DVM, PhD – Director, University of Kentucky, Veterinary Diagnostic Laboratory (USA)

 

Lisa A. Conti, DVM, MPH – Director, Florida Department of Health, Environmental Health Division (USA)

 

James L. Cook, DVM, PhD, Diplomate ACVS -  William & Kathryn Allen Distinguished Professor in Orthopaedic Surgery, Director, Comparative Orthopaedic Laboratory, University of Missouri (USA)

 

Mary Echols, DVM, MPH – Editor, One Health Newsletter and Public Health Veterinarian, Palm Beach County (FL) Health Department  (USA)

 

David N. Fisman, MD, MPH – Dalla Lana School of Public Health, University of Toronto and Department of Medicine, North York General Hospital (Canada).

 

James G. Fox, DVM, MS, DACLAM, FIDSA - Professor and Director of the Division of Comparative Medicine and Professor in the Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (USA)

 

David L. Heymann, MD – Editor, Control of Communicable Diseases Manual and Director, U.K. Health Protection Agency (United Kingdom)

 

James M. Hughes, MD - Professor of Medicine and Public Health, Emory University (USA)

 

Martyn H. Jeggo, BVetMed, PhD – Director, CSIRO Livestock Industries Australian Animal Health Laboratory (Australia)

 

Lawrence C. Madoff, MD -  Editor, ProMED-mail, Associate Professor of Medicine, Harvard Medical School and Associate Physician, Brigham and Women’s Hospital (USA)

 

Björn Olsen, MD - Professor, Senior Physician Infectious Diseases Uppsala University and University Hospital (Sweden)

 

Michael T. Osterholm, PhD, MPH – Director, Center for Infectious Disease Research & Policy (CIDRAP) Academic Health CenterUniversity of Minnesota (USA)

 

Peter M. Rabinowitz, MD, MPH – Associate Professor of Medicine, Yale School of Medicine, Director of Yale Human Animal Medicine Project, Yale Occupational and Environmental Medicine Program (USA)

 

Ralph C. Richardson, DVM, Diplomate ACVIM (Oncology, Internal Med) – Dean, College of Veterinary Medicine, Kansas State University (USA)

 

Kevin M. Sherin, MD, MPH - Director, Orange County (Florida) Health Department (USA)

Gary Simpson, PhD, MD, MSc, MPH – College Master-Paul L. Foster School of Medicine - Texas Tech University Health Science Center, Professor of Infectious Diseases in Medical Education (USA)

 

James H. Steele, DVM, MPH – Professor Emeritus, University of Texas School of Public Health (USA)

 

 


“One Health” Session Scheduled for the North American Veterinary Conference (NAVC), in Orlando, Florida (USA) Monday, January 17, 2011 - Monday, November 29, 2010

A third good reason to attend the …

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

By scrolling down this One Health website NEWS page, you can read about the first two good reasons to attend that were described about and by speakers Drs. Kirsten Gilardi (posted August 26, 2010) and Paul P. Calle (posted August 13, 2011).  You may see the entire One Health program scheduled by scrolling down to the Saturday, July 10, 2010 posting.

 

Here is a third outstanding featured speaker attraction, Dr. Kate D. Hodgson, a well known Canadian veterinarian with close ties to the human and veterinary medical communities.  Dr. Hodgson holds a continuing medical education (CME) degree in Family and Community Medicine.  She has developed numerous interactive CME programs and trained medical school faculty at the University of Toronto to develop and deliver effective CME programs.   

The following is a summary of one of two interesting talks Dr. Hodgson will be giving at the NAVC One Health session.  The importance of integrating companion animal health and disease to human health with an emphasis on how this affects the private practicing veterinarian and the family physician will be discussed.

 

ONE HEALTH – THE HEALTH BENEFITS OF COMPANION ANIMALS TO HUMAN HEALTH

 

By Kate D. Hodgson DVM, MHSc, CCMEP

Office of Continuing Education and Professional Development, Faculty of Medicine, University of Toronto (Canada)

 

“The worldwide One Health initiative is dedicated to improving the health of all species- both human and animal through the integration of human health care and veterinary medicine.  Diverse collaborations of interprofesisonal and international health care professionals working at multiple levels of government and in private practice can improve human, environmental, and animal health.

