Former AVMA fellow unites policy, academia

By: Stephanie Fisher, program manager and policy analyst, Governmental Relations Division

Kaylee MhyreAfter spending a year in Washington, D.C., as an AVMA Congressional Fellow, Dr. Kaylee Myhre has returned to her native state of Minnesota where she now finds herself on the other side of federal public health policy.

During her 2012-2013 congressional fellowship, Myhre served on the House Foreign Affairs Committee and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. She now works for the University of Minnesota, where she is a technical consultant for a U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) grant and a policy analyst for the university’s Food Policy and Research Center (FPRC).

“My current position is an ideal follow-up to the fellowship because it allows me to draw on policy experience gained through working on global health and food security in Congress,” says Myhre.

The USAID grant is funding a project called RESPOND, which is part of a larger emerging pandemic threat program and assists countries in building capacity to respond to emerging diseases.  The University of Minnesota is partnering with universities in these countries to teach the next generation of healthcare workers the necessary skills to respond using a One Health approach.

“We are working with university networks that support countries in Central Africa and Southeast Asia,” explains Myhre. “These networks help facilitate training for medical, veterinary, nursing and public health professionals so they can effectively respond to complex diseases that affect both humans and animals.”

Myhre plays a similar role for the FPRC grant program.

“Through [my position at FPRC], I am assisting experts from six colleges to develop policy analysis and briefs,” says Myhre. “These briefs offer valuable scientific background information to help elected officials, on both the federal and state level, in their decision making on proposed legislation dealing with food, agriculture and nutrition.”

Myhre is also working to bring students and faculty at the university together with her former colleagues in Congress so that their scientific knowledge can influence public policy.

“I look forward to traveling to Washington D.C. and engaging with my former colleagues on the Hill,” says Myhre. “I think this year will be filled with new challenges and opportunities, and my objectives would not be attainable without my prior experience as an AVMA Congressional Fellow.”

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