One Health--Recommendations

One Health — a New Professional Imperative
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VI. Recommendations

The following recommendations have been based on the findings of the One Health Initiative Task Force (OHITF) both during their meetings and in the follow up sessions held by the working groups. While the AVMA and the AMA will plan to assume a leadership role in this effort, the success of these recommendations will depend heavily on buy-in and participation by the health science professions, academic institutions, governmental agencies, and industries.

The following recommendations, which are not listed in order of priority, will be set in motion should the Executive Board, and other organizations, accept the report and recommendations and commit the resources and funding necessary to support the establishment of a joint steering committee which will begin the execution of the remaining recommendations.

  1. Create and fund a One Health Joint Steering Committee, the principle task of which is to form and charter a National One Health Commission and begin the execution of the other recommendations and associated actions of a national commission.

  2. Complete a One Health Proposal for Donors as well as a Business Plan and continue the process of engaging potential donors and sponsors and solicit the necessary funds to complete implementation and sustain the effort to roll out and solidify One Health as the cornerstone to promoting and improving human and animal health, and of health of the environment. Private corporations, foundations, philanthropic organizations and government agencies will be likely candidates for future discussions and reviewers of this plan.

  3. Create and implement initial components of a One Health Communication Effort including: coordination of distribution of Task Force Report or its summary; coordination of publication of the Report; initial media relations launch and follow-up; and other supportive tasks involving the launch nationally and internationally.

  4. Engage an all-inclusive communications firm to develop and implement a communications plan and coordinate on-going media relations, public relations, publicity, marketing and advertising to generate continual interest and branding One Health across the health professions and in the public psyche.

  5. Plan a study on One Health to be conducted by the National Academy of Sciences and secure the necessary funding to underwrite this effort. The scientific credibility and national acceptance of this prestigious body will help considerably in both the visibility and acceptance of the concept.

  6. Develop, charter and form a National One Health Commission and recruit full-time staff in key positions to support the goals and mission of the Commission and complete the recommendations within this report. The targeted commencement date for the National Commission is March 1, 2009. Its initial charter would be for approximately 3 years (contingent on procurement of necessary funding), and it would replace the One Health Joint Steering Committee. We envision a small staff of talented, committed individuals and an oversight and/or advisory council to give the Commission staff direction, ensure performance, and drive toward measurable outcomes. Whether to extend the life of the Commission beyond its initial charter will be addressed by the Commission and its oversight and/or advisory council, and it will depend on progress made toward achieving desired outcomes (as well as the availability of funding).

  7. Appoint a national/global One Health Advisory Team to help support the National Commission and/or Steering Committee, and give it direction, counsel, and wisdom. This group would include any donor or sponsoring organization, as well as key experts.

  8. Plan and hold a National One Health Summit. In order to focus attention on One Health, develop further strategies, and catalyze the support and adoption of One Health, a national summit will be planned and executed before Fall 2009. The summit will be instrumental in enhancing the visibility of the concept, deriving key strategies and actions beyond the current recommendations and help build a strong group of alliances and a supportive coalition. In addition, proceedings will be published and widely circulated to the academic communities, across the health professions, and to the general public and congressional staff members.

  9. Convene several panels and a national meeting to establish a national research agenda for One Health. It is envisioned that appropriate governmental agencies, academic institutions, and private corporations would be involved. A final research plan should then be shared with Congress, staffers, and other decision-makers. This agenda will serve as a roadmap to address researchable questions, and generate research funding and interest from multiple sources.

  10. Work toward the inclusion of key One Health outcomes for listing in the strategies for Healthy People 2020 and Healthy Animals 2010. It is important to express actions that support the recommendations in terms of measurable outcomes when possible, and to make such actions public and supportable. Thus, this recommendation helps address this intent by ensuring that some of the goals that will make up the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) Healthy People 202022 and the AVMA Healthy Animals 201023 are consistent with each other and also reflect the One Health concept. By achieving this recommendation, greater integration of health strategies will be achieved and there will be increased visibility of One Health as the concept will be embedded in the nation's agenda plans to improve health.

  11. Inform, engage, and solicit the support of medical, veterinary medical and public health students and their respective organizations. The OHITF greatly benefited by the participation of our medical and veterinary medical students, who represented their respective national associations on the Task Force. The concept of One Health merits the attention of students within and outside of the health professions. Their understanding, enthusiastic support, and commitment to One Health will be essential. Our early experience suggests that One Health is tantamount to a social cause from the viewpoint of students. Promoting and improving human and animal health, and health of the environment, is a calling as much as it is a scientific principle, which resonates well with our students and young professionals. Recruiting students to the effort not only gives energy to One Health but also helps assure sustainability for future generations.

  12. Create a guiding coalition of liaisons, champions, and key supporters to promote the One Health concept, engender further support, provide counsel and guidance to the National Commission and ensure strong linkages and partnerships with governmental agencies, non-governmental organizations, academic institutions, professional associations and organizations, industries, and other interested groups and individuals. This group will also be important in helping to maintain a sense of urgency to establish One Health and support its principles. Global organizations, such as the World Organization for Animal Health (OIE), Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), World Health Organization (WHO), World Veterinary Association, and World Medical Association should also be part of this coalition.

Reports full of great ideas sit on shelves everywhere, and they remain empty promises because of a lack of skills, resources, and plans to execute them. Our recommendations will only be fulfilled if action is taken, resources identified and committed, and leadership supported. We urge you to join us in supporting the One Health Initiative.