One Health: An Introduction by Dr. Katie Clow - Laura Michalovic

On July 28th, Dr. Katie Clow, Assistant Professor in the department of Population Medicine at OVC, spoke to us about One Health. She began her talk by displaying a variety of pictures then asked us to identify common themes among the images. This activity lead further into a discussion on how interactions between people, animals and the environment can appear in widely different contexts. While the interconnection between human, animal and environmental health accurately describes the “concept” of One Health, we learned that the One health “approach” focuses more closely on transdisciplinary collaboration instead.

A key takeaway from Dr. Clow’s talk was that no One Health challenge can be solved by a single individual, and we must work collectively across disciplines and alongside stakeholders to develop sustainable solutions. Animal and human health workers and environmental experts all bring different perspectives and knowledge to the table, which allow for the generation of novel ideas. In addition, Dr. Clow shared her experiences in regards to seeking collaborations with individuals from different fields when it came to conducting her transdisciplinary research on Lyme disease. She encouraged us to network and attend conferences in order to grow our own web of contacts, which will be beneficial throughout our careers.

As a future food animal veterinarian, I look forward to integrating a One Health approach into my work especially in regards to the roles I will play in food safety. I would like to thank Dr. Clow and the CORE Summer Program for an informative and interactive talk.