Dr. Roger K. Mahr, 2006-2007 AVMA president, attended the 53rd International Military Veterinary Medical Symposium in Kortrijk, Belgium, May 7-12. He gave a lecture on the concept of "one world, one health, one medicine" to the U.S. Army and allied Veterinary Corps officers from 16 countries.
"Our value, as a profession, rests on our ability to protect animal, human, and environmental health, which in turn, fulfills our societal responsibilities," Dr. Mahr said.
Brigadier General Michael B. Cates, chief of the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps and the commanding general of the U.S. Army Center for Health Promotion and Preventive Medicine, also addressed the symposium regarding the increasing role veterinarians have in public health.
"Human and animal health are inextricably linked in today's world, as we face many public health challenges," Brig. Gen. Cates said. "Veterinary personnel play a key role as an integral part of the medical team, and collaborations—intraservice, interservice, interagency, and international—are essential for success."
The symposium was hosted by Col. Michael Buley, commander of the 100th Medical Detachment (Veterinary Service-Headquarters), and is the largest meeting of international military veterinarians, representing the following 16 countries: Austria, Belgium, Croatia, Estonia, Finland, Germany, Great Britain, Italy, Norway, Poland, South Africa, Slovakia, Spain, Sweden, Netherlands, and United States. France is also a close ally but could not attend the event this year.