Inaugural Appalachia One Health Leadership Experience

Appalachia One Health Leadership Experience

HARROGATE, Tenn., Nov. 26, 2018 – Lincoln Memorial University-College of Veterinary Medicine (LMU-CVM) hosted the inaugural Appalachia One Health Leadership Experience, Sept. 14-15, 2018, on LMU’s main campus in Harrogate, Tennessee.


One Health is a global initiative that encourages collaboration among all health disciplines with the goal of attaining optimal health for people, animals and the environment. The event brought together One Health experts from the region and students from a variety of LMU’s health care programs to discuss how veterinarians, doctors, nurses, physician assistants and other medical professionals, environmentalists, epidemiologists and many others can work together to solve global health problems. This new experience was organized by the Center for Animal and Human Health in Appalachia (CAHA) whose mission is to improve animal health and public health in the Appalachian region. Whether students plan to be veterinarians, public health nurses, environmental specialists or a physicians, they will play an integral role in developing the future of global health care.


Inaugural Appalachia One Health Leadership Experience“The goal for this event was to connect students from a wide variety of disciplines to inform and discuss how the health of the environment, animals and humans are all interconnected,” said Dr. Gil Patterson, CAHA program manager and LMU-CVM principal researcher. “It was great to see our students critically thinking about cases, interacting with other providers and establishing skills as One Health thought leaders.”


The event kicked off with a meeting of the CAHA Advisory Board led by its chairman, Dr. Lonnie King, professor and special assistant to the provost, The Ohio State University College of Veterinary Medicine. Innovation was a key theme for the day, and King challenged the board to “improve what is and create what isn’t.”


Dr. Jason Johnson, LMU-CVM vice president and dean, gave the opening remarks and welcomed over 580 attendees to the event, including medical professionals, veterinary students and other future health care providers.


Dr. William Karesh, executive vice president for health and policy at EcoHealth Alliance served as the first keynote speaker and emphasized the need to look at public health from a global perspective and discussed how to apply its principles within our communities.


"We need to think globally and think big, but impact is always going to be local," said Karesh.


Dr. Gregory Gray, an infectious epidemiologist and professor of medicine and global health at Duke University School of MedicineLMU was also honored to have Dr. Gregory Gray, an infectious epidemiologist and professor of medicine and global health at Duke University School of Medicine, speak to students about current One Health issues. A strong supporter for the One Health approach and an expert on the topic, Gray has won multiple One Health research and training grants. He also established two centers of One Health located in the United States and Romania and developed four One Health graduate programs.


"We were not trained to work well out of our silos,” said Gray. “It's because of the passion of your leaders here at LMU that you are trained differently."


During the conference students participated in various inter-professional education activities. Groups comprised of students and professionals from various diverse medical backgrounds worked together on diagnosing hypothetical patient case studies.


Dr. Sam Matheny, assistant provost for Global Health Initiatives at the University of Kentucky, gave a presentation on practicing ethics for students gaining experience in other countries. Matheny serves as a member of the CAHA advisory board.


“Global health is not just taking a trip around the world and looking at health care. Two things are crucial for global health: improving health and equity," said Matheny


Last year CAHA strategically broadened its existing vision from a focus on animal health to now include human health and renamed its organization the Center for Animal and Human Health in Appalachia. This new shift toward a One Health framework will lead to a new synergy and partnership among the LMU health science colleges and programs.


“LMU is strategically positioned, and has a unique emphasis on improving health across the Appalachian footprint, thus, we could become the national leader which has exciting and great possibilities,” said King. “The health challenges in our region necessitate new interventions and the creation of new teams of health professionals with changing skill sets. We want to start the process of getting our students prepared for these challenges on their first day on the LMU campus.”


Lincoln Memorial University (LMU) is a values-based learning community dedicated to providing educational experiences in the liberal arts and professional studies. The LMU-College of Veterinary Medicine is located on LMU’s main campus in Harrogate, Tennessee, with additional academic facilities in nearby Lee County, Virginia. LMU-CVM is an integral part of the University’s medical programs and provides real-world, community-based education in a collaborative learning environment. For more information about LMU-CVM, call 1.800.325.0900, ext. 7150 or visit us online at

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