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The Future of Veterinary Medicine

Promoting a One Health Approach to Global Wellbeing

One Health Committee

For most of the 20th century, society viewed veterinary medicine primarily as an animal health medical discipline. In recent years, highly publicized public health threats like pandemic influenza have helped many realize the fundamental linkages between veterinary medicine and human health.

Veterinary medicine plays a critical role in promoting the bounty, safety and security of the food supply, helps protect the public from zoonotic infectious diseases, and contributes to important biomedical research.

Today, many leaders in science and medicine have adopted a One Health approach to global wellbeing. One Health recognizes the complex interrelationships that exist between people, animals and the environment as they interact in an era of globalization. One Health encourages a holistic,ecosystem-based approach to human, animal and environmental health.

The AAVMC works to engage member institution students and faculty on One Health initiatives underway in federal and international agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, the World Health Organization and others.

Examples of One Health Programming
  • In 2014, the AAVMC hosted a major One Health meeting, making it the focus of our annual conference. Learn more.
  • See this summary of the conference wrap up and action plan.
  • See an example of One Health research at Auburn University here. 
  • This video shows how one of our members at the University of Missouri is addressing One Health.

Major AAVMC One Health Initiatives


The AAVMC maintains strategic partnerships and alliances with groups that advance and advocate for One Health initiatives. We enthusiastically consider opportunities that fit well with our strategic planning priorities to analyze, catalyze, and advocate. Most of our existing efforts have both catalyzing (facilitator and catalyst for challenges, innovation and contemporary issues) and advocating (advocacy and communication to inform and increase influence with government, the profession and relevant stakeholders) functions. Below are a few examples of active programs.

AVMA and One Health

The AAVMC works closely with the American Veterinary Medical Association and other organizations to build awareness and support regarding the many benefits of taking a One Health approach to fostering the wellbeing of people, animals and the environment. Learn more about what the AVMA is doing in One Health.

APTR/AAVMC One Health Educational Framework

The Association for Prevention Teaching and Research (APTR) invited the AAVMC to develop a One Health Educational Framework as part of the Healthy People Curriculum Task Force (HPCTF). A working group comprised of representatives from the AAVMC, APTR, American Association of Colleges of Nursing, Association of American Medical Colleges, and other groups has established a program to develop case studies in interprofessional education and name One Health Scholars, who will present their work at the 2016 AAVMC annual meeting. Learn more.

APLU and AAVMC Joint Task Force on Antimicrobial Resistance

The AAVMC partnered with the Association of Public and Land Grant Universities to create the APLU/AAVMC Task Force on Antibiotic Resistance in Production Agriculture. Their landmark report has generated a blueprint for research and educational programming designed to help begin the process of resolving the problem.

See the full report
See the fact sheet
See the FAQ


Consortium of Universities for Global Health

The AAVMC is an association member of the Consortium of Universities for Global Health (CUGH). Several universities that are the home to AAVMC member institutions are members of the CUGH. The CUGH has recently developed an interest group on Global Environmental Health/One Health. The AAVMC hosted a One Health Luncheon to foster awareness and collaboration at the 2015 CUGH annual meeting in Boston and is scheduled to participate in the 2016 CUGH annual meeting on “Planetary Health” in San Francisco.

Clinical Translational Science Award One Health Alliance (COHA)

COHA is comprised of veterinary schools partnered with medical and other colleagues through a National Institutes of Health Clinical Translational Science Award (CTSA). COHA’s mission is to advance understanding of diseases shared by humans and animals. The following AAVMC member institutions are current members of COHA: Colorado State University, Cornell University, The Ohio State University, Tufts University, University of California-Davis, University of Florida, University of Minnesota, University of Pennsylvania, North Carolina State University and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Other AAVMC member institution may be added if they meet the requirements for COHA.

IOM Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education

The AAVMC is a sponsor of the Global Forum on Innovation in Health Professional Education, an initiative of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academies. The Forum convened a workshop on “Envisioning the Future of Health Professional Education” during their April 23-24, 2015 meeting in Washington, D.C. The workshop explored recent shifts in the health care industry and their implications for health professional education and workforce learning, with topics including global health professional education, training, practice, and the role of culture in perceptions and approaches to health and disease.

Human Animal Bond Research Initiative

The AAVMC joined the HABRI Coalition in March 2015 to advocate for human animal bond research. HABRI maintains one of the world’s most sophisticated compilations of scholarly articles that elucidate the tangible benefits of the human animal bond. Building public awareness about the economic and health and wellness benefits of the human/animal bond is a key strategy for the future of veterinary medicine and One Health. Learn more.
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