Acting U.S. Assistant Defense Secretary and One Health Leader Recognized with the Karl F. Meyer-James H. Steele Gold Headed Cane Award (USA)


Donald L. Noah, DVM, MPH, DACVPM, a veterinarian and noted animal disease diagnostician was presented with the Karl F. Meyer-James H. Steele Gold Headed Cane Award at the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) convention in San Diego, California August 6, 2012.  Dr. Noah is a distinguished, prominent and recognized international expert on protecting animals and humans against biological terrorism. He is a Colonel in the U.S. Air Force, deputy commander of the School of Aerospace Medicine and serves as the Acting Assistant Secretary of Defense, Force Health Protection and Readiness


The other award recipient was, Bruce Kaplan, DVM, a retired small animal medicine/surgery practicing veterinarian.  The award is in recognition of Dr. Kaplan's achievements in the advancement of One Health—maximizing the collaboration of human, animal and environmental professionals to achieve optimal health for humans.  He has been actively engaged in food safety and infectious disease epidemiology in the United States, and is a global adviser for One Health efforts and collaborations 


Dr. Kaplan and his One Health colleagues of the One Health Initiative team, Laura H. Kahn, MD, MPH, MPP, Thomas P. Monath, MD, Jack Woodall, PhD and Lisa Conti, DVM, MPH are the managers and creators of the One Health Initiative website  The One Health Initiative team is comprised of two physicians, two veterinarians and one PhD health-research scientist, i.e. Drs. Kahn, Monath, Kaplan, Conti, and Woodall, respectively.

“Inaugurated by the American Veterinary Epidemiology Society (AVES) in 1964, the Gold Headed Cane Award was approved as an American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) award by the Executive Board in 1996 and is sponsored by Hartz Mountain Corporation, Secaucus, NJ (USA). The award recognizes the achievement of an individual concerned with animal health who has significantly advanced human health through the practice of veterinary epidemiology and public health. Dr. James H. Steele established the award to recognize the outstanding contributions of veterinarian, physician and scientist, Dr. Karl F. Meyer. Originally named the K.F. Meyer Gold Headed Cane Award, it was renamed the K.F. Meyer-James H. Steele Gold Headed Cane Award in 1985 to recognize Dr. Steele for his outstanding contributions to epidemiology and veterinary public health. Today, this award is gaining in relevance and stature in concert with AVMA's and many other organizations' endorsement and development of the philosophy of One Health throughout the world.”  

Charles O. Thoen, DVM, PhD, the current President of AVES said, “[These two recipients] will join over 60 distinguished scientists in veterinary public health, human health and now One World, One Health, since Dr. Karl F. Meyer and Dr. James H. Steele founded AVES.”  Dr. Thoen was presented with the Gold Headed Cane Award in 2009 and is also a highly valued One Health leader, supporter and advocate.