 

One Health in the community is a part of the larger worldwide One Health initiative.  The majority of veterinarians in North America work in private practice, caring for companion animals in local communities.  A small minority practice food or mixed animal medicine.  Even fewer veterinarians work in government or public health.  The majority of physicians also work in primary care, directly caring for patients in their community.  For One Health to reach the community, practical tools and training are needed to integrate family and veterinary medicine in community practice. 

 

People and animals are living in ever greater proximity with an increased risk of disease spread from animals to humans.  Human and animal proximity is based on two strong current societal trends; first the growing importance of the human animal bond and second the increasingly dense urbanization of our population.  The human population of the world is increasing, and urbanization is proceeding at a significantly greater rate than population growth.  Cities are both growing in size and becoming more densely settled. 

 

To improve the lives of all species- human and animal- family physicians and veterinarians with their staff can work together to control the risk of zoonotic disease and injury.  Zoonotic diseases are infections that can affect both humans and animals.  Zoonotic disease can spread from an animal to a human and from humans back to animals.  Zoonotic injury, including dog bites, cat scratch and traumatic injury from other species, is also considered a form of non-infectious zoonotic concern.

 

One Health is not limited to the prevention of zoonoses; it also encompasses the human health benefits from animals.  Benefits of animals to humans include animals used in the production of food for human consumption, animals as models for research of human diseases, and therapeutic effects of animals on the people around them.  

 

Animal-assisted activity occurs relatively briefly when a patient has structured contact with an animal.  Examples of animal-assisted activity include dogs brought by the owners to visit patients in a long term care facility or paediatric ward.  Animal-assisted therapy is when an animal becomes part of an organized treatment plan.  An example animal-assisted therapy is horse riding for children with developmental delays.  This discussion of zooeyia will focus on the benefits of companion animals on the humans in their family or immediate social group.

 

Companion animals in families positively affect the risk factors for the chronic diseases of greatest burden to society. The diseases of greatest burden and cost to society are cancer, muscle-skeletal disease, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, obesity, neuro-psychiatric disease, and respiratory disease. Companion animals have a positive or mitigating effect on the risk factors for these diseases which cost patients, families, and the health care system the most.  Controllable risk factors include decreased/limited physical activity, obesity, tobacco/alcohol use, hypertension, challenges to activities of daily living, social isolation of chronic disease.  All of these risk factors are positively influenced by human contact with companion animals.” 


Outstanding USA Motivational Educator and One Medicine (One Health) Advocate Dies - Friday, November 26, 2010

Outstanding USA Motivational Educator and One Medicine (One Health) Advocate Dies

*By Dennis Thompson, DVM, MPVM,  Ronald D. Warner, DVM, MPVM, PhD, James L. Alexander, DVM, MPVM, Thomas L. Cropper, DVM, MPVM, James H. Wright, DVM, MPVM

Margaret E. Meyer, PhD (1923-2010), died on October 8th, 2010, after a long, distinguished career as a microbiologist and professor.  She was a professor in the Department of Epidemiology and Preventive Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, at the University of California in Davis (UCD). 

Dr. Meyer’s PhD in Comparative Pathology (UCD) led to a career as a world-renowned expert on brucellosis.  She worked on projects with reindeer in Alaska, bison in Yellowstone, and many other species in Jordan, Siberia, Spain and Jerusalem.   Her career started after receiving a Bachelors Degree in Public Health from the University of California at Berkeley.  She then worked for the U. S. Public Health Service, and later for the County of Alameda (California, USA) on control of tuberculosis.  After working a year with the United States Department of Agriculture, she began her long career at UCD.  She was recipient of a Research Career Development Award from the U.S. Center for Disease Control (now: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC).  Her laboratory was designated as a reference lab for the U.S. Public Health Service and as an official Brucella Training Center for the World Health Organization (WHO).  She was an editorial reviewer for the Journal of Infectious Diseases and a Resident Consultant on brucellosis research at the Pan American Zoonoses Center in Argentina for WHO.  Dr. Meyer was elected as an Honorary Affiliate of the American College of Veterinary Microbiologists and an elected Fellow of the American Academy of Microbiology.  She was also formally recognized in many other ways as an eminent scientist, including being designated as Professor Emeritus. 

