The American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA) and American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) announced the adoption of a joint statement: The Value of Professional Collaboration in Protecting the Health of People and Animals. Issued in honor of the inaugural "One Health Day" on Thursday, November 3, the medical groups outline potential opportunities for collaboration that would benefit their patients, families and communities.
"The lives of people and animals are so closely intertwined that the health and welfare of all of our patients, both human and animals, will fare much better if we share our knowledge," said Dr. Janet Donlin, chief executive officer of the AVMA. "The importance of preventive health care, exposure to environmental hazards, and the safety and quality of the food we eat are just a few of the areas that will benefit from our collaboration."
Representatives from both organizations recently met at the AVMA headquarters to discuss opportunities for collaboration. The professionals found that both groups are increasingly focused on the benefits of healthy lifestyles and environments with an emphasis on preventive care for improved physical and mental health of their patients. There is increasing science-based evidence outlining how a pet can improve a person’s well-being. In addition to the positive benefits of the human-animal bond connection, their shared space can shed light on potential threats to their health.
"Healthy pets can be important members of healthy households," said Dr. Karen Remley, CEO and executive vice president of the AAP. "Because people and pets share the same environments, they will be exposed to similar hazards such as asbestos, lead, second-hand smoke and others. We must commit to a greater sharing of our scientific knowledge and practical expertise. We must also work together as medical professionals toward the judicious use of antimicrobials and combatting antimicrobial resistance."
Advancing technology is not only increasing awareness of interdependencies among people, animals and the environment; it is also making it easier to collaborate and solve medical and scientific mysteries. By identifying initiatives and sharing information across disciplines, both associations will protect, promote, and advance the health and well-being of all community members—human and animal.