One Health Newsletter Veterinary Public Health (VPH) Special PRIMARY Interest Group (SPIG) Of The American Public Health Association (APHA)

In This Issue

Summer 2021 Newsletter

  • Air Pollution and Community-Oriented Research: A One Health Call-to-Action
  • Pennsylvania's County Animal Response Team’s One Health Response to COVID-19
  • One Health Fellowship Opportunities
  • One Health Career Spotlight: Dr. Taylor Winkleman, Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow
  • APHA Annual Meeting One Health Preview
  • Get Involved with the VPH SPIG

Editorial Board: Katharyn Kryda (VPH Policy Committee Member), Jessica S. Schwind (VPH Communications Chair), and Helena Chapman (VPH Communications Committee Member)

Air Pollution and Community-Oriented Research: A One Health Call-to-Action

By Catherine O'Donnell, VPH Supporter

Ambient air pollution is recognized as the largest environmental and occupational risk factor, as well as the fourth overall risk factor associated with mortality globally (Health Effects Institute, 2020). While short-term exposures to air pollution have proven to have causal effects related to poor health outcomes, long-term exposures to air pollution have an increasing contribution to the public health burden of morbidity and mortality associated with chronic disease outcomes such as diabetes mellitus type 2, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, ischemic heart disease, and lung cancer. In 2019 alone, air pollution contributed to an estimated 6.67 million deaths globally, with 100,000 of these annual premature deaths occurring in the United States (Health Effects Institute, 2020).

Air Quality improvement in the city of Philadelphia between 2005-2011 (Source: NASA Goddard Space Flight Center under the Creative Commons License https://www.flickr.com/photos/gsfc/14320501688)

Although air quality within the United States has steadily improved since the passage of the Clean Air Act in 1970, and furthermore following the 1990 Amendments, clean air progress has not been distributed equitably (U.S. EPA, 2020). Historical trends in the United States show that lower income, marginalized, and minority communities experience higher levels of exposure to air pollution, as a result of their proximity to high-emitting air pollution sources such as highways, industrial facilities, and airports. Policy action that shaped the infringement of these communities, such as housing and zoning laws, continues to place these individuals at harm due to factors associated with long-term exposure to air pollutants (Castillo et al., 2021). In one study, authors analyzed the intersection of air pollution measurements, health risk measurements, and race-based residential segregation in 309 metropolitan centers across the United States, revealing a positive correlation between segregation and increased cancer risk attributed to air toxics (Morello-Frosch & Jesdale, 2006). Notably, they concluded that the strongest health effects were seen amongst Hispanic populations, after controlling for socioeconomic status.

Environmental health is an increasingly significant pillar in the triad of One Health, as issues within this sector mediate both human and animal health. Air pollution and climate change are inextricably intertwined, calling for a collaborative, multisectoral, and One Health approach for mitigation strategies. Air pollution mitigation strategies have climate co-benefits given that greenhouse gases and air pollutants have a common emission source: combustion. Additionally, this interaction between climate change and air pollution can exacerbate conditions in environmental justice communities, emphasizing a need for action that extends beyond the individual citizen.

Industrial combustion processes serve as a shared emissions source for air pollutants and climate forcers (Source: PxHere under the Creative Commons License https://pxhere.com/en/photo/963216?utm_content=shareClip&utm_medium=referral&utm_source=pxhere)

As current and future public health practitioners, it is imperative that we center and empower community voices on pressing environmental issues. Community-oriented research frameworks serve as an important tool for mapping hyperlocal air quality within communities and continuing community engagement via tools to collect, analyze, and interpret representative air quality data. This work is impactful in shaping local air pollution mitigation strategies and policy, improving environmental literacy, and ultimately bridging the gap between the daunting technicalities of air quality monitoring and community expertise.


Castillo, M. D., Kinney, P., Southerland, V. A., Arno, C. A., Crawford, K., van Donkelaar, A., & Anenberg, S. (2021). Estimating intra-urban inequities in PM2. 5-attributable health impacts: A case study for Washington, DC. Earth and Space Science Open Archive. https://doi.org/10.1002/essoar.10506837.1

Health Effects Institute. (2020). State of Global Air 2020. Special Report. Boston, MA: Health Effects Institute. Retrieved from https://www.stateofglobalair.org/

Morello-Frosch, R., & Jesdale, B. M. (2006). Separate and unequal: residential segregation and estimated cancer risks associated with ambient air toxics in U.S. metropolitan areas. Environmental health perspectives, 114(3), 386–393. https://doi.org/10.1289/ehp.8500

United States Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA). (2020). Air Quality Trends Show Clean Air Progress. EPA Our Nation’s Air. Retrieved from https://gispub.epa.gov/air/trendsreport/2020/

"And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer."