Perhaps her greatest contribution was the effect she had on hundreds of her students.  Dr. Meyer emphasized zoonoses and espoused “One Medicine” (now commonly referred to as One Health) and well before it regained wide-spread recognition in the first decade of the 21st Century.  It was without doubt, and is still clear, that Dr. Margaret E. Meyer (although neither a veterinarian or physician) was a devoted believer in the “One Medicine” concept, and her lifetime body of work advanced and validated the same.

Dr. Meyer combined detailed knowledge and application of laboratory research, with a broad perspective on disease in populations.  Her teaching skills were so excellent that she changed how students think.  She altered how students would view the world for the rest of their lives.  What higher compliment can there be for a professor than her former students agreeing on that?  Although she was a very serious scientist who was subjected to discrimination, as she broke through barriers that existed for female scientists.  She regularly had a twinkle in her eye when meeting with students, and frequently a soft smile too.  She was a rare scientist who excelled in the laboratory, in the field, and in the classroom.  She was a teacher whose students will remember and appreciate her as long as they live.

*Drs. Thompson, Warner, Alexander, Cropper and Wright were all students of Dr. Meyer.

Obituaries previously posted for Margaret E. Meyer on ProMED-mail 4 Nov-2010 http://www.promedmail.org/pls/apex/f?p=2400:1001:8471666561342788::NO::F2400_P1001_BACK_PAGE,F2400_P1001_PUB_MAIL_ID:1010,85645 and The Sacramento Bee 24 October-2010 http://www.legacy.com/obituaries/sacbee/obituary.aspx?page=lifestory&pid=146162360.


United States Animal Health Association (USAHA) 114th Annual Meeting - Monday, November 22, 2010

 

Highly Successful One Health Sessions Reported from United States Animal Health Association (USAHA) 114th Annual Meeting

The American Association of Veterinary Laboratory Diagnosticians  (AAVLD 53rd Annual Conference) in conjunction with the United States Animal Health Association (USAHA) Annual meeting in Minneapolis, Minnesota (USA) held their first ever One Health Sessions on Saturday November 13th, 2010 and Monday November 15th , 2010.  By all accounts the One Health talks given at the two sessions were highly successful.  One meeting attendant was quoted as saying, "this was the best [program] we have had in 30 years!".

AAVLD President-elect and One Health sessions organizer, Craig Carter, DVM, PhD (right) shown with Saturday’s Keynote speaker Peter R. Rabinowitz, MD, MPH (left)

 Keynote— Human-Animal Medicine Title: How Do Laboratories Fit Into the Picture?

By Dr. Peter Rabinowitz [Yale Medical School] 

Abstract: "In many of its current forms, the concept of “One Health” is long on visionary scope and maddeningly short on tangible specifics and short term action steps for implementation. Yet there is a substantial, although often anecdotal, amount of evidence suggesting that the clinical laboratories could play a key and increasingly important role in diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of diseases overlapping human and animal medicine in a manner that could be considered One Health.  This talk will review such evidence, through presentation of cases that involve animals as sentinels for human environmental health hazards, humans as sentinels for animal disease risk, and cases that highlight how little we still know about zoonotic pathogen transmission and its impact on the global burden of illness in both humans and animals." …

Dr. Carter (right) with Monday’s Keynote speaker Lisa A. Conti, DVM, MPH (left)

 Keynote—One Medicine: Its All Herd Health

 By Dr. Lisa Conti [Florida Department of Health, Environmental Health Division Director]

 Abstract: "The exciting concept of One Health, while not new, encourages systems thinking and implementation at addressing challenges to disease and injury prevention and control.  By using the intersection of human, veterinary and environmental health, practitioners in these fields can manage a wide range of clinical and public health problems. 

 For most of us, a companion animal makes up part of our family structure and most people consume food of animal origin.  Biologic, chemical and radiation hazards in our environment that impact these animals, also impact us.  Our ability to attend to and mitigate these threats increase our community sustainability and our general health. 

