Rutgers University Hosts One Health Consortium Regional Conference

A group of scientists, experts and representatives from New Jersey, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, North Carolina and West Virginia gathered for a Central Regional One Health Consortium conference of the Atlantic at Rutgers University last week.

In-person and virtual participants shared data and knowledge regarding ongoing efforts in their states on issues related to human, animal and environmental health. Topics included ticks and tick-borne diseases, zoonotic diseases, wildlife diseases, wildlife mortality, coordinated responses to avian influenza, mosquito management and impact, rabies, climate change, nutrition and sustainability on all living organisms and our common environment.

The event was hosted by Dr. Gloria Bachmann, Associate Dean of Women’s Health and Professor of Obstetrics, Gynecology and Medicine at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, Co-Chair of the New Jersey One Health Steering Committee and Member from senior faculty at Rutgers Global Health Institute, and by Michael Zwick, senior vice president for research at Rutgers University.

“COVID-19, health disparities, monkeypox, nutrition, climate change, agriculture, it’s all to do with One Health. We in universities need to build work teams and partnerships to solve these large and complex problems,” Zwick said. He encouraged attendees to network and engage with each other and build relationships, a theme echoed in many conference presentations.

Cheryl Stroud, DMV, Executive Director, One Health Commission, and keynote speaker, spoke about the importance of building relationships.

“In today’s world, no profession or discipline can know everything. We need to step out of our comfort zones and take the initiative to make sure we connect with people from other fields. We need to build relationships across the silos our systems have forced us into, across disciplines so that when an emerging health crisis occurs, we already have professional working relationships in place. As is often said, during a health crisis, it’s a very bad time for medical professionals and local government officials to exchange business cards for the first time when they have to work hand in hand. hand,” Stroud said.

In his presentation, Stroud gave a high-level overview of the history of the One Health movement. She spoke about the work being done internationally in terms of the One Health movement, meetings and summits, and applauded New Jersey for its efforts in creating a One Health task force.

And Doug Riley ended the day of presentations by encouraging attendees to think about ways to take the first step to connecting with each other and continuing the work of the One Health initiative.

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