― F. Scott Fitzgerald

Pennsylvania's County Animal Response Team’s One Health Response to COVID-19

By Michelle Grundahl, VPH Member

Volunteers unload pet food for distribution during a drive-through food event in Warwick, Pennsylvania on May 12, 2020. Source: Michelle Grundahl

In March of 2020, the unified County Animal Response Teams (CART) in Southeastern Pennsylvania decided to respond to the looming pandemic disaster. After all, we had done it in the past during Hurricane Sandy and other disasters in the Philadelphia area. But what was coming was unlike what we were used to. Normally, we house pets during hurricanes and floods, or assist horses stuck in precarious places. As volunteers, we help government emergency managers through mutual aid during unusual animal-related emergencies. Our five-county teams (under the Pennsylvania Animal Response Team) knew how to step up during any crisis involving animals...but COVID-19 was certainly a novel challenge.

We knew that we would face the unknowns of infection control and zoonotic risks, but we quickly realized that we could be seeing a disaster that could lead to massive animal abandonment. Around sixty percent of households have pets. We had to keep these families together. From our experiences housing pets in co-located shelters with the Red Cross, we know that keeping pets with their families during a crisis is better for humans and pets. The human-animal bond is strong - it would help many people get through the darkest of days of this pandemic.

Many tons of pet food is stored by the local Emergency Management Agency to support the Bucks County Animal Response Team in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. Source: Michelle Grundahl

Our solution was simple. We would offer pet food to the masses of people who were experiencing food insecurity. As we ramped up efforts in March, we worked all summer and fall. Alongside the massive efforts of human food banks and drive-through food distributions, we developed a system to also offer cat and dog food. We delivered tons to food banks, and we lugged heavy bags of food into people's cars. The words of appreciation - and the looks of relief on the faces of our community's pet owners - were enough to keep us going. In my county (Bucks), we quickly created a consortium of animal welfare groups - we chose to come together for a common cause. The team included Bucks County SPCA, Women's Animal Center, Animal Lifeline, Greater Good, Sam's Hope, The Bridge Clinic, Bucks County Emergency Management Agency, and the Bucks County Animal Response Team.

We relied on networking and community volunteer work. We received generous offerings of many pallets of pet food. Groups like Greater Good were an immense help. We created new local paradigms where emergency management, human social services and local animal welfare groups came together so that the whole family could make it through this - staying together and staying fed. As the emergency response was starting to slow, some permanent changes were put into place so that pet-owning families in need could always find support when they face food insecurity.

Volunteers from animal and human feeding efforts distributed food together in Warwick, Pennsylvania on May 12, 2020. Source: Michelle Grundahl

Using One Health solutions, Southeastern Pennsylvania's County Animal Response Teams have responded to hurricanes, ice storms, tornados, floods - and now a pandemic too. A disaster can arise anytime. Future emergencies could arise from climate change, emerging infectious zoonotic diseases, or terrorism. Families should always plan in advance to be ready for the unknown. Tag and microchip your pets, keep their records and cages handy, and have a plan in case you need to evacuate. Always take your pets with you during a disaster! But most of all, know that there are people who will step up in times of disaster to put One Health into action to help your pet and your family.

Questions? Please contact Michelle Grundahl at michelle_grundahl@hotmail.com or mgrundah@gmu.edu. Ms. Grundahl is a Master of Biodefense graduate student at George Mason University, Schar School of Policy and Government. She is also a member of the Bucks County Animal Response Team and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Regional Task Force - Mass Care Group, Animals.

"To plant a garden is to believe in tomorrow."

— Audrey Hepburn

One Health Fellowship Opportunities

By Katharyn Kryda, VPH Policy Committee Member and One Health Newsletter Editor

A new section in our newsletter, One Health Fellowship Opportunities will feature professional development opportunities for early career professionals interested in One Health topics. Everyone's career path is unique, and below you'll find a few launching points to get started. Click on the button below each description to visit the program's site for more details.

