In honor of the 152nd annual American Veterinary Medical Association Convention that will convene in Boston from July 10-14, 2015, it is our very great honor to introduce you to One Health Champion Ron DeHaven, DVM.
Meet Dr. Ron DeHaven, the Chief Executive Officer and Executive Vice President of the American Veterinary Medical Association (AVMA), where he serves over 86,500 members of the AVMA. He has been in this position since August 2007. Dr. DeHaven has more than two decades of experience with the United States Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Animal Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) serving as the Administrator of the agency from 2004 to 2007. In that capacity he was responsible for 8,300 employees serving in 30 countries and an annual budget of $1.9 billion. He gained national prominence in 2003 and 2004 when bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease) and H5N1 avian influenza were making national headlines. Dr. DeHaven was commissioned into the U.S. Army Veterinary Corps and served in the U.S. Army Reserves and National Guard, reaching the rank of Lieutenant Colonel and has received two Presidential Rank Awards for his leadership. He was honored by the AVMA for his veterinary contributions with the Meritorious Service Award in 2004.
It was at the January 2013 Launch of OCSA’s Veterinary Outreach Program that Peter Weber, MS, CAE and former Executive Director of the Illinois State Veterinary Medical Association introduced the OCSA team to Dr. DeHaven. And since that time, we have had the honor and privilege to work with Dr. DeHaven on several One Health Initiatives including OCSA’s veterinary outreach program that also includes joint projects with students at accredited colleges of veterinary medicine in the United States and abroad.
The One health concept in his own words:
“While we may not think of ourselves in this context, virtually all veterinarians are One Health practitioners. Whether they are vaccinating against a zoonotic disease like rabies and leptospirosis or treating an illness or injury, by caring for our pets, veterinarians are contributing to the health and well-being of the people whose lives those pets touch. Our food animal veterinary colleagues, working in both public and private practice, ensure we have a safe, affordable, and abundant food supply. Laboratory animal veterinarians care for the animals that have been instrumental in so many medical breakthroughs, while zoo and wildlife veterinarians protect our environment while also ensuring the health and sustainability of wild animal populations for future generations to see and enjoy. At the American Veterinary Medical Association, we talk about the passion that veterinarians have for the profession. It is that passion of our members that makes my job enjoyable and rewarding.
The use of dogs to detect diseases in humans – including ovarian cancer – is a particularly exciting area where animals can directly help promote human health. These are but a few examples that get to the heart of the One Health concept; the health of animals, people, and the environment are inextricably linked.
I am pleased and honored to be the OCSA One Health Champion for July 2015. OCSA is helping to promote the One Health concept by connecting the human and veterinary health professions in combating this devastating disease – a disease that affects so many lives. Thank you for all you are doing.”