 The task of identifying and controlling emerging pathogens and conditions benefits from an open communication and collaboration among human medical, veterinary medical and environmental health practitioners.  The nation’s response to the Gulf oil spill necessarily requires the input of multiple professions working together to address the impacts from occupational exposure, to wildlife and habitat threats, to harvesting food from these waters.  Zoonotic influenza is an infectious disease that exemplifies the need for working across divides.  Environmental changes including how we build our environments have considerable impact on human, animal and environmental health." …

Dr. Carter (right) next to Gary Simpson, MD, PhD, MPH (left)

 Abstract: Emerging Infectious Diseases:  The Case for Integrating Science, Medicine and Public Health

 By Dr. Gary Simpson [Paul L. Foster School of Medicine - Texas Tech University Health Science Center]

 "Emerging infectious diseases in the 21st Century have become increasingly complex and unpredictable.  Since 85% of emerging infectious diseases in recent decades are zoonotic in origin, the importance of understanding the dynamic interactions of the ecosystems of wildlife, domestic/agricultural animals, and humans has been demonstrated convincingly.  Extensive experience with these infectious disease threats has taught that addressing them responsibly requires the collaborative and coordinated efforts of inter-disciplinary, multi-organizational working groups.  The example of the initial outbreak of hantavirus pulmonary syndrome will used to illustrate these concepts. The sustained collaborations that resulted from this event will be described. " 


The One Health Initiative through a 50-Year Lens - Thursday, November 18, 2010

Reprinted (Text only) from One Health Newsletter Fall Issue

http://www.onehealthinitiative.com/newsletter.php

 

The One Health Initiative through a 50-Year Lens

 

Robert E. Dedmon, MD, MPH, FACP, FACOEM

 

        There are no passengers on spaceship Earth. We are all crew.’

                                                                   - Marshall Mcluhan

 

The ‘50-year lens’ refers to my 50-plus years in medicine following graduation from medical school (Indiana U., 1956). Both veterinary and human medicine have undergone landmark transformation- from hi-touch to hi-tech, with many advances but some losses. Both physicians and veterinarians have increasingly specialized, but at a price. We physicians have lost some of our compassion and the ability to use a stethoscope or perform an adequate physical examination. Veterinary practice has become compartmentalized, with many graduates opting for ‘small-animal-only’ practice and a variety of specialties. I have also witnessed the erosion of physician professional values and integrity in research related in part to the financial/time pressures on professionals (the Medical-Industrial Complex-Relman  NEJM 1980;303:963-970).

 

Yet, in spite of this dour perspective, other sea-changes are occurring that brighten our hope of improving the health of both humans and other animals on our planet. First is the recognition of the need for change in the way health professionals are educated. The old lecture/apprenticeship, ‘ see one-do one-teach one’ approach has been overturned by the advent of information technology (Medline October, 1971 http://www.nlm.nih.gov/news/medline_35th_birthday.html ) and the need for collaborative practice (One model is a hospital physician/nurse/pharmacist team). Last year’s lecture notes are out!

 

Second, 2010 marks the centennial of the Flexner report on medical education with a call to radically transform medical education ( Irby et al, Academic Medicine Feb 2010; 85(2):220-227). As a current example, the Medical College of Wisconsin has a medical scientist-MD-PhD track, one of the original distance-learning Masters in Public Health (MPH) degrees offered to applicants with professional or undergraduate degrees, as well as several other advanced degree , community-public health outreach, collaborative, and translational research programs (http://www.mcw.edu/FileLibrary/Groups/publicaffairs/publications/2010_Facts.pdf).

 

I received my MPH from MCW in 1991, and am most grateful for that opportunity.

The new medical school format is described as:

An integrated curriculum aims to bring students beyond mere fact and concept acquisition to a level of scientific fluency, using a common language of medical science, with which they can begin to think creatively about medical problems.’

 

Veterinary medical colleges have also been advancing/revising their curricula. Notable are those that offer MPH and PhD degrees in collaboration with other disciplines, in addition to the traditional DVM/VMD degrees. An AVMA report lists 16 veterinary colleges which offer MPH joint degrees in public health. (http://www.avma.org/onehealth/appendix_e.asp). All this requires a revised approach to faculty development as well. Who will train these 21st Century teachers and ensure a diverse faculty devoted to new thinking and practice? It means that a lot of us ‘old-dogs’ (I am 79, 80 in January) will have to learn new tricks. More importantly, we will have to learn from our students and younger faculty.

