Furthering the One Health Mission:: Template for Establishing Student-Run One Health Groups on College Campuses

Dela J Public Health. 2021 Jan 21;7(1):8-10. doi: 10.32481/djph.2021.01.004. eCollection 2021 Jan.


Introduction: Although it has been well-established that animal health and environmental health impact human health, there is a lack of inclusion of One Health in the education of medical and undergraduate students1. Most students, in fact, are not aware of the One Health initiative.

Rationale: Due to the fundamental lack of One Health knowledge across all involved disciplines but particularly healthcare fields, educating students at the institutional level is desirable to provide early exposure. Education should influence more integrated practice for future citizens, including those in the health professions. Methods: A framework for commencing a successful One Health student club is outlined, with steps that include distinguishing the club, writing a Constitution, advertising to students, holding elections, formally establishing the University recognized club and expanding its presence on campus. Results: An undergraduate student One Health group at Rutgers University was established, and another one is currently being established at Rutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. Despite the fact that One Health is an established, global initiative, there was a great deal of education necessary to alert students as to what One Health is. Although there also were multiple operational issues that had to be addressed, once commenced at the undergraduate level, it has been a very successful campus initiative. Discussion: From the experience at Rutgers University, One Health student groups can be established that further the message of One Health. Public health implications: Having a One Health presence at educational institutions via student groups will raise awareness of One Health principles, especially as they relate to public health.