CDC Epidemic Intelligence Service - EIS is a highly competitive, 2-year post-graduate fellowship in applied epidemiology. This CDC program, established in 1951, is a unique combination of on-the-job-learning and service. Investigating outbreaks in the field is integral to the EIS experience. As CDC’s disease detectives, EIS officers are among the agency’s first-line rapid responders. EIS officers help public health officials investigate and control infectious disease outbreaks and respond to natural disasters and other threats to the public’s health.

California Epidemiologic Investigation Service (Cal-EIS) Fellowship Program - The California Department of Public Health shall provide a grant to and for the benefit of the Grantee; purpose of the grant is to provide the Grantee training/experience in applied epidemiology and public health during placements with governmental health agencies. The Grantee agrees to perform research in the area of epidemiology and gain hands-on experience working with an epidemiologist preceptor(s) in either local or state health departments in CA.

Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health Fellowships (ASPPH) - ASPPH fellowship and internship programs offer opportunities for current masters and doctoral level students and recent graduates to round out academic training and gain hands-on public health experience while continuing to develop professional skills and expertise in public health. On-site mentoring from public health professionals provides valuable career guidance and networking opportunities.

Council of State and Territorial Epidemiologists (CSTE)/CDC Applied Epidemiology Fellowship - CSTE, in collaboration with CDC, the Association of Schools and Programs of Public Health (ASPPH), and the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), established the Applied Epidemiology Fellowship to train recent graduates in the expanding field of applied epidemiology. The goal of the Fellowship is to provide a high quality training experience and to secure long-term career placement for Fellows at the state or local level. Participating fellows will receive two years of on-the-job training at a state or local health agency under the guidance of an experienced mentor. The Fellowship’s mission is to meet the nation’s ongoing need for applied epidemiology workforce capacity in state and local health departments through a national fellowship-training program.

National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Biosafety and Biocontainment Training Program Fellowship - The National Biosafety and Biocontainment Training Program (NBBTP) was conceived as a partnership between the Division of Occupational Health and Safety (DOHS) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland. As of January 2020, the NBBTP became part of the NIH Intramural Research Training Award (IRTA) program and is now known as the NIH NBBTP/IRTA Fellowship. The NBBTP/IRTA offers two-year postbaccalaureate and postdoctoral fellowships. The mission and vision of the NBBTP/IRTA Fellowship is to prepare biosafety and biocontainment professionals of the highest caliber to meet the needs of the biomedical, emerging disease and civilian biodefense research communities through the 21st century.

Association of Public Health Laboratories (APHL) and CDC Laboratory Fellowships - APHL and CDC partner to offer a variety of laboratory fellowship programs to train and prepare scientists for careers in public health laboratories and support public health initiatives. There are currently six APHL-CDC fellowship programs: Antimicrobial Resistance Laboratory Fellowship, Environmental Public Health Laboratory Fellowship, Bioinformatics Fellowship, Infectious Diseases Laboratory Fellowship, Laessig Memorial Newborn Screening Fellowship, and Newborn Screening Bioinformatics and Data Analytics Fellowship.

American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science & Technology Policy Fellowships (STPF) - AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowships (STPF) provide opportunities to outstanding scientists and engineers to learn first-hand about policymaking while contributing their knowledge and analytical skills to the federal policymaking process. Fellows serve yearlong assignments in the executive, legislative and judicial branches of the federal government in Washington, DC. Each year, the program adds to a growing corps over 3,400 strong of policy-savvy leaders working across academia, government, nonprofits and industry to serve the nation and the world.

Winston Health Policy Fellowship - This twelve-month fellowship offers a postgraduate immersion experience in health policy development by working directly with policy-makers in both the public and private sectors. Current graduate students in their final year of study for a masters or doctoral degree are eligible to apply. The Winston Health Policy Fellowship is located in Washington, DC.

"Summertime is always the best of what might be."

— Charles Bowden

One Health Career Spotlight

Special Guest: Dr. Taylor Winkleman, Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow

Dr. Taylor Winkleman. Photo by Dr. Emma Locatelli.

Dr. Taylor Winkleman received her DVM from the University of Georgia College of Veterinary Medicine and her MPH with an emphasis in policy and management from the University of Georgia College of Public Health. She is a founding member and the current coordinator (head) of the Next Generation Global Health Security Network.

