AVMA appoints One Health representative

AVMA appoints One Health representative

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Apr 28, 2009
By dvm360.com staff
Schaumburg, Ill. -- The AVMA Executive Board appointed Dr. Michael B. Cates, a professor at Kansas State University (KSU) College of Veterinary Medicine, as the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) representative on the One Health Joint Steering Committee earlier this month.

Not only is Cates director of the KSU's master of public health program, but he also is a retired brigadier general, who served as the 23rd Chief of the Army Veterinary Corps.

He was the first veterinarian to lead the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine and he was the first DVM to serve as senior public health and preventive medicine advisor to the Army Surgeon General.

In his new role, Cates will help create a One Health Commission and also contribute to a global One Health Initiative.

One Health is a collaborative effort of multiple disciplines, working locally, nationally, and globally to attain optimal health for people, animals, and the environment.

"I believe strongly that we must place a much bigger emphasis on the linkages between human, animal and environmental health and that we should do so in a truly interdisciplinary manner," Cates says. "I am honored to be the new AVMA representative to this steering committee, and I look forward to working with all the members toward the vision of global 'One Health.'"

The One Health Initiative began in 2006 as a part of the presidential agenda of then-AVMA president Roger K. Mahr, DVM. A year later, the American Medical Association joined the initiative, and now the steering committee has nearly 20 participating animal, human and environmental health organizations as members.

"General Cates has provided extraordinary leadership throughout his career with the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps in preserving, protecting, and promoting human and animal health worldwide," Mahr says. "His leadership experience and expertise will be invaluable in our efforts to develop and implement a sustaining driving force for the One Health Initiative."

The steering committee will be transitioning into the One Health Commission with a target date of July 1.