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One Health Initiative

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Our Commitment

In an effort to expand and intensify Midwestern University's commitment to interprofessional education, the University decided to adopt the principles of the  One Health Initiative as a core component of our healthcare philosophy. At its foundation, the  One Health Initiative recognizes that the health of humans is connected to the health of animals and the environment. One goal of the initiative is to break down the cultural isolation between the professional health disciplines and ecosystems sciences. The  One Health Initiative aims to unite the efforts of physicians, veterinarians, research scientists, and others to gain additional insights into the complex interrelationships between global biodiversity, sustainability, and public health.

"Midwestern University believes that through research, teaching, clinical experience, and service projects we can share the interdependence of all healthcare professions in a way that links our colleges of medicine, dentistry, optometry, pharmacy, health sciences, graduate studies, and veterinary medicine to a greater understanding of the interconnectivity of all species and our environment," said Kathleen H. Goeppinger, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Midwestern University. "The  One Health Initiative goes beyond our current interprofessional programs to promote a greater understanding of how all healthcare professionals are impacted by the work of their colleagues," she added. 

At Midwestern University, the plan includes a multiyear effort to introduce, integrate, and measure the impact and improvements developed based on principles outlined in the  One Health Initiative. In addition, the University is augmenting its current interprofessional education courses to incorporate the  One Health Initiative principles, providing additional support for cross-disciplinary research, and enhancing community service opportunities to provide more comprehensive education and outreach.

Midwestern University expects the  One Health Initiative principles and practices to inspire its faculty, staff, and students to work more collaboratively as respected colleagues who understand the nature and interdependency of humans, animals, and the environment and to strengthen the bonds of healthcare professionals through education and research to benefit the health, quality of life, and well-being of all species.

One Health Official Definition

The collaborative effort of multiple health science professions, together with their related disciplines and institutions-working locally, nationally, and globally-to attain optimal health for people, domestic animals, wildlife, plants, and our environment.

The Midwestern University One Health Initiative is designed to engage all faculty, staff, and students in greater understanding that very few medical conditions occur in a vacuum from other individuals, populations, species, and the environment.  The health care community is dependent on all professions to work together to provide all-encompassing care to all patients.  Therefore, the goal of One Health is to broaden everyone's understanding of opportunities (and responsibilities) to collaborate with other health care providers to optimize their ability to address an individual patient's condition by considering external factors (other health disciplines and environmental factors) impacting health.

One Health is the lens through which we view interprofessional education (IPE) and practice (IPP).  This is an essential tool in building a One Health approach.

Our Goals 

The goal of One Health is to have graduates of Midwestern University possess the ability to provide comprehensive care when in practice with other health care professionals. Greater awareness of the relationship between individuals, species, and environments in research, teaching, and practice is integral to the teaching of the health care professions and diagnostic and therapeutic processes.

The clear majority of emerging infectious diseases are zoonotic, and many chronic diseases are experienced by animals and people alike. Midwestern University students are exposed to this throughout their basic science and clinical curricula.

Not every topic area our students study nor every health care discipline is equally amenable to a discussion of One Health.  However, One Health concepts are incorporated into the curriculum where there is a natural fit.   

Throughout graduates' professional career, the One Health education will impact health condition diagnosis, and the treatment recommendations will be more holistic than in the past based on greater awareness of infectious diseases, obesity, physical limitations, mental/behavioral issues, domestic violence, and disaster situations. 

One Health Initiative

Explore how the health of humans is connected to the health of animals and the environment.

Human +

Human ×


Practice collaboratively with interdisciplinary teams to maximize human health.

Animal +

Animal ×


Discover the interconnection of human and animal pathology and healthcare.

Environment +

Environment ×


Explore how elements of our ecosystem affect human and animal health.

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