One Health Conference Explores Pressing Global Health Issues

CAHNR is hosting an interdisciplinary conference to build connections and take actionable steps to improve global human, animal, plant, and environmental health

WB Young Building

WB Young Building (Milton Levin/UConn Photo)

The UConn College of Agriculture, Health and Natural Resources (CAHNR) is hosting a One Health Conference at the Storrs campus to promote and lead in an interdisciplinary and integrative approach to worldwide health. The One Health Conference seeks to create networks by expanding and strengthening collaborations between professionals in the human, animal, and environmental health fields to nurture and improve the health and well-being of all species. 

CAHNR 10th Anniversary of Health badgeOne Health is a framework advocated for by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The approach acknowledges the interconnection between humans, animals, plants, and their shared environment to work towards optimal health outcomes. The One Health approach is being used to better understand and tackle critical health issues, including climate change, zoonotic diseases, food safety and security, water resource management, and sustainable agriculture. 

“As a concept, One Health is critical for the continued health and well-being of our society at the local, national, and global scale,” says CAHNR Dean Indrajeet Chaubey. “It is also a major component of UConn and CAHNR’s strategic vision to ensure healthy people through a healthy planet, which is why this conference helps move the needle for our students, faculty, staff, and the community.” 

Guided by the principles of One Health, UConn aims to train the next generation of educators and an environmentally conscious public to address health issues and complex problems. 

“We wanted to bring the UConn community together as One Health spans many disciplines and requires working together on strategies and solutions to increasingly urgent problems,” says Stacey Stearns, program specialist in UConn Extension. Stearns is CAHNR’s Strategic Vision Implementation Coordinator and the co-chair of the committee that organized the event. 

The day-long conference will begin with opening remarks from Chaubey and Connecticut Department of Agriculture Commissioner Bryan Hurlburt, followed by keynote speakers, thematic speakers, and working sessions focused on various aspects of One Health. 

The first keynote speaker is Dr. Osman Dar, a fellow of the Royal College of Physicians (Edinburgh) and a fellow of the Faculty of Public Health (UK). He is the director of the One Health Project, part of the Global Health Programme, at Chatham House, an international policy institute seeking to build a sustainably secure, prosperous, and just world. 

Dar also serves as a consultant physician in global health at the UK Health Security Agency and is a working co-chair for the One Health High-Level Expert Panel, which advises the World Health Organization, World Organization for Animal Health, Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, and the United Nations Environment Programme. 

Leann Andrews, an assistant professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at Penn State, is the conference’s second keynote speaker. She is affiliated with the Ecology plus Design (E+D) initiative at Penn State, which engages in planning, designing, restoring, and assessing ecologically productive landscapes, and she is a member of the Penn State One Health Group. Her research and design projects have focused on assessing impacts of landscape interventions on human and ecological health in vulnerable communities in the United States and Peru. 

The closing keynote speaker will be Douglas Casa, UConn Board of Trustees Distinguished Professor of Kinesiology and CEO of the Korey Stringer Institute (KSI). Through KSI and his role in the Department of Kinesiology, Casa is dedicated to research, education, advocacy, and consultation to maximize performance, optimize safety, and prevent sudden death for athletes, soldiers, and laborers. 

Between these keynote speakers are thematic speakers and working sessions led by CAHNR faculty on different topic areas. “A Framework for Equity from Global to Local” will be presented by Elaine Lee, associate professor in the Department of Kinesiology. Lee is also CAHNR’s Leadership Fellow and co-chair of the One Health Conference. “The Human-Animal-Environment Interface” is hosted by Elsio Wunder, assistant professor in the Department of Pathobiology and Veterinary Science. The final session “A Changing Ecosystem” will feature David Dickson, UConn Extension educator, and director of the UConn Center for Land Use Education and Research. 

The One Health Conference will be held on Monday, April 1, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Student Union Ballroom. The event is free and open to UConn students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Registration is required. There is currently a waitlist for the conference. 


This news relates to all areas of CAHNR’s Strategic Vision. 

Follow UConn CAHNR on social media