As the one-health concept continues to grow, the One Health Commission is blossoming in new directions. What started as a 13-member AVMA task force in 2007 has come a long way, expanding into a national initiative with institutional, corporate and individual sponsors, influential thought leaders from across the animal and human health spectrums, and a new home in the Research Triangle Park region of North Carolina.
Dr. Roger Mahr’s vision of the creation of a One Health Commission to focus attention on the one-health concept has crystallized, less than a decade after his tenure as AVMA Executive Board president. Now, three more AVMA members are continuing to advance both the One Health Commission and the one-health concept.
Dr. Cheryl Stroud, former chair of the North Carolina One Health Collaborative, is the new executive director of the commission, and Dr. Joann Lindenmayer, an associate professor of public health surveillance at the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, is the new chair of the One Health Commission Board of Directors. Both Drs. Stroud and Lindenmayer were previously appointed by the AVMA to serve as association representatives to the One Health Commission.
The AVMA also recently appointed Dr. Mark Starr to serve as the AVMA liaison to the One Health Commission Council of Advisors. Dr. Starr is the deputy director for environmental health with the California Department of Public Health.
While the one-health concept has deep roots – it’s traced back to the time of Hippocrates – the modern one-health movement is relatively new but already producing results. The AVMA remains a committed participant, engaged with medical experts from every discipline to help attain optimal health for people, domestic animals, wildlife, plants and our environment. We couldn’t agree more with what Dr. Stroud said in an article exploring the one-health concept that was published in the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association. “One-health issues are everywhere,” she said. “The need for a one-health approach is literally everywhere you look. That’s why I’m so passionate about making this way of thinking a reality.”