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Veterinary Forum May 2009 (Vol 26, No 5)

Cates new AVMA rep on One Health committee

    SCHAUMBURG, Ill. — Michael B. Cates, DVM, MPH, DACVPM, has been named the AVMA representative on the One Health Joint Steering Committee.

    One Health is a collaborative effort of multiple disciplines, working locally, nationally and globally to attain optimal health for humans, animals and the environment. The need for One Health is underscored by recent public health events, including the 2006 spinach Escherichia coli outbreak, the spread of West Nile virus throughout the United States, avian and swine influenza and the global epidemics of dengue, chikungunya and Rift Valley fever.

    The AVMA executive board appointed Cates to the post at a meeting in early April. As the AVMA representative to the One Health committee, he will help create a One Health commission and contribute to a global One Health initiative.

    "I believe strongly that we must place a much larger emphasis on the links [affecting] human, animal and environmental health and that we should do so in a truly interdisciplinary manner," Cates said. "I am honored to be the new AVMA representative to this steering committee, and I look forward to working with all the members toward the vision of global One Health."

    Cates brings a great deal of experience to the One Health movement. In addition to being the 23rd chief of the Army Veterinary Corps, he was the first veterinarian to lead the US Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine as its commanding general from 2004 to 2008. He retired as a brigadier general in 2008 after more than 28 years of service.

    He is a professor at the Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine and director of the school's master of public health program, an interdisciplinary degree program at Kansas State University that involves faculty and courses from four colleges.

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