Left to right: Charles O. Thoen, DVM, PhD, President, American Veterinary Epidemiology Society, Thomas P. Monath, MD,
and Georgette D. Wilson, DVM, Director, Scientific & Medical Affairs, The Hartz Mountain Corporation

Extraordinary One Health Leader Awarded Gold Headed Cane (USA):
an internationally recognized physician virologist and vaccine developer


Dr. Thomas P. Monath [MD, FACP, FASTMH] received the prestigious American Veterinary Epidemiology Society (AVES) Gold Headed Cane Award at the July 10-14, 2015 annual American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) convention in Boston, Massachusetts (USA) on July 13 at a breakfast ceremony.   The AVMA, founded in 1863, is one of the oldest and largest veterinary medical organizations in the world, with more than 86,500 member veterinarians worldwide engaged in a wide variety of professional activities and dedicated to the art and science of veterinary medicine.


An internationally renowned physician virologist and dexterous vaccinologist pioneer, Dr. Monath was a co-founder of the *One Health Initiative Autonomous pro bono Team (OHI team); the originator and sponsor of the highly successful One Health Initiative website; and a former member of the landmark AVMA’s One Health Initiative Task Force (OHITF) and its current successor, the One Health Commission

Monath’s One Health colleagues of the OHI team, comprised of two physicians, two veterinarians and a PhD health-research scientist, are the managers and creators of the One Health Initiative website.  Primarily due to his inimitable visionary leadership, the highly successful “One Health Initiative” website——frequently dubbed "the international clearing house for significant One Health information" and by some the "New York Times of One Health."——came to fruition on October 1, 2008.  Without fanfare, Monath altruistically helped initiate and support implementation of numerous other notable One Health projects (his “brainchildren”) by the OHI team over the past eight (8) years: these are included among others listed in and,%202009%20-%202013.%20August%2026%202013pdf.pdf.

Indeed, Monath has had a lifetime of adopting and practicing the One Health approach during his illustrious medical career.  See “One Medicine/One Health”: Personal Reflections of a True Believer and   

Monath’s broad spectrum One Health/public health endeavors include a benchmark 2013 Vaccine journal publication Vaccines against diseases transmitted from animals to humans: A one health paradigm”.  This review focuses on the immunization of animals as a means of preventing human diseases (zoonoses) like rabies. …”In simple terms, the idea is to develop vaccines that protect domestic animals and wildlife thereby establishing effective barriers against human infections.  Developing animal vaccines are less expensive and are less strictly regulated than are those for humans.  Hopefully a common sense One Health approach can go forward”: See,%20MD%20Sept%202013%20One%20Health%20Vaccine%20Article.pdf and Monath’s pertinent past and current enterprising work related to Ebola vaccine development activities and

This AVES Gold Headed Cane award is in recognition of Monath’s heretofore unheralded monumental achievements in the advancement of One Health—maximizing the collaboration of human, animal and environmental professionals to achieve optimal health for humans.  As previously noted, he has been and continues to be a paragon in development of critical vaccines like smallpox (that replaced the previous vaccine in the U.S. national stockpile), Ebola (mentioned above), yellow fever and others for many years and has a distinguished global reputation.  See Biography:

Inaugurated by AVES in 1964, the Gold Headed Cane Award was approved as an 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 [DVM, MPH], founder of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) veterinary division in 1947, established the award to recognize the outstanding contributions of veterinarian, physician and scientist, Dr. Karl F. Meyer [DVM, PhD, MD (Hon.)]. 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 Steele for his outstanding contributions to epidemiology and veterinary public health. Today, this award has gained in relevance and stature in concert with AVMA's and many other health oriented organizations' endorsement and development of the philosophy of One Health throughout the world.

Note:  In addition to Dr. Monath, Isabel de Kantor, PhD was recognized as one of this year’s recipients of the K.F. Meyer-James H. Steele Gold-Headed Cane Award.


Honorary AVES Diplomas were awarded to: Rene Carlson, DVM; Bruce Akey, DVM; Gopal Reddy, BVSc, MS, PhD; Theodore Cohn, DVM; Jonna Mazet, DVM, MPVM, PhD; Jacqueline Smith, PhD; Charles Muscoplat, PhD; Timothy Stevenson, DVM, PhD; and Cheryl Stroud, DVM, PhD.


* One Health Initiative Autonomous pro bono Team: Laura H. Kahn, MD, MPH, MPP ▪ Bruce Kaplan, DVM ▪ Thomas P. Monath, MD ▪ Jack Woodall, PhD ▪ Lisa A. Conti, DVM, MPH