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tuskegee university’s one health symposium focuses on health security in the time of covid-19

november 09, 2020

contact:  anissa riley, college of veterinary medicine

One Health Symposium image

the tuskegee university college of veterinary medicine’s department of graduate public health hosted its one health symposium virtually this year. “one health perspectives in defining health security in the time of covid-19” was the theme for the 21st annual one health symposium held in october. this year’s theme was timely and underscores the commitment the college and university have to engaging the university members, the general public, biomedical researchers, the health community and the university’s partners in navigating the new normal as all work together to formulate best practices and operations as a result of the covid-19 pandemic.

the one health symposium is an annual event that is designed to bring together veterinarians, human health researchers, public health practitioners, and environmental health scientists for professional development and to share their research in related areas providing a forum for advancing biomedical research and to heighten awareness of global health disparities.

the 2020 one health symposium brought together several renowned professionals, panelists and keynote speakers to engage the scientific community, researchers, educators and students in a discussion to address a critical public health crisis in a time of covid-19.  the event was held under the leadership of atty. crystal james, who serves as director and department head for the college’s graduate public health program, and co-chair dr. melvena wilson, who serves as an assistant professor in the department of graduate public health.

“i commend the symposium committee for the extensive effort put forth in formulating a virtual event that captures how we can make a difference through expanding our knowledge of biomedical research despite the tremendous challenges of covid-19,” said dr. ruby l. perry, dean of the college of veterinary medicine.

This year’s keynote and invited guest speakers included:  Nadine Gayle, communications director to Assembly Woman Walker 55th District of New York; Dr. Tanya Tatum, director of Student Health Services at Florida A&M University; Dr. Joy St. John, director of Caribbean Public Health Agency – this year’s Dr. Kenneth Olden Lecturer; and Dr. Randy Albrecht, director, Emerging Pathogens in the Global Emerging Pathogens Institute/director, Biosafety Program at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai.

“the one health committee and the department of graduate public health are so grateful for the leadership of president mcnair and dean perry as the university has met the new challenges caused by the covid-19 pandemic to assure our students are receiving the academic training necessary to excel and the university community is practicing all the safety precautions possible,” said crystal james.

“the symposium, although held in a different format this year, was extremely timely and our panel of leaders and presenters, community members and partners, fellow colleagues and students’ participations allowed us to deliver a thoughtful and engaging program,” noted james. “our goal was to share trusted scientific information and be a think tank for advocacy and mitigation as we forge our path ahead to meet the new challenges with success in this time of covid-19 and future global health disparities,” she concluded.

in the past, the health symposium was held in conjunction with the annual phi zeta research day which follows the mission of the phi zeta veterinary honor society by recognizing and promoting scholarship and research pertaining to the welfare and diseases of animals.  the research day has allowed the students to present their research as well via a competition but due to the coronavirus pandemic, the research day event was not held this year for the students. however, students were able to participate in a virtual student panel focused on the topic, “impact of covid-19 on operations at hbcus.”  students presented from the aspects of working on coronavirus research as well as being impacted by the covid-19 pandemic.

© 2020 tuskegee university