One Health Newsletter Editor Honored at Florida Veterinary Medical Association (FVMA) Annual Meeting, April 17, 2009   Mary Echols, DVM, MPH awarded FVMA Gold Star Award   By Amber Smith FVMA Director of Communications and Public Relations   Dr. Mary Echols is the epitome of the “gentle doctor.’’ Her colleagues describe her as humble, hard working, visionary and extremely effective.   Dr. Echols, an Environmental Consultant with the Palm Beach County Health Department, was nominated for the Florida Veterinary Medical Association’s 2009 Gold Star Award by Dr. Lisa Conti, Director of the Florida Department of Health’s Division of Environmental Health. The award is given to a veterinarian who has contributed much of his or her time and energy to the FVMA and/or a local veterinary association as well as promoting the advancement of veterinary medicine and the profession. The recipient must also be a member in good standing of the FVMA. In addition to her work for the Palm Beach County Health Department, Dr. Echols is also the editor of the ONE HEALTH newsletter published by the Florida Department of Health.   She brought together the resources and cooperation of the FVMA, the state Department of Health and the veterinary community in general, to launch the state’s ONE HEALTH initiative.   “Dr. Echols is the driving force behind the ONE HEALTH initiative,’’ said Dr. Conti. “She began the ONE HEALTH newsletter to reach a wide audience of veterinarians, human health workers and public health professionals to collaborate on protecting and promoting the health of all species.’’   Dr. Echols has successfully published four quarterly issues of the newsletter and has received national recognition for her efforts as well as accolades for the high-quality publication.   “We are very proud to have Dr. Mary Echols representing the FVMA so favorably,’’ said Dr. Conti.   FVMA Executive Director Philip J. Hinkle said it was an easy decision for the FVMA awards committee to make in selecting Dr. Echols as a Gold Star Award recipient.   “Dr. Echols truly represents all the criteria of the Gold Star Award. She has done an excellent job in promoting veterinary medicine and is an outstanding example of the profession,’’ Hinkle said.   Provided May 29, 2009 courtesy of: Amber L. Smith Director of Communications and Public Relations Florida Veterinary Medical Association 7131 Lake Ellenor Dr. Orlando, FL  32809 Toll-free: 800-992-3862 Fax: 407-240-3710 E-mail: