June 21, 2018

One Health with Dr. Stroud

By Ashley O'Shea Cleveland

During my second week as a AVMA GRD extern, I had the distinct pleasure of attending a lecture by Dr. Cheryl Stroud on “Advancing the One Health Movement: Our Ray of Hope for the Future” at the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) in Washington, D.C. Dr. Cheryl Stroud is currently the Executive Director of the One Health Commission and she holds a DVM from Mississippi State University and a PhD from North Carolina State University. Having a strong interest in learning more about the One Health Initiative, a movement to encourage inclusive collaboration between human medicine, veterinary medicine and environmental sciences, I was delighted to hear from Dr. Stroud. There was an excited and accomplished group gathered at the ASM to listen to Dr. Stroud, which included physicists, veterinarians, microbiologists, and professors, among others. Dr. Stroud’s talk gave distinct insight into the myriad of connections between human, animal and environmental health as well as detailing the incredible progress of the movement with the creation of early education initiatives, symposiums, conferences and global alliances. Dr. Stroud also discussed the inherent obstacles of the progress of the movement and the long road ahead to further integrate these extremely isolated disciplines. Dr. Stroud illustrated fascinating connections, for instance how soil health and the microbial community in our soil is potentially as important to human health as the microbe in our gut since microbiomes in soil have profound impacts on human and animal health. Another important topic she discussed was the declining bee and monarch butterfly populations due to climate change, loss of habitats and insecticides that can have serious consequences for our food supply, demonstrating that having scientists from all disciplines, in this case entomologists, as part of the One Health movement is vital. Dr. Stroud encouraged us, regardless of our background and disciplines, to make connections, have conversations, and continue to build a community of collaborators.