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One Health Lecture May 18: Dr. Bernadette Dunham

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The following is a guest blog by Bernadette Dunham, D.V.M., Ph.D. and Tomoko Y. Steen, Ph.D. of the Science, Technology and Business Division


The One Health concept is a worldwide strategy for expanding interdisciplinary collaborations and communications in all aspects of health care for humans, animals, and the environment. It recognizes the interconnections of human and animal health with environmental health and that no one discipline or sector of society has enough knowledge and resources to prevent the emergence or resurgence of diseases in today’s globalized world. Come to the Library of Congress to hear Dr. Dunham speak about One Health.

Date: Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Time: 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

Place: Dining Room A, 6th floor James Madison Building, Library of Congress

Individuals requiring accommodations for this event are requested to submit a request at least five business days in advance by contacting (202) 707-6362 or [email protected].

The concept of One Health is not really new, considering the fact that 2500 years ago it was Hippocrates who “urged physicians to consider where their patients lived, the foods they ate and waters they drank, their lifestyles, and the seasons of the year.” In the 19th century, Rudolf Virchow, MD, (1821-1902), the “Father of Pathology” stated that “between animal and human medicine there are no dividing lines–nor should there be.” It was Calvin W. Schwabe, DVM, MPH, ScD (1927-2006) who coined the term “One Medicine” in his textbook Veterinary Medicine and Human Health  in 1965.

The 1999 West Nile virus outbreak in New York City raised global awareness, and in response the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) established the National Center for Zoonotic Vector-Borne and Enteric Diseases, now called the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases (NCEZID). Approximately 70 – 75% of global infections are zoonotic, and in our interconnected world an outbreak of infectious disease is just a plane ride away.

In 2008 a “One Health” resolution was passed by the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and the American Medical Association (AMA), bringing the animal and human medical communities together.   Three key groups were formed around this time: the One Health Initiative, 2006; the One Health Commission chartered in Washington D.C. in 2009; and the One Health Global Network Web portal established in 2011.

The One Health concept has now been formally endorsed by over 1,000 organizations, including groups such as the World Health Organization (WHO), Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO); World Organization for Animal Health (OIE); U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC); the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the European Commission; the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges, the Association of American Medical Colleges, the British Medical Association, the British Veterinary Association, the American Public Health Association, the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, the U.S. National Environmental Health Association, and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

See also the Science Reference Guide:  Zika Virus: Selected Internet Resources

Dr. Bernadette Dunham received her D.V.M from the Ontario Veterinary College, University of Guelph, Canada and her Ph.D. from Boston University. In 2002, she joined the Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) Center for Veterinary Medicine (CVM) as Deputy Director of the Office of New Animal Drug Evaluation. Dr. Dunham also served as the Director for the Center for Veterinary Medicine. She is currently a Visiting Professor with the Milken Institute School of Public Health at the George Washington University, and Senior Scientific Advisor to the Deputy Commissioner, Office of Foods and Veterinary Medicine at the FDA.

Update: This post wrongly gave the day as being Thursday. The 18th is Wednesday.

Comments (2)

  1. I’d love to see this, and I know some of our users would too, but we’re just about as far away from DC as it’s possible to be, within the US. Is there any plan make a video available? An archived version would be especially helpful for us in Alaska, since we have a four hour time difference and most would probably rather not watch at 7:30 am.

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