When the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was looking for veterinary representation on its National Biosurveillance Advisory Subcommittee, officials there turned to the AVMA to lend expertise in helping develop a “nationwide, robust and integrated” approach to enhance national security and public health surveillance.
Dr. Heather Case, who at the time was an assistant director in the AVMA’s Scientific Activities Division and now serves as division director, was named a member of the subcommittee after a vote by our Executive Board, and she served us well. After a year’s worth of work, Dr. Case and many other volunteers presented to the CDC a report entitled, “Improving the Nation’s Ability to Detect and Respond to 21st Century Urgent Health Threats,” which will be used to help build and strengthen our nation’s biosurveillance capability.
Dr. Case’s involvement, and by extension the AVMA’s place at the table in developing this report, points to the CDC’s growing recognition of the importance of One Health and the role veterinarians play in protecting public health. It shows that more emphasis is being placed on the fact that human health includes food security and zoonotic disease, and that our role in both areas is vital to our health, welfare and safety.