Important One Health oriented interview with an Outstanding University of Pennsylvania Dean… Q&A with Joan Hendricks, VMD, PhD [USA] Dr. Hendricks, a veterinarian, is a prominent longstanding One Health supporter/advocate/leader By Heather A. Davis – May 8, 2014   Penn Current, Office of University of Pennsylvania Office of University Communications, 200 Sansom Place East, 3600 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6106 (USA) “According to Joan Hendricks, dean of Penn’s School of Veterinary Medicine, people go into veterinary medicine because of a couple reasons. They love animals, probably first and foremost. They also have a fascination with science and desire to understand how things work—whether it’s canine vision, equine orthopedics, or cell and molecular biology. These medical professionals, Hendricks says, have the potential to change the world—perhaps because veterinarians are trained to innately understand how animal and human health is linked together, as well as to the world around them. “Veterinarians do so much more than take care of your cat—not that we don’t love the cat and are very proud of the cat, the dog, the horse,” Hendricks explains. “Our training and what we want to do is to make the world better for all living things. It folds in everything—biomedical science to make health better not just for people but for animals, as well. We may be studying cancer in a cat or how to get rid of digestive problems in a cow. But we’re also doing it in a way that we know will benefit people, and we may be doing it with MDs or other expert colleagues.” …” “…You talk a lot about the One Health concept. What is that, exactly? A: The school has always had a sense that our job was to advance knowledge to benefit domestic animals and people together. For a long time, we thought of it as treating diseases, so we talked about one medicine, many species. The One Health concept is a little bit more wholistic and progressive, and says that the health of people and animals are interdependent, and interdependent with the wild environment, as well. Veterinary medicine is the only multispecies medical specialty. All veterinarians have a particular connection with the medical school. … It’s a grounding for everything from doing a good job taking care of the animals to also being able to identify ways that they will be healthier, so it’s genetics, nutrition, or the way they’re taking care of training and how the people connect to them, as well. And if you’re talking about animals that serve people by doing some kind of work like the working dogs, or producing food and fiber, you want the animals really healthy because that’s the best outcome for everybody. A component of One Health is linked to food production. It’s a natural thing for a veterinarian to be linked to animal source food because you want the animals healthy. There’s a mission for veterinarians that is in our oath that we serve human society and animals. … It’s really about resolving, making sure that both sides of the equation do well and solving the problems that come about when the interests are in conflict. Connecting to animals is better for people than not. …” Please read complete article interview at