While in graduate school, she worked in Uganda, New Zealand, Germany, and Bahrain, honing an interest in international work. Upon graduation in 2016, Dr. Winkleman was chosen by the American Veterinary Medical Association as a Congressional Science and Technology Policy Fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science's fellowship program. She served her fellowship in the office of Senator Edward J. Markey (D-MA), with a portfolio that included international health, foreign relations, space policy, science and technology policy, human and animal trafficking, human rights, and more. After stints consulting for DC area non-profits and NGOs, Dr. Winkleman worked as a contractor at the Defense Threat Reduction Agency in the Chem/Bio Research Division. In 2018, she began teaching as an adjunct at the Georgetown University School of Medicine, where she teaches international policy, public policy for scientists, shaping national science policy, emerging biotechnologies, and emerging and reemerging infectious diseases.

She is currently a Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow, serving her fellowship at the Office of the Representative to the UN and North America, with a focus on biosecurity, international relations, health security, and humanitarian affairs. Dr. Winkleman lives in Washington, DC, with her two dogs and two cats, and when she isn't busy with work and friends, you can often find her hanging from a flying trapeze down at the TSNY rig in Navy Yard.

Dr. Winkleman with Andrea Keklak introducing a resolution condemning human rights abuses in Chechnya, 2017. Photo courtesy of Dr. Taylor Winkleman.

Question 1) How did you first get interested in One Health/Veterinary Public Health as a concept?

I was first introduced to One Health by one of my professors in vet school, Dr. Mary Hondalus. It immediately clicked for me- as a big-picture thinker, the idea that what we do in one area affects another was intuitive for me. I think it really hit home for me when I was volunteering in Uganda; there's a huge difference between understanding a concept and really seeing it in action, and working on a project that looked at zoonoses in pastoral populations really drove home that point.

Dr. Winkleman performing cattle disease surveillance in Uganda, 2016. Photo courtesy of Dr. Taylor Winkleman.

Question 2) What is your favorite part about working in One Health/Veterinary Public Health?

The thing I love most about working in One Health is how much it broadens career possibilities. If One Health was not an accepted concept, I'd have a much harder time talking to people credibly about so many of the things I spend almost all of my time on- but because it is a thing, I can work in the humanitarian space and feel like I belong. One Health is the antidote to imposter syndrome. The other truly wonderful thing about One Health is that no one person can do or be all things, so it not only invites but requires collaboration- and collaboration always means better ideas, more colleagues, and more chances to understand the world around you in new and exciting ways.

Dr. Winkleman performing E. coli surveillance among cattle in New Zealand, 2016. Photo courtesy of Dr. Taylor Winkleman.

Question 3) How does One Health apply to your current role, and why is it important?

The World Health Organization's mandate is, first and foremost, human health. But we all know that human health is inextricable from environmental and animal health, and having a veterinarian in the room when discussing matters like biosecurity and health security is a valuable addition and perspective to have. When we are discussing things like the interlinkages between the Sustainable Development Goals, the underlying principle of One Health- that everything is connected, like organs in a body- is so important to understand and to employ.

Lobbyists bring the best props to Congress! Shown here is the ASPCA's "prop" in 2017. Photo courtesy of Dr. Taylor Winkleman.

Question 4) Do you have any words of advice for readers wanting to be more active in One Health?

For me, One Health is the springboard to everything I do. My greatest advice to people wanting to work in One Health, since I imagine they already really understand it, is to work to understand the rest of the context. People don't work in a vacuum of science and medicine. There are politics, global events, and relationships that need to be understood- and without understanding those inputs, any advances or great ideas that any of us have might never really see the light of day. I am currently working my way through several books about the history of the atomic bomb, the Cold War, and modern politics, I read about international relations constantly, and I'm always consulting with colleagues on the politics and mores in their respective home countries. The more you understand the world you are working in, the better you can help improve it for everyone.

"Dog" is a universal language. Dr. Winkleman obtained her international veterinary certificate through an internship at the Bahrain Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in 2012. Photo courtesy of Dr. Taylor Winkleman.

The VPH SPIG is appreciative of your time and service, Dr. Winkleman! Thank you!

"One benefit of summer was that each day we had more light to read by."

― Jeanette Walls

APHA Annual Meeting One Health Preview

By Stephanie Masiello, VPH Program Planner

Source: APHA.org

Registration and Housing are Open!

