A $100,000 grant to the AVMA will fund creation of a national one-health organization and a global one-health initiative.
The grant from the Rockefeller Foundation will lead to the creation of the One Health Commission, which will work more independently from its founding organizations than the current multidisciplinary One Health Joint Steering Committee.
"It is very gratifying that the Rockefeller Foundation, which has a long and well-recognized tradition of providing support to those who are tackling the world's most challenging health issues, has recognized the practical value of funding the creation of the national One Health Commission to lead this global effort," said Dr. Thomas Monath, MD, the steering committee representative from the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.
"This is the first, and perhaps most important, step in implementing our vision of cooperation and collaboration among health care professions."
Although the commission's structure and plans for activities are still under development, its mission will involve improving human, animal, and environmental health through collaboration across disciplines, working locally, nationally, and globally.
The grant payments are contingent on the One Health Joint Steering Committee accomplishing certain objectives, such as hiring staff, establishing operations, chartering the commission, hiring a CEO, establishing a research agenda, and transitioning oversight from the steering committee to the One Health Commission by December 2009. The AVMA has received the first $25,000 to support the administration of the steering committee.
The One Health Commission will particularly focus on preventing and controlling the spread of emerging and existing zoonoses. It is estimated that, worldwide, 75 percent of emerging diseases during the past three decades are zoonotic.
The joint steering committee has representation from nearly 20 member organizations and agencies representing disciplines in animal, human, and environmental health.
The AVMA began efforts to establish the One Health Initiative in 2006 through the presidential agenda of then-AVMA president Roger K. Mahr and a subsequent partnership with the American Medical Association.