As an example, in 1956 when I graduated there were no defibrillators, MRI/CT, or practical electronic medical record systems. Now I use Skype, and I have a Netbook, laptop,  Desktop, 3-in-one printer/scanner/fax, iPod, Kindle, and a Blackberry. To bridge this gargantuan gap, I went to night school at our local technical college, and took a lot of ‘lessons’ from our grandkids!

 

Third, our planet is undergoing radical change due to environmental encroachment such as depletion of our rain forests and increasing competition for space among plants, humans, and other animals (Dedmon, www.asianbiomed.org  June 2008;4(3):497-498). International travel arrivals have approached the 1 billion mark ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tourism), and many travelers have undertaken ecotourism/adventure travel excursions, with attendant health risks.

 

Fourth, students travel widely for educational and experiential reasons. When I was in medical school, international clerkships weren’t even mentioned. When I was an internal medicine resident, I spent a year in London in a metabolic research environment (Profs. Max Rosenheim and Charles Dent), but this was a safe environment. Now students from most medical schools have international opportunities due to international collaborations, as well as church groups who provide charity medical care in needy areas.

 

Fifth, we have seen the burgeoning increase in zoonotic diseases (e.g. SARS, West Nile Virus, Dengue, and Q fever, along with re-emerging macacine herpes virus-1 (monkey-B virus).  See www.cdc.gov/eid for other examples). Rabies continues to cause ~55,000 deaths annually and requires ongoing diligence in the U.S., as indicated by a recent imported rabies death in Virginia-ex India (www.cdc.gov/mmwr , Oct 1, 2010;59(38):1236-1238).  We have gradually come to understand the interdependence of animal and human health. Veterinary colleges and organizations have taken the lead in the One Health initiative as an important educational/practice concept for multiple disciplines.   The American Medical Association has also expressed support for these efforts through a champion for this cause, Ronald M. Davis MD, AMA Past President, deceased 2008. Also, a recent text on human and animal health edited by a physician and a veterinarian with chapter authors from multiple disciplines underscores the importance of the One Health collaboration to the survival of ‘Planet Earth’. (Rabinowitz PM & Conti LA. (ed). Human-Animal Medicine. Saunders/Elsevier 2010).

 

One Health has entered the lexicon of a broader audience. I first learned about the concept during a rabies seminar at Kansas State University in September of 2009. Dr Michael Cates, director of the KSU MPH program  described the work of the One Health Commission (www.onehealthcomission.org) and I had the opportunity to discuss this further with faculty and students. I subsequently wrote a short piece for Asian Biomedicine (referenced above) based on that experience.

 

Another major development ensued at a recent rabies seminar held in Boston with students and faculty from Tufts participating. It was very encouraging to hear these bright young students talk about One Health and their community service in vaccinating pet dogs of the elderly against rabies in housing complexes in the area.

 

The most encouraging activity in which I have participated occurred on

September 28, 2010-the fourth World Rabies Day recognized by the AVMA, OIE, CDC, WHO, WSPA, and a variety of other organizations. This was a webinar with participants from 34 countries describing successes and ongoing challenges to rabies education and prevention. Notable among the presenters was Jack Woodall, PhD of the One Health Initiative (www.onehealthinitiative.com). The entire series is freely available online: http://www.worldrabiesday.org/EN/Events/wrd-webinar.html.

 

In summary, the increased erosion of available space needed for all animals and plants to survive has resulted in newly emerging health problems for humans and other species. To address new demands, veterinary and human medicine, nursing (DNP degree), pharmacy (PharmD degree), and other disciplines are all moving forward with new ideas and programs. Thus One Health is a paradigm which serves the needs of all and encourages a spirit of collaboration and scientific inquiry for the common good.  Stay tuned! Welcome to the ‘Crew’!

 

Dr. Dedmon is Clinical Professor Population Health-Public Health at the Medical college of Wisconsin in  Milwaukee and a member of the  Editorial Advisory Board, Asian Biomedicine, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok.


 
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