These team-building exercises are part of the university's second annual One Health Leadership Experience taking place August 16 to 18. The event introduces students from all health science disciplines to One Health, a global initiative that encourages collaboration to help attain optimal health for people, animals and the environment.
"It's critical for health science students to learn more about One Health because of global concerns such as the rapid spread of influenza and other infectious diseases and the rising occurrence of food- and water-borne illnesses," said Dr. Douglas Freeman, lead organizer for the workshop and dean of the Western College of Veterinary Medicine (WCVM).
"But One Health will only be effective if we break down traditional barriers among health professions and work as a team to address issues that affect the health of people, animals and the environment," said Freeman, who has invited five high-calibre speakers to meet and interact with students.
The WCVM, Zoetis Canada and the U of S Council of Health Science Deans are funding the leadership experience. Participants include students from medicine, dentistry, pharmacy and nutrition, kinesiology, public health, physical therapy, nursing and veterinary medicine.
Second-year veterinary student Kyla Johnson attended last year's event and was inspired to help create the One Health Initiative, a new club that is open to all U of S health science students.
"As a veterinary student, we're at the very centre of One Health because our profession connects animals to people and the environment," said Johnson. "But in other health professions, the connections aren't as obvious. That's where the One Health Leadership Experience really helped students to look beyond their own disciplines and explore how all of the professions could use their skills and knowledge to tackle major health issues."
This year's guest speakers include Dr. Andrew Maccabe, executive director of the Association of American
Veterinary Medical Colleges (AAVMC); Dr. Mark Raizenne, director general of the Public Health Agency of Canada's Centre for Food-borne, Environmental and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases; Dr. Marguerite Pappaioanou, liaison between the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for food safety; Dr. Casey Barton Behravesh, a lieutenant commander in the U.S. Public Health Service; and Rick Yount, executive director of the Warrior Canine Connection.
For more information, contact:
Western College of Veterinary Medicine
University of Saskatchewan