In October, the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced it has named the Iowa State University College of Veterinary Medicine's Center for Food Security and Public Health a CDC Specialty Center in Public Health Preparedness for Veterinary Medicine and Zoonotic Diseases.
Established in 2000, the Specialty Centers for Public Health Preparedness Program is a national effort focused on improving the capacity of front-line public health workers and clinicians to address current and emerging public health threats.
The 12 specialty centers are based at academic institutions and concentrate on education and training. They provide model public health practice curricula, and information and training to support preparedness for bioterrorism, disease outbreak investigation, and other public health emergencies.
"We are honored to be recognized by the CDC as the only Specialty Center for Public Health Preparedness to focus specifically on veterinary medicine and zoonotic diseases," said Dr. James Roth, director of the Center for Food Security and Public Health. "By integrating veterinary and human medical expertise, we can better serve the public health needs of the nation."
The center was founded last year with support from the CDC. It integrates veterinary medicine and expertise in zoonotic diseases and public health with the ongoing activities and needs of the CDC.
Center offers learning opportunities about bioterrorism
Iowa State University's Center for Food Security and Public Health is working to increase veterinarians' and animal caretakers' knowledge of zoonotic diseases and safeguards against bioterrorism.
The center hosted a training session in January about zoonotic pathogens that could be used in a terrorist attack. Some 125 veterinarians representing 46 states participated in the meeting, held prior to the North American Veterinary Conference.
Another educational opportunity for veterinary students and practitioners is the Internet-based course, "Emerging and exotic diseases of animals."
The course was developed by faculty at Iowa State, University of California-Davis, and University of Georgia, along with veterinarians at the Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service. The USDA funded the course.
Those interested in attending a training session on biologic agents or wanting to know more about the Internet course, contact the Center for Food Security and Public Health at (515) 294-7189 or visit the center's Web site at www.vetmed.iastate.edu/services/institutes/cfsph/default.html.