AVMA, pediatrics academy collaborate toward one health

Published on November 30, 2016
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The AVMA and American Academy of Pediatrics adopted a joint statement, “The Value of Professional Collaboration in Protecting the Health of People and Animals,” on Nov. 3 in honor of the inaugural One Health Day. The statement outlines potential opportunities for collaboration that would benefit patients, families, and communities.

According to the introduction: “Humans and animals have much in common. They share issues of health and disease and co-exist in common environments. Advancing technologies and science-based evidence are increasing awareness, knowledge, and understanding of these interdependencies, further supporting the concept of ‘One Health.’”

Dr. Janet Donlin, AVMA chief executive officer, said in an announcement: “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. 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 the AVMA and AAP met at AVMA headquarters in Schaumburg, Illinois, 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 patients. There is increasing evidence outlining how a pet can improve a person’s well-being.

“Healthy pets can be important members of healthy households,” said Karen Remley, MD, CEO and executive vice president of the AAP, in the announcement. “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.”

Potential opportunities for collaboration between the AVMA and AAP include participation in cross-disciplinary campaigns and projects designed to share information with veterinarians and physicians as well as the public.

The joint statement identifies the following potential areas for collaboration:

  • Healthy pets as members of healthy households.
  • Health of people as tied to the safety and quality of the food they consume.
  • Zoonotic disease.
  • Animals in the service of people.
  • Environments and lifestyle choices impacting people and animals.
  • Responsible use of antimicrobials and antimicrobial resistance.
  • Professional wellness. 
The complete text of the joint statement is available here.

Related JAVMA content:

Nov. 3 is One Health Day (July 15, 2016)