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Association of Health Care Journalists Discuss One Health

For years, my public health colleagues and I have struggled with the logistics of educating the public on health and wellness in our communities - how do we get the One Health word out? Enter the Association of Health Care Journalists (AHCJ with its mission "to improve the quality, accuracy and visibility of health care reporting, writing and editing" - tailor made for the purpose.

At its 2012 meeting in Atlanta, AHCJ hosted sessions on "Health in all Policies" and "Humans, Animals, Ecosystems: Covering the 'One Health' Movement." In the former, a common-sense approach toward considering community health impacts can better inform planning and decision making with the twin benefits of improved health and economic viability. An example was the construction of a new assisted living facility near a major highway. After a health impact consideration, the entrance and air handling intake vents were moved from the highway side of the planned facility with a result of a more esthetic building as well as reduced exposure to poor air quality.

In the "Covering the One Health Movement" session, participants discussed a myriad stories that can herald the successes of and need for collaboration across disciplines to address present and upcoming challenges. One Health is big picture thinking, drawing on assets and partnerships in research and applied settings. Clean and safe food and water, preventing infectious diseases from jumping species and having safe and healthy places are laudable goals of One Health. Clinical practice, preventative medicine and population health are interdependent and journalists play a vital role in helping readers draw these connections.

The One Health Initiative website ( is a clearinghouse for information to support collaboration at the intersection of human, animal and environmental health. This transformative approach is required to meet growing survival demands, respond to emerging disease threats and unleash creativity for healthier societies.”

Lisa A. Conti, DVM, MPH  [member of the One Health Initiative website team]