As Earth Day approaches, we have all been made aware of our critical goal to address the wellness of all humans, as well as animals and the environment, by keeping our communities and our globe a safe place to live. This concept is best described through the One Health initiative.

Because of the need for a safe world a group of scientists, health care providers and advocacy champions came together to move the educational, research and outreach message not only in NJ, but nationally and globally by approaching this goal through the One Health directive. This NJ initiative, The NJ One Health Steering Committee, initially organized by the Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School Women’s Health Institute has not only expanded in NJ, but also in our partnering states.

Through the efforts of Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland and New Jersey, the One Health Regional Consortium was established.  The One Health Regional Consortium addresses collaborative approaches for One education, research and community outreach.

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In NJ, our government is promoting One Health by being the first state with legislation pending to have an interdisciplinary One Health Task Force. As written in Senate Bill S347 Legislative Statement: “One Health recognizes that the health of people is connected to the health of animals and the environment. One Health is not a new concept, but it has become increasingly important in recent years, as many factors have changed interactions between people, animals, and the environment, leading to the emergence or reemergence of many diseases. A One Health approach encourages collaborative efforts of experts working across the human, animal, and environmental health to improve the health of people and animals, including pets, livestock, and wildlife. The federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention established a One Health Office, recognizing that the health of people is connected to the health of animals and the shared environment.”

One Health benefits everyone, and we urge all individuals, not only living in NJ, but also in every other state, to give their full support to the concept of One Health.

Gloria Bachmann, MD, MMS (NJ co-chair of the Regional One Health Consortium) director, Rutgers RWJMS Women’s Health Institute, Associate Dean for Women’s Health

Amy Papi (NJ co-chair of the Regional One Health Consortium) member of the Rutgers RWJMS Women’s Health Institute and RWJUH Auxiliary Board Member

Dina Fonseca, Ph.D., director, Rutgers Center for Vector Biology

Damir Hamamdzic, DVM, Ph.D. Rutgers compliance administrator

Laura Kahn, MD, MPH, MPP, co-founder of global One Health Initiative; research scholar, Princeton University

Barbara Perry, MBA. director: RWJMS Orthopedic Research & Education Laboratory