AVMA remains sole financier of One Health collaborations

AVMA remains sole financier of One Health collaborations

Executive board provides $12,000 cash infusion for a report designed to implement the concept
Jun 01, 2008

Schaumburg, Ill. — The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) remains the sole financier of its One Health initiative, allocating another $12,000 for it during the group's April Executive Board meeting.

AVMA already spent $26,000 to get the project off the ground.

The funds support the One Health Task Force report, scheduled for release this month with goals that outline key strategies to implement One Health — a concept that calls for closer ties between human and veterinary medicine for the benefit of public health.

The initiative is the brainchild of Dr. Roger Mahr, who launched it in 2006 during his inaugural speech as AVMA president: "Animal health is truly at a crossroads. Its convergence with human and ecosystem health dictates that the 'one world, one health, one medicine' concept must be embraced. We need our colleagues in human medicine, public health and the environmental health sciences."

Those colleagues have jumped on the bandwagon, at least in name. The American Society of Microbiology joined the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's endorsement at press time. Three MDs hold seats on the 13-member task force, and American Medical Association (AMA) President Dr. Ronald Davis serves as liaison to the national organization. At least two public health experts sit on the panel, with Jay Glasser, PhD, MSc, representing the American Public Health Association.

Still, the veterinary profession is the only medical sector showing a financial interest in implementing the One Health concept to date. For that reason, this month's task force report, likely chock-full of costly future objectives and recommendations, promises to gauge stakeholders' commitment. AMA officials want to read the report before earmarking funds, spokeswoman Mollie Turner says. Any attempt to marry human, environmental and public health with veterinary medicine will require a financial commitment, Mahr admits.

"The task force will look at areas where this integration currently exists and where it's needed," he says. "A business plan will be presented that relates to this strategy, and its success will rely on our organizations to unite and drive it."