Tennessee Animal Health Division Appoints One Health Program Director
The Animal Health Division of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture announces the appointment of Dr. Alexa McCourt, DVM as Director of the One Health program.
One Health is a collaborative effort between veterinarians, physicians, environmental scientists, public health professionals and others to address the health challenges that affect people, animals, plants and the environment. Dr McCourt will oversee the department’s role in improving communication and outcomes for a variety of health issues, including emerging infectious diseases, antibiotic resistance and emergency preparedness.
“The One Health approach recognizes that the health of people is closely linked to the health of animals and our shared environment,” said State Veterinarian Dr Samantha Beaty. “As a veterinarian, Dr. McCourt knows these principles well. She will provide education and awareness, and work with experts from other state departments and veterinarians to optimize the One Health structure for the benefit of all. “
“The success of the One Health program relies on communication between all health-related disciplines,” said Dr. McCourt. “I look forward to engaging through the networks to share valuable information and promote the One Health goals. It is essential that people understand the mutual impact of human, animal and environmental health.
Dr McCourt will liaise with other One Health partners including the Tennessee Departments of Health and Environment and Conservation, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. from USDA, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, academic institutions, and extension services.
In March 2021, Dr. McCourt joined the Department of Agriculture as a veterinarian responsible for collaborating with animal health stakeholders in Tennessee, planning for animal-related disasters and emergencies, collaborating on implementation implement state animal health programs, monitor animal regulatory issues and and develop awareness resources for the health and welfare of livestock.
Dr. McCourt received her bachelor’s degree in animal science and her doctorate in veterinary medicine from Cornell University in New York. Prior to moving to Tennessee, she was an associate veterinarian with Bovine Veterinary Services in Dexter, NM.