The Rockefeller Foundation has awarded a $100,000 grant to the American Veterinary Medical Association’s One Health Initiative, which is dedicated to fighting zoonotic diseases such as avian influenza and West Nile virus.
The money will help establish a National One Health Commission and a global One Health Initiative dedicated to attaining optimal human, animal and environmental health through the collaborative efforts of multiple disciplines working locally, nationally and globally.
The initiative began in 2006 as part of the presidential agenda of then-AVMA president Roger Mahr, DVM. A year later, the American Medical Association became a partner and an active stakeholder in laying the foundation for and developing the principles of the One Health approach.
“Multiple stakeholder partners have now joined the initial collaborative relationship between the AVMA and AMA,” said Dr. Mahr, who is the project director for the steering committee. “This grant from the Rockefeller Foundation provides an even greater opportunity to ensure the success of this initiative as we strive to improve the health of people, animals and our environment worldwide.”
The committee now has almost 20 participating member organizations, including the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Park Service, the Association of American Veterinary Medical Colleges and the Association of American Medical Colleges.
The AVMA said that by the end of 2009, the National One Health Commission will be established to lead One Health more autonomously from its founding organizations and begin implementation of the initiative’s four strategic goals:
- To develop, implement and sustain an integrated national strategy for improved public health based on the principles of One Health;
- To create national and international awareness within the health science professions, the broad scientific community, government institutions, the political leadership and the general public of the power of One Health to improve the health of people, animals and the environment;
- To illustrate the value of implementing One Health through specific demonstration models and projects; and
- To extend One Health to the international community to achieve tangible improvements in health worldwide.