This year, the APHA Annual Meeting and Expo 2021 (October 24-27th) will take place as a hybrid conference, occurring both in person in Denver, CO and virtually. This year’s theme is "Creating the Healthiest Nation: Strengthening Social Connectedness". As in past years, the APHA One Health Special Interest Group (VPH SPIG) (dedicated to promoting the importance of improving human, animal, plant, and environmental health through an interdisciplinary, One Health approach) is proud to be able to provide both in-person and virtual content that highlights the important, valuable work of VPH SPIG members and colleagues who strive to advance and improve our knowledge of a One Health world.

At this year’s conference, session formats will differ based on type: general and formal sessions will be in-person as well as live streamed. Oral sessions will be 50% in-person and 50% online. Poster sessions and roundtables will all be virtual. Check out the updated Schedule at a Glance.

For 2021, the VPH posters and sessions focus on the role of veterinary public health in environmental, occupational, and epidemiological One Health issues. To see the full VPH program, please go to https://apha.confex.com/apha/2021/meetingapp.cgi/Program/2109. The tab on the left of the page will allow you to identify all VPH-organized sessions (all eligible for RACE veterinary credits), as well as those sessions organized by other sections which were endorsed by the VPH (also eligible for RACE veterinary credits).

Below are VPH highlights (and session numbers) to keep in mind as you explore and learn at this year’s meeting:

Thursday, October 21st (Virtual Poster Session Opens): Be sure to “stop by” the numerous posters from diverse colleagues relating to how Veterinary Public Health supports One Health Issues (PS1043.0). Posters are pre-recorded and will be available on demand throughout the conference, so please use the listed session timeframe in the program (4:00-5:30 pm MT) as a suggestion. These posters include a wide variety of pertinent topics such as examining pets’ impact on human health, the COVID-19 impact of wet markets and wildlife trade, global health early warning infrastructures for zoonoses, and animal welfare issues during SARS-CoV-2.

Sunday, October 24th (First Official Day of 2021 Meeting): After you browse the posters, all members and anyone else interested are very welcome to attend the in-person Veterinary Public Health SPIG Business Meeting (220.0) from 9:00-10:30 am MT and provide input on what topics and actions you would like to see come out of this group in the future. A Zoom link will be sent out to members to join virtually.

Monday, October 25th: In the afternoon, we will have our two VPH oral presentation sessions, one virtual and one in-person. The first session (3144.0; 2:00-3:30 pm MT) will be VIRTUAL and focus on pandemics through a One Health Lens. Colleagues will share their work describing efforts in the COVID-19 response, pandemic prevention through behavioral surveillance, and how key community collaborations can impact the health impacts of a changing ecosystem. The second session (3197.0; 4:00-5:30 pm MT) will be IN-PERSON and focus on role of Veterinary Public Health in One Health Issues. This session is endorsed by the APHA Occupational Health and Safety Group. Presentations will range from strategies in animal-assisted therapy to how collaboration between animal and public health educators can improve One Health outcomes.

VPH-Endorsed Sessions

Below please find a list of live presentation sessions endorsed by the VPH SPIG this year that you may want to consider adding to your virtual program:

3171.0 – Assorted Topics in Epidemiology

4132.0 – Public Health Social Work (Roundtable 2)

We hope that the One Health SPIG programs this year will provide all members with new ideas, new challenges, and new excitement. We look forward to connecting and collaborating with you whether in Denver or virtually!

“Everything good, everything magical happens between the months of June and August.”

— Jenny Han

Get Involved with the VPH SPIG!

Join us.

We would love for you to get involved! Please consider becoming a member of the largest public health association in the U.S. to contribute expertise and help guide practice and policy change. Select the 'Veterinary Public Health Special Primary Interest Group' as one of your sections when signing up at the link below.

Make a Donation.

The APHA VPH group accepts donations to support our outreach programs at the Annual Meeting to help amplify our positive impact. Thank you in advance for donating!

Stay Connected.

The Veterinary Public Health One Health Newsletter is a quarterly publication for APHA's Veterinary Public Health Special Primary Interest Group. Are you involved in a One Health-related program or activity at home or abroad? Does it complement our focus to bring awareness to the human-animal-environment connection and advance the One Health concept? If so, we want to share your story via our newsletter and social media sites! Please contact us at aphaveterinarypublichealthspig(at)gmail(dot)com for more information. Thank you for reading!


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