Here at the FCB we bring a focus to One Health-- the concept that health goes beyond humans but also incorporates animals, plants, and the environment. Our One Health content encompasses a wide range of opportunities for students to engage in research, advocacy, professional development, and collaborations with interdisciplinary groups across our campus. Our goal is to equip the next generation of physician leaders with the skills necessary to collaboratively solve complex societal problems including climate change, toxic waste, water pollution, food safety and security, and more.
Anuja Riles, MD, MEd One Health Director Health & Society Lead Compass Guide
The One Health concept recognizes health connections between humans, animals, and their shared environments. It promotes professional cooperation between physicians, veterinarians, and others to address complex problems affecting multiple species and pathogens in changing environments.
Today's collaborations across fields of health and wellness are insufficient to meet societies' challenges in combating disease and maintaining the ecosystem and public health. For example, researchers have previously found that in the realm of infectious diseases, there is a dearth of communication between veterinary and medical professionals, which, with the recent spread of various infectious diseases such as COVID-19, is necessary to track and respond to zoonotic threats. This problem is worsened by the isolation of the training and education within each profession, as well as the lack of zoonotic disease training and lack of environmental health information in human medicine curricula. Therefore, collaboration is essential to equip future physicians in the skills necessary to collaboratively solve complex societal problems including climate change, toxic waste, water pollution, food safety and security, and more.
While many medical educators may not yet be familiar with the concept, the One Health approach has been endorsed by a number of major medical and public health organizations and is beginning to be implemented in a number of medical schools including Harvard Medical School and the University of Washington Medical School. Currently, outside of a single lecture during the Health and Society Curriculum, there is no specific emphasis on One Health throughout the Plains year curriculum.
The proposed elective aims to use an innovative approach to allow our students to provide improved patient care in the context of One Health and to promote healthy environments benefiting all species.
One Health City Practicum: The One Health Practicum is a semester-long elective course offered to medical students and other interdisciplinary graduate and professional students at CSU. It consists of a series of seminars presented by faculty advisors from Colorado State University, Industry experts, and liasons from the City of Fort Collins that will serve to provide the context for a One Health problem that exists in our immediate community today. Through these sessions, students will intimately explore the human, animal, and environmental health implications of the scenario presented and will develop the skills necessary to tackle the challenges at hand. This program will culminate at a “design charrette” facilitated activity in which interdisciplinary student teams present their policy proposals, recommendations, and research needs discovered during this process. This group’s work will be used to inform the development of One Health strategies for the City of Fort Collins.
Veterinary Shadowing Experience: The Veterinary Shadowing Experience is an immersive health experience with the Veterinary Program at CSU’s Animal Teaching Hospital. Students will engage in hands-on clinical activities with veterinary students and their preceptors to explore the similarities and differences between and the interconnectedness of human and animal health.
Service Learning Projects with a One Health Focus: Students at the FCB will have the opportunity to engage in service learning projects that are intimately aligned with One Health principles. A few examples include: