AVMA News

Summit highlights One Health opportunities for veterinarians

The theme of this year’s Global Health Summit (GHS) at the AVMA Convention 2024 in Austin, Texas, is One Health. Specifically, the opportunities individual veterinarians have to positively impact the field of One Health, whether it be a shift in career focus or simple lifestyle changes. 

The daylong summit will be held Monday, June 24, starting at 9 a.m. Central at the Austin Convention Center. It offers up to six hours of in-person continuing education (CE) programming.

Speakers will discuss various opportunities available for veterinarians to advance One Health and share how they became involved in global projects. They will also cover options outside the usual voluntourism trips abroad and showcase pathways for promoting global One Health in ways that are attainable—and sustainable—for veterinarians from all sectors of the profession.

Small globe with hand holding a stethoscope above it

Summit attendees will learn how to discern whether these opportunities will result in sustainable and positive changes in their local communities.

An Overview of Global One Health Opportunities for U.S. Veterinarians: From Student Days to Retirement” will be presented by keynote speaker Dr. Christa Gallagher, associate professor of public health and epidemiology at Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine in Basseterre, St. Kitts, at 9 a.m.

That will be followed by “Responsible Volunteerism” at 10 p.m. by Dr. Gary Vroegindewey, director of the One Health Program at Lincoln Memorial University College of Veterinary Medicine in Harrogate, Tennessee.

After a break, “How Can Busy U.S. Veterinarians Squeeze Global One Health Opportunities into Their Schedules—Volunteering Globally” will be presented at 1 p.m. by Dr. Julia Wilson, co-founder of the Equitarian Initiative; Dr. Catherine King, founder of World Vets; and Dr. Lonnie Kasman with Veterinarians International.

Next up is “Working Internationally” at 2 p.m. This will be presented by Dr. Neil Vezeau, a veterinarian working in food safety at the wildlife-human interface in Hawaii, and Dr. Sue Chadima, who has spent several years strengthening the animal health infrastructure in Afghanistan.

Several veterinarians who have represented the AVMA on international and One Health organizations, including former AVMA Presidents Michael Topper and José Arce, will speak about their experiences as part of a panel discussion on “Global Opportunities at the AVMA” at 3 p.m.

Then the final session of the GHS is an audience-interactive panel discussion, “Global Opportunities in One Health,” that starts at 4 p.m. All summit speakers will be available during this question-and-answer session.

After the educational program, the GHS networking reception will take place. The 2024 recipients of the AVMA Global Veterinary Service Award and the AVMA Public Service Award